Foods That Are Good for Your Skin

The foods you eat can help keep your skin smooth, supple and beautiful. A healthy balanced diet should provide all the nutrients your skin needs. Learn more about foods that contain various combinations of the nutrients that are good for your skin.

Nutrients to Support Skin Health

Different nutrients in food can support good skin health. You can use the daily value of each nutrient to make sure you are getting enough. The daily value (DV) is the recommended amount of each nutrient to consume or not to exceed each day. The nutrition facts label on packaged foods can give you information about the amount of each nutrient in food. You can consult online sources to get nutritional information about foods without labels (such as fruits and vegetables).

To maintain healthy skin, look for these key nutrients:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce dryness and inflammation of your skin. The Institute of Medicine recommends adult men consume 1.6 grams per day and adult women consume 1.1 grams per day.
  • Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid are involved with keeping the amino acid, homocysteine in balance. The daily value for vitamin B 6 is 1.7 mg per day, for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day, and for folic acid is 400 mcg per day. Keep in mind that more isn't better as high doses of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 (usually in the form of supplementation) can also cause acne.
  • Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, an important component of the connective tissue layers of your skin. Vitamin C is also involved with antioxidant activity. The daily value for vitamin C is 90 mg per day.
  • Vitamin A keeps your skin healthy so it can function as a barrier to keep bacteria and other pathogens out of your body. The daily value for vitamin A is 900 micrograms.
  • Selenium may help prevent skin cancer with its DNA-repairing and antioxidant properties. The daily value for selenium is 55 mcg per day.
  • Red, orange, yellow, and dark green plant pigments like lycopene and lutein are beta-carotenes which are natural antioxidants that protect your skin. The US National Cancer Institute and the USDA recommend consuming 3-6 mcg of beta-carotene per day.
  • Zinc is necessary for 100 enzymes, wound healing, DNA synthesis, immune function, cell division, and protein synthesis. The daily value is 11 mg per day.
1

Strawberries

Strawberries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Strawberries contain 84.7 mg (94% of the daily value) of vitamin C in one cup so they help keep the connective tissue underneath your skin strong and healthy. Strawberries are also rich in folate (a B vitamin), fiber, and an array of phytochemicals that may help prevent skin damage due to exposure to free radicals

Pro tip: Eat fresh strawberries with Greek yogurt or steel cut oatmeal for a healthy breakfast.

2

Oysters

Oysters

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Oysters are good for your skin because they're very high in zinc. Three ounces of oysters provide about 32 mg of zinc (290% of the DV). Eating just three oysters will give you a whole day's worth of zinc. Oysters also supply you with protein and iron. You'll find canned or fresh raw oysters in most grocery stores.

Pro tip: Eat raw, smoked or cooked oysters as an appetizer, or make oyster stew.

3

Oranges

Oranges

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which is needed for collagen formation and keeps skin feeling firm. One orange (154 g) contains about 81.9 mg of vitamin C or 91% of the daily value. Oranges are also contain smaller amounts of vitamin A, which is required for normal growth and cell differentiation. Other nutrients that are in oranges in smaller amounts are lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Pro tip: Eat an orange as an afternoon snack instead of a candy bar.

4

Blueberries

Blueberries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Blueberries are super high in antioxidants that may protect your skin from free radical damage, inflammation, and free radical damage. One cup of blueberries contains 14.7 mg of vitamin c or 16% of the daily value. Other nutrients found in smaller amounts in 1 cup of blueberries are vitamin A, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin B6. They're also naturally diet-friendly—one cup of fresh blueberries has 86 calories.

Pro tip: Serve blueberries as a low-cal dessert or add them to cereal or use them in smoothies.

5

Carrots

Carrots

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Carrots provide vitamin A and it's precursor, beta-carotene. One cup of carrots contains 1000 mcg RAE of vitamin A or 111% of the daily value. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin. Carrots also contain smaller amounts of zinc, vitamin C, selenium, and vitamin B6.

Pro tip: Serve carrot sticks with a low-calorie veggie dip, top a salad with chopped carrots, or serve cooked carrots as a healthy side dish.

6

Kale

Kale

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that's related to cauliflower, arugula, and broccoli. The amount of lutein (includes zeaxanthin) is high at 1,560 micrograms and it provides other nutrients including vitamins A (6% of the daily value) and vitamin C (26% of the DV) and provides other nutrients in smaller amounts like zinc and beta carotene. It's also low in calories and high in fiber.

Pro tip: Try baby kale as a salad green — it's a little more tender than mature kale.

7

Salmon

Salmon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that your skin needs to stay soft and supple. Three ounces of salmon provides 524 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA). It's also an excellent source of protein, selenium (58% of the DV), vitamin B6 (35% of the DV), and vitamin B12 (167% of the DV) . Although it's rich in healthy fats, salmon isn't high in calories, so it's perfect for many types of diets.

Pro tip: Keep canned salmon on hand for quick and easy sandwiches and salads. Bonus if eat you salmon with bones because it ups your calcium intake.

8

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Brazil nuts are crazy high in selenium. One ounce (about 6 kernals) gives you 1007% of the daily value for selenium. Brazil nuts also contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and protein. They're a little high in calories -- one serving of six nuts has close to 200 calories, but you'll get all the selenium you need from just two nuts.

Pro tip: Eat a few Brazil nuts with an apple or pear for a healthy afternoon snack.

9

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, so they're perfect for keeping your skin in good condition. One medium sweet potato (150 g) contains 127% of the daily value of vitamin A. Sweet potato also has vitamin B6 (16% of the DV) and vitamin C (20% of the DV) with traces of zinc and selenium. They're also rich in potassium, and fiber. Sweet potatoes live up to their name and are usually a hit with everyone -- even picky eaters.

Pro tip: Serve baked sweet potatoes with olive oil or a touch of a sweet glaze, or top with baked beans, onions, cooked spinach or nuts.

10

Tuna

Tuna

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that keep your skin soft. Three ounces of canned tuna provide 733 mg of (EPA/DHA). Plus it's high in vitamin B6 (11% of the DV), vitamin B12 (42% of the DV), selenium (101% of the DV), and protein. Tuna is typically served as fillets or steaks, and it can be grilled, baked, or broiled. You'll also find canned tuna in your local grocery store.

Pro tip: Choose canned tuna packed in spring water to save on calories.

11

Broccoli

Broccoli

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Broccoli is very high in vitamin C that you need for healthy connective tissue. One half cup of chopped broccoli provides about 44% of the daily value and 16% of the DV for folate. It's also a good source of vitamins A and K, plus fiber and antioxidants that may help to protect your skin from sun damage.

Pro tip: If you don't eat broccoli very often, increase the amount you eat at one sitting gradually to reduce gas formation.

12

Walnuts

Walnuts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Walnuts are an excellent source of an omega-3 essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which keeps your skin moist and supple. One ounce (14 halves) provides calcium (31% of the DV), protein, and magnesium (11% of DV) and some vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant.

Pro tip: Keep your walnuts in the refrigerator, or even the freezer, to protect the fats from going rancid.

13

Trout

Trout

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Freshwater trout are mild white fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your skin supple. Three ounces of trout provides 499 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA). Trout are also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (20% of dv) and vitamin B12 (157% of dv) and a source of other nutrients like zinc (8% of DV) and selenium (19% of DV).

Pro tip: Simply pan-fry your trout fillets in a little olive oil and serve with a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

14

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

One cup of tomatoes is full of both vitamins A (8% of DV) and C (27% of DV), and vitamin B6 (8% of DV), plus they've also got magnesium, some calcium and a little vitamin K. Fresh tomatoes are rich in these nutrients and low in calories, but there's a bonus when you eat tomato sauce. The cooking concentrates the amount of lycopene (4,630 micrograms), an antioxidant that's good for your skin.

Pro tip: Make a simple snack by slicing a big juicy tomato into thick pieces. Add a little salt and pepper and that's all you need.

15

Watermelon

Watermelon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Watermelons are sweet and refreshing and oh so good for you. One cup of watermelon contains vitamins A (5% of DV), C (14% of DV), and lycopene (7,020 micrograms), so it's good for your skin, plus it's rich in potassium, and low in calories -- one cup of watermelon balls has 46 little calories.

Pro tip: Water is essential for healthy skin and eating watermelon is an excellent way to rehydrate.

16

Red Sweet Peppers

Red Bell Pepper

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Red sweet peppers are good for your skin because they're loaded with both vitamins C and A. One cup of sliced red peppers provides 131% of the DV for vitamin C and 16% of the daily value for vitamin A. Red sweet peppers also have vitamin B6 (16% of DV) and folate (11% of DV).

They also have some vitamin K, which is essential for healthy blood vessels that lie under the skin, some lutein, and fiber. Red sweet peppers are also low in calories -- perfect for any diet.

Pro tip: Try green, yellow, and orange sweet peppers for a little variety. They're all delicious and chock full of nutrients.

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19 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Balić A, Vlašić D, Žužul K, Marinović B, Bukvić Mokos Z. Omega-3 versus omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. IJMS. 2020;21(3):741. doi:10.3390/ijms21030741

  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Updated March 26, 2021

  3. Jiang H, Li C, Wei B, Wang Q, Zhong J, Lu J. Serum homocysteine levels in acne patientsJ Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;17(3):523-526. doi:10.1111/jocd.12456

  4. Zamil, Dina H, et al. Acne related to dietary supplements. UC Davis Dermatology Online Journal. Volume 26 Number 8, Aug 2020, 26(8):2

  5. Selenium. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Updated March 26, 2021

  6. Vitamin A. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Updated March 26, 2021

  7. Zinc. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Updated March 26, 2021

  8. Strawberries, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  9. Orange, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 10/30/2020

  10. Maya-Cano DA, Arango-Varela S, Santa-Gonzalez GA. Phenolic compounds of blueberries (Vaccinium spp) as a protective strategy against skin cell damage induced by ROS: A review of antioxidant potential and antiproliferative capacityHeliyon. 2021;7(2):e06297. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06297

  11. Blueberries, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 10/30/2020

  12. Carrots, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 10/30/2020

  13. Kale, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 10/30/2020

  14. Fish, salmon, pink, cooked, dry heat. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  15. Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanched. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  16. Sweet potato, NFS. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 10/30/2020

  17. Fish, tuna, white, canned in water, drained solids. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  18. Nuts, walnuts, english. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  19. Peppers, sweet, red, raw. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

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