Because beauty really does come from within

Here’s the thing: you’re already gorgeous. But this doesn’t mean you can’t take an interest in things that’ll enhance your natural beauty such as skincare, make-up and keeping fit and healthy. Looking good is not just superficial – what you put in your body counts, too. While there’s no single food item that’ll give you healthy and glowing skin, a balanced diet containing foods that are good for your skin – and drinking plenty of water – can work wonders for your appearance. So, according to the experts, here are the best foods for glowing and healthy skin.

Dr Thivi Maruthappu, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic in London who trained in nutrition science (and consequently became a recognised leader in nutrition and skin health), agrees with the value of food in maintaining healthy and glowing skin.

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are among her top recommendations. There’s a wide variety to choose from:

●      Blueberries

●      Strawberries

●      Goji berries

●      Raspberries

●      Kale

●      Red cabbage

●      Beans

●      Beetroot

●      Spinach

A balanced diet is key. “It's also important to eat foods rich in ‘good’ fats,” advises Dr Thivi. Good fats are unsaturated fats (although it’s important to note that saturated fats such as those found in cheese and red meat aren’t necessarily “bad” but they should be consumed in moderation). They’re found in food “such as avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish such as salmon,” says Dr Thivi.

For Dr Thivi, it’s also important to note that “gut health and skin health can be linked.” Natural skincare expert Lisa Harris takes this one step further by saying that gut health can help “keep skin looking glowing.” You can help take care of your gut bacteria by consuming plant-based foods that are rich in fibre such as wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans and pulses), nuts and seeds.

“It usually takes about a month to see an improvement in your skin, but some people may notice an improvement within a week of investing in their gut health,” she says.

Unsurprisingly, then, the best food for healthy and glowing skin is the food you should be consuming regardless. But what are the worst foods for skin? “For me, no foods are off limits, and everything can be enjoyed in moderation,” says Dr Thivi. “Who doesn't love a piece of chocolate?” she adds.

“However, too much refined sugar can contribute to accelerated ageing by making collagen stiff,” she warns. “It can also trigger breakouts in some (but not all) people who suffer from acne,” she says. Drinks-wise, keeping yourself hydrated is one of the quickest fixes for frazzled skin, so try to have the recommended six to eight glasses of fluid per day, but do drink more if it’s hot or you’re exercising. Where possible, you should try and drink water, but if you struggle to then low-fat milk, tea, coffee, fruit juice*, smoothies* and sugar-free drinks all count. Dr Thivi recommends green tea too.

Alcohol may have the opposite effect. Too many tipples can make your body dehydrated, which means your skin is more likely to show signs of fatigue. “If you’re prone to redness, sometimes alcohol can contribute to flare-ups too,” says Dr Thivi. Cutting it out completely or cutting down by drinking non-alcoholic drinks or alternating water between alcohol drinks can help you stay hydrated. 

Here’s to getting that glow from within. 

*Fruit juice and smoothies are a source of free sugars so should be limited to 150ml a day. 

Liked this? Check out our guide to brightening dull skin.