The top complexion cures still come from the most natural quarters: the aisles of your supermarket. Here are 10 foods good for skin that nourish from the inside and out.
Get Glowing with Chocolate
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Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple, explains David Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, NY. "And dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant," adds Nicholas Perricone, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. For maximum flavonol content, eat chocolate that's at least 70 percent cacao. A couple of squares a day of this food that's good for skin should be enough to improve luminosity. (Or try one of these 18 healthy chocolate dessert recipes.)
"When applied topically, the caffeine in chocolate may temporarily reduce puffiness," says Jessica Wu, M.D., a dermatologist in Los Angeles and the author of Feed Your Face.
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Photo: SergeBertasiusPhotography / Getty Images
Prevent Wrinkles with Yogurt
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The protein you get from eating dairy helps skin become firmer, so it's more resistant to lines, Dr. Wu says. Greek yogurt is especially beneficial. "The protein content is often double that of regular yogurt," Dr. Perricone adds. Eat a single serving daily to make your complexion smoother, and calm irritated, dry, or sensitive skin with yogurt-infused products.
Buy It: Korres Yoghurt Instant Soothing Gel ($26, sephora.com)
Photo: JeniFoto / Shutterstock
Protect with Pomegranates
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This food good for skin is packed with polyphenol antioxidants, Dr. Perricone says. Polyphenols fight free radicals and regulate skin's blood flow, giving it rosiness. One pomegranate or a few glasses of juice daily can help act as armor. When applied to skin, the fruit's antioxidants help smooth lines and moisturize, Dr. Bank says. (Related: 6 More Pomegranate Health Benefits)
Buy it: DR SCHELLER Pomegranate Night Cream ($26, amazon.com)
Photo: KatyaPulina / Shutterstock
Soften Skin with Walnuts
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"Walnuts contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can improve skin's elasticity," says Dr. Bank. The super-healthy nuts are also loaded with copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production. Snack on a handful of walnuts each day to improve your complexion's texture, and seek out skin products with ground walnuts shells as an exfoliant.
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Photo: savitskaya iryna / Shutterstock
Fight Crow's-Feet with Peppers
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"Women who eat green and yellow vegetables regularly tend to have fewer wrinkles, especially around the eyes," Dr. Wu says. Also, studies found that carotenoids—the antioxidants in yellow and orange veggies—can decrease skin's sensitivity to the sun, Dr. Bank says. Aim for about 2 cups of peppers daily. (Here's another skincare ingredient to seek out to prevent fine lines.)
Photo: AlexeiLogvinovich / Shutterstock
Brighten Up with Sunflower Seeds
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Loaded with vitamin E, sunflower seeds keep your skin supple by protecting its top layers from the sun. Eat a handful daily. A high content of essential fatty acid makes sunflower seed oil a treat for parched body parts, such as lips and heels, when this food good for skin is topically applied, Dr. Bank says.
Buy it: 100% Pure Sunflower Seed Oil Anti-Aging Natural Skin Care Antioxidant Vitamin E Moisturizer ($10, amazon.com)
Photo: In Green / Shutterstock
Zap Zits with Kidney Beans
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They're high in zinc, and studies indicate a correlation between blemishes and low zinc levels, explains Dr. Wu. "That may be because of zinc's healing properties." Incorporate a 4-ounce serving of kidney beans into your daily menu to help you stay in the clear.
Photo: Ekaterina Lin / Shutterstock
Even Out Your Skin Tone with Soy
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Drink a latte with soy milk or eat edamame and you may get a clearer complexion. "Soy contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation," Dr. Bank says. One cup a day should yield results. For a one-two punch of this food good for skin, smooth on soy-infused products.
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Photo: TONG4130 / Shutterstock
Look Younger with Oatmeal
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Steel-cut oatmeal is less processed than other varieties, so it retains more vitamins. "Plus, it takes longer to break down in your body, which helps keep your blood sugar stable," says Dr. Wu. "This is important because studies found that spiked blood sugar elevates your body's level of androgens, hormones that can contribute to wrinkles." Oats are also exceptionally skin healing when applied externally. (That's why there are tons of oatmeal beauty products on the market right now.)
Buy it: St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion ($4, walmart.com)
Photo: Chris Gallo
Calm Redness with Green Tea
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"It's very high in antioxidants, particularly one named EGCG, which is proven to reduce redness," says Jeffrey Morrison, M.D., nutrition consultant for Equinox Sports Clubs in New York City. "Studies have also demonstrated that green tea helps fight inflammation," Dr. Bank says. Sip at least a cup of green tea a day, and fight redness with tea-spiked skin care. (Try matcha green tea for bonus benefits.)
Buy it: Sephora Collection Green Tea Face Mask ($6, sephora.com)
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