Effects of Diet on the Appearance of Skin

Our skin is our largest body organ and, like every other body organ and gland, it is composed of billions and trillions of cells. Each cell is a complete functioning unit in its own place i.e. performs the functions of respiration, reproduction, excretion and, of course, digestion and nutrition. Therefore, like the rest of our body systems, proper and well balanced diet and nutrition are essential for our skin cells. The following article encompasses some of the major effects of diet on the appearance of human skin. Read on to discover…

Diet and Skin – The Essential Connection

We’re what we eat. This can’t be stressed enough. Just as a diet low in quantity and quality of nutrients makes you malnourished and literally affects almost every part of your body, a diet that lacks sufficient quantities of vitamins and minerals is harmful for your skin health and appearance. Dermatologists and dieticians unanimously agree that the presence of certain vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pyridoxine and minerals such as Zinc and Selenium is vital for skin health. In addition, the appearance and health of skin is also directly linked with the free radical formation in your body.

Skin and Free Radical Damage

Free radicals are formed regularly in our body as a result of the normal living processes such as digestion, metabolism and respiration. Most of these free radicals are damaging to our body in general and to skin in particular. In skin, for example, free radical damage is characterized by the following:

  • Premature ageing.
  • Vulnerability to diseases such as acne, infections and inflammation.
  • High risk of skin cancer in some cases.

Fortunately, this damage caused due to free radicals can be easily prevented with the help of special substances known as “anti-oxidants”. Citrus fruits and colorful vegetables of different variety are rich in anti-oxidants. Furthermore, using a diet rich in free radicals not only helps prevent free radical formation but also improves skin quality, elasticity and beauty.

Some Time-Tested Dietary Tips to Improve Skin Appearance

  • Eat a well balanced and healthy diet rich in proteins (beans, lean white meat e.g. chicken and fish), carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat grains and cereals) and fats (low-fat dairy products, skim milk and cottage cheese).
  • Eat as many citrus fruits regularly as possible. Citrus fruits such as berries, oranges and grapefruits are rich in anti-oxidants and, hence, play significant role in protecting your skin against the damage caused by free radicals.
  • Consume green leafy and colorful vegetables on daily basis (examples of such vegetables include carrots, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, turnips, tomatoes, etc.).
  • Drink plenty of water. Experts recommend that ideally you should drink about 2 liters of water within a period of 24 hours. Eating water before meals and after you wake up from sleep particularly helps in the nourishment and replenishment of your skin and keeps it moisturized and hydrated.
  • Use a herbal or organic skin moisturizing cream that is rich in multi vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to maintain optimal moisture levels in your skin.
  • Lose weight if you need to. Obese or abnormally overweight people tend to have a dry and loose skin that is prone to many disorders.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking (as they increase the number of free radicals, accelerate the process of aging and enhance wrinkles and dryness).
  • Drink green tea regularly. Green tea contains several anti-oxidants that are all good for your skin health and appearance.


All in all, diet has an essential connection with our skin health and appearance. The risk of serious skin-related issues such as premature ageing, free radical damage, infections and acne can be significantly reduced by eating a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

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