I now realize that I’m at that age where I have to “work” to have clear skin and a face that looks young and bright. There are things happening to my face that I can’t explain.
Things I don’t understand and I don’t like.
Not. One. Bit.
My pores are starting to look like craters on the moon with pools of oil filling them (not really, but it feels like it does). And acne spots seem to appear out of nowhere.
Acne spots and oily skin?
I’m far past my teenage years. Aren’t those days supposed to be over?
While I want my face to be restored to its youthful appearance, I’m not willing to shell out my hard-earned money for expensive products that may or may not work.
Thankfully, I don’t have to.
Through my research, I found I can eat my way to healthy, clear skin for a price I can afford.
And, even better, my whole body benefits from the nutritious diet.
Plant foods deliver clear skin
Eating plant-based foods that protect and heal your skin is very important, especially when the changes in weather can cause wrinkles on extremely dry skin and even acne.
The side benefit is that it’s a tasty job that pleases your mouth while it improves your face and body.
Along with eating clean plant foods, be sure to avoid inflammatory foods for the best results. This includes processed foods as well as sugar, wheat, and soy.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is also key to healing the skin and keeping it well-hydrated. I talk about how much is enough in my post on homemade natural beauty recipes.
While plant foods heal the body and the skin from the inside out, they also double as effective skin treatments. Mixed with the right ingredients, many plant foods heal the skin topically. So “wearing” some of these plants leaves you with radiant, smooth clear skin.
If you’re ready to eat (and wear) your way to brighter, blemish-free skin, then add the following foods to your daily meals.
Best foods for clear skin
1. Tomatoes – These juicy, red fruits contain several nutrients that benefit our skin. It contains vitamins A & C (which are found in a lot of acne medicines) as well as lycopene and proteins. Tomatoes also contain a lot of water which moisturizes the skin.
And as if this wasn’t enough, tomatoes don’t just heal your body, they also do wonders when applied directly to the skin. Applying tomato juice or rubbing a tomato directly on your skin evens out skin tone, helps fight acne and tames oily skin.
2. Cucumbers – If you’re looking for foods that will keep your skin hydrated, then look to the cucumber. With a water content of about 96% along with the caffeic acid it contains, this fruit is able to prevent water retention. This is why it’s a great choice for puffy eyes.
Used topically, cucumbers can revitalize the skin. One DIY beauty recipe I like combines cucumbers with yogurt, aloe vera, and honey for a mask that delivers a glow. I’ll share the recipe with you:
Hydrating Cucumber Mask
- 3 medium slices of cucumber
- 1 1/2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp fresh aloe vera gel
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp raw honey
How to use:
- Place cucumber slices in blender and puree until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until creamy.
- Apply the first layer of the mask to damp skin and allow to sit for five minutes.
- Now apply a second layer of the mask over the first. Let it sit on face for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Once the mask has dried, rinse it off with lukewarm water, then splash face with cold water to close the pores.
3. Carrots – Carrots are high in the antioxidant beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Growing up, I was always told I needed to eat my carrots so I’d have good vision. Well, mom was right–carrots do help with vision. The vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for protecting eye health and vision. I’ve since learned some other very important benefits of eating carrots.
The body uses the beta carotene in carrots to help repair skin tissue and to protect against the sun’s harsh rays. By adding more carrots to your diet, you can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Now, who wouldn’t want that?
Try adding some chopped or shredded carrots to your salads (my Tofu Chicken Salad includes carrot sticks and tastes oh, so yummy). You can also add about one cup of carrot juice to your smoothie or drink it straight.
4. Sweet potatoes – Not only are they delicious, but they’re very beneficial for our skin. Sweet potatoes are packed with yummy goodness for our skin, such as Omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamins A, B, C, K and E.
Like the carrot, sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene which not only reduces the risk of chronic diseases but nourishes the skin as well. Sweet potatoes also contain anthocyanin which fights pigmentation and provides anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin.
If you have oily skin like I do, sweet potatoes can be your best friend. Try this simple recipe for oily skin:
Sweet Potato Mask for Oily Skin
Simply chop half of a medium sweet potato into chunks and boil in water until tender. After they’ve cooled, mash the chunks in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix well. Apply this mixture to your face and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Note: After boiling the sweet potatoes, don’t toss the water. It has nutrients that can improve your skin’s texture and clear your complexion. Pour it into a bottle and use it as a toner. Store it in the refrigerator between uses and it will keep for 4-5 days.
5. Spinach – It’s a rich source of vitamin A and C. Why is that good? Vitamin A improves the tone of our skin, while vitamin C helps in repairing as well as growing skin cells. Spinach also contains antioxidants and nutrients that even out our complexion giving the skin a youthful glow.
I love spinach, but not everyone does. If you can’t take the taste of it steamed or raw, try adding it to smoothies along with a banana and a couple of other fruits you like. You’ll barely notice it’s in there.
Spinach can do wonders for the skin. If you suffer from adult acne, it can help in clearing it up. Try making a spinach mask (I know, sexy, right?) by blending a handful spinach with a little water and applying it on your face for 20 minutes.
Or if you want to be fancy pants, you can add a few extra special ingredients to your spinach mask that’ll clear your pores and tighten your skin:
Clear Skin Spinach Mask
- 6 fresh and washed spinach leaves
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tbsp raw honey
How to use:
- Add ingredients to a blender and blend until well-mixed.
- Apply the mask on your face and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water then splash with cold water to close the pores.
6. Avocado – If you suffer from dry, patchy skin, then you’ll want to add avocados to your diet. They’re loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants. Some of the ways avocados heal the skin include:
- Deeply moisturizes the skin
- Treats and prevents acne
- Protects the skin from sun damage
- Helps soothe psoriasis
- Heals wounds faster
A quick recipe is to blend 1/2 of an avocado with a few tablespoons of yogurt. Apply to clean skin and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Here’s one bonus food I couldn’t leave out. Lemons are also wonderful for clearing the complexion. Check out my post on seven ways lemons can improve your beauty routine.
By adding these foods to your clear skin diet and your beauty regimens, you will help improve your skin’s complexion from the inside out. Just remember, when using foods to heal, the key is consistency and patience. But the results will be long-lasting.