A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

Eat This for Beautiful Skin

Posted July 12, 2016

Research shows that certain foods, whether eaten or applied directly to the skin, can impact your skin health. So if you want to regain a youthful glow, hit the grocery and stock up on these 10 foods.

  1. Oatmeal
    Oatmeal has been used to treat skin problems for centuries. The grain has a number of properties that help the skin, including long-chain sugars and fats that moisturize, as well as nutrients that protect against inflammation and UV damage. Use colloidal oatmeal skin treatments, or just enjoy a bowl each morning.
  1. Dark Chocolate
    The flavonals in dark chocolate (60- to 70-percent cocoa) specifically protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They also reduce rough texture.
  1. Tomatoes
    A lot of plant-based foods stand out in the skin health arena, but tomatoes rise to the top due to a fairly unique nutrient — lycopene. This antioxidant is known for keeping skin smooth and youthful.
  1. Carrots
    Carrots are a rich source of the plant-based form of vitamin A known as beta-carotene, which maintains healthy eyes, teeth, tissue and skin.
  1. Citrus Fruits
    Vitamin C is also high on the list of skin-healthy nutrients due to its ability to combat wrinkles over time. For a boost in vitamin C, try adding more oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes into your diet.
  1. Fatty Fish
    Choose fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have boatloads of health benefits, including preserving the firmness of skin by protecting collagen.
  1. Avocado
    Avocados aren’t just good for heart health! The natural oils found in avocado have rich moisturizing properties. To help fix dry skin, spread raw, mashed avocado on your face and let sit for approximately 15 minutes.
  1. Flaxseeds
    Among plant sources of omega-3s, flaxseeds are one of the richest. Ground flaxseed can be sprinkled on yogurt or cereal. And flaxseed oil is perfect for using as a key ingredient in salad dressing.
  1. Eggs
    Both egg whites and egg yolks masks can firm the skin and provide a youthful glow. Take two to three egg whites or one egg yolk, and whip them up nicely. Then apply to the face (with clean hands) for 20 minutes before washing them off.
  1. Sugar
    Yes, really. Sugar is good ON your skin, not ingested. The gentle exfoliating texture of sugar granules makes a great, all-natural ingredient in facial scrubs. Use a pre-made sugar scrub, or make your own.


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