Yes, water keeps your skin hydrated—and staying hydrated makes it appear plumper and less wrinkled. But there’s another reason to fill up on water over other drinks: You’ll save on sugar. Sugars found in juices, sodas, and sports drinks cause your skin major woes, says Drayer. “When blood sugar levels are high, sugars can attach to proteins in collagen and produce compounds that cause the skin to sag and wrinkle.
Eggs offer up a hefty dose of protein without tons of fat, and less fat is a good thing for your skin: Higher fat diets are associated with aging skin. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a 17-gram increase in fat intake increased your odds of developing wrinkles by 28%.
When researchers in a 2012 study in PLOS ONE analyzed the diets of 1264 women, they found that higher consumption of olive oil was associated with 31% fewer signs of aging compared to people who ate less than 3.8 grams (about 1 teaspoon). Olive oil beat out the other oils tested, including sunflower and peanut. Why? About 75% of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which may play a role in the youth boost.
Cooked pumpkin is one of the top sources of beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A which is essential for the growth of skin cells.
Yellow bell peppers
One study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate the most green and yellow vegetables (up to 250 grams; one large pepper is about 190 grams) had fewer wrinkles, especially in the crow’s feet area, compared to those who at the least amount (69 grams a day).
Eating any tomato-based foods such as sauce and tomato juice may help clear up acne. People who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily, along with almost a tablespoon of olive oil for 12 weeks, had 33% more protection from sunburn compared to a control group that ate just olive oil, according to a 2008 UK study. The antioxidant lycopene improves the skin’s natural SPF.
The sweet treat is rich in cocoa flavanols, plant compounds with antioxidant properties, which help hydrate skin and improve circulation. Women who consumed a high flavanol cocoa powder drink daily for 12 weeks experienced less skin roughness and scaliness compared to a control group.
With 37% of your daily needs for vitamin E per ounce, these seeds can help keep your skin pimple-free. That’s according to a study published in Experimental Dermatology that looked at 100 patients recently diagnosed with acne
Whole-grain oatmeal is a better pick for breakfast over a bagel and jelly. That’s because the latter offers a double whammy for skin: refined, sugary carbs that prompt your body to make insulin and increase the production of hormones known as androgens.
Green tea fights acne based on its ability to lower levels of an acne-producing hormone called dihydrotestosterone. In a study people who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols daily for 12 weeks had skin that was more elastic and smooth and had one-quarter less sun damage when exposed to UV light compared to a control group.
It’s the only type of nut that contains a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which is especially important for vegetarians who are skipping fish. Walnuts pack an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid. “Deficiency in this fat can result in eczema, which is associated with dry, scaly skin,”
Researchers from the University of Arizona looked at people who reported that they ate citrus fruits, juices, and peels weekly. People who ate peels (orange peel or lemon zest, for example) had a 33% decreased risk for squamous cell carcinoma. Juice and fruit didn’t have any effect.
Next time you make a salad, try substituting a few lettuce leaves for some peppery watercress. The leafy greens are jammed full of antioxidants as well as the minerals manganese, carotene, and potassium.
It’s really hard to pick fault with a cup of peppermint tea, which is known for its potent healing and calming properties. Not only can it help to aid digestion, relieve stress – a common acne aggravator – treat headaches and clear sinuses, but it’s seriously good for the skin, too. Try swapping it in for your usual cup of builders brew and see if it makes a difference.
This makes the list because of what it’s not: dairy. “Research shows dairy is highly inflammatory, which means it will aggravate acne, wrinkles, and rashes,” says Dr. Wu. When you drink coffee or pour a bowl of whole-grain cereal, she recommends using non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk
Deeply colored berries such as blueberries and cherries are loaded with antioxidants, which help your body fight off blemishes.