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4 Superfoods for Glowing Skin

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You are what you eat. Or, these days it’s more like…your skincare products may actually be good enough to eat. Beauty companies are now looking beyond common vitamins and nutrients to get you gorgeous skin, sourcing trendy power foods like quinoa and chia seeds to supercharge your products. But if you’re already getting in your five-a-day—which can do wonders in nourishing your body—do you really need to apply them topically, too?

Turns out, yes. “When you ingest food and the nutrients in it, your skin is going to be the last place it reaches,” says Gary Goldfaden, a dermatologist and founder of GOLDFADEN MD. “That’s because it’s the outer most layer of the body, so it receives the least amount of ingested goodness.” Think of it like this: Eating vitamin C-rich fruits, like oranges and mangos, can fight free radicals and boost your immune system. But, as Goldfaden explains, the only way it will help fade any dark spots or discoloration is if you apply the ingredient directly to your skin. (But eating your way to glowing skin is still possible. Hence these Beauty-Boosting Recipes for a Radiant Complexion.)

So what are the latest tasty superfoods with the biggest beauty impact? Here's the ingredient scoop:

Quinoa
The protein-packed grain is known for its versatility in the kitchen, but its high level of riboflavin makes it a power ingredient for your skin. Apply it topically and—bam!—your fine lines and wrinkles look less visible. “Riboflavin boosts elasticity and increases the production of connective tissue, which can help tone the skin,” Goldfaden says. The end result: a smooth, younger-looking complexion. Want to try it for yourself? Check out these 10 Quinoa-Rich Skin and Hair Products.

Chia Seeds
Yep, you can find those same same seeds you’ve sprinkled into your smoothie in skincare products. They’re one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, offering crazy hydration that can make you look glowy and fresh. The seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties, which Goldfaden says can help soothe and combat acne-prone skin. To boot: “Chia seeds contain vitamins with anti-aging benefits, like B3, B2, and zinc,” he says. All that goodness in one lightweight formula: Perricone MD Chia Serum ($75; perriconemd.com).

Kale
Like an instant detox for your face, this leafy green’s abundance of vitamins and minerals boost it to triple threat-status: It can help clean out your pores, protect against environmental aggressors, and leave skin uber-hydrated. “Kale is high in vitamin A, which fights against free radical damage and repairs the skin tissue,” Goldfaden says. It’s also loaded with vitamin K, which he says helps minimize “shadows and puffiness in the under eye area.” (Check out more 5 Greens for Great Skin.)

Yogurt
It’s not just delicious with fruit and granola. Yogurt is jam-packed with lactic acid that can help fade those pesky dark spots or hyperpigmentation. “It helps to exfoliate and remove any dead skin cells on the surface, so your skin will look brighter and healthier,” Goldfaden says. It’s also a high-protein treat for your complexion, which is crucial for collagen production. “Collagen is the protein responsible for holding your connective tissue together, and your level of collagen weaken as you age,” he explains. “Protein can help rebuild and repair the tissue.” So if you have a little Chobani in your fridge, try these 8 Greek Yogurt Infused Beauty Formulas to Buy or DIY.

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