The Best Diet for Healthy Skin In 2012

Cynthia Bailey, MD|January 31, 2012

diet for healthy skinDid you make a New Year's Resolution to eat better in 2012?  I'm checking in with you and encouraging you to stick to it.  Trust me, your diet matters to your skin health! Right about now that New Year's Resolution enthusiasm might start falling off.  I'm noticing, for example, that it's getting easier to find a parking spot at my gym.  My own resolution (to use my power exam tables to always move a patient into a good position for my back before I begin a procedure) didn't get done 100% of the time yesterday. My nurse gave me a gentle reminder and it helped.  We know what's good for us, let's stick it out.  We need to support each other, and I'm hoping this post helps to support you.  I care, and if improving your diet was your 2012 New Years Resolution, hang in there, your skin will reward you. 'You are what you eat' and now, more than ever, there's mounting medical evidence that this is true for your skin.  You probably have at least one skin problem that you'd love to fix - include diet in your treatment plan.  Really???  YES!

We know:

  • Acne improves on a fruit & veggie rich diet low on junk, sugars, meats & dairy,
  • Psoriasis in now linked to the same diet risk factors as heart disease and diabetes,
  • Beauty is rated more highly when a person has beta carotene rich skin (which comes from eating orange and green leafy veggies),
  • UV skin damage is lessened when skin is loaded w/ dietary antioxidants,
  • Non-melanoma skin cancers thrive when you eat a high fat diet,

Dermatologist's Diet Advice For Healthy Skin Eat organic and fresh because nutrients start breaking down the minute food is harvested.  Organically grown foods have more to begin with (they 'are what they eat' too).  Click here to read Diet Recommendations for Healthy Skin Eat lots of beta carotene foods because they make you beautiful (and healthy).  My absolute favorite nutritional ingredient for beauty is beta carotene because it functions like a self-tanner, giving your skin a beautiful golden glow.  I always eat a healthy dose of carrots, winter squash or dark green veggies to keep my pale skin naturally 'bronzed'. Believe it or not it works!  Click here to read Skip The Tan And Eat Your Veggies For Beautiful Skin Color Eat lots of omega 3 rich foods because they rock for fighting inflammation.  Inflammation is the instigator of all sorts of mischief from psoriasis and acne to heart disease and strokes.  The modern western diet is low in omega 3 and high in it's evil counterpart Omega 6.  Tip the balance in your body and see how different you look and feel.  Click here to read Age Beautifully, Fight Cancer and Prevent Heart Disease By Adding Flax Seeds To Your Diet Eat your vitamin D.  Don't damage your skin with sun exposure in pursuit of this important vitamin.  This is the one vitamin I actually take in capsule form.  Click here to read Are You really Getting Vitamin D From The Sun Or Just Nuking Your DNA? Eat a diet that has more veggies than anything else to reduce inflammation (including skin inflammation like rosacea, acne, eczema, psoriasis).  We diet geeks believe that a plant based diet loads your body with vital, bioavailable nutrients in exactly the form that your human body is designed to use.  No multivitamin pill can compare!  Click here to read The Alkaline Mediterranean Diet, A Magic Wand For Overall Health And Beauty Eat naturally fermented, probiotic rich foods every day to keep your digestive track healthy.  I suspect that this little secret is one of the biggest under-appreciated necessities for physical health.  Your digestive track helps you absorb the right nutrients and excrete any harmful toxins in your food (like mercury).  My favorite probiotic food is naturally fermented kefir because it’s loaded with beneficial probiotics. Click here to read Kefir, The Best Probiotic For Healthy Skin. Eat less refined carbs, dairy and junk food to prevent acne. Yes, we dermatologists finally have diet advice for you if you suffer from acne.  Click here for 4 Diet Changes That Can Help You Improve Your Acne, Dermatologist's Advice Eat foods rich in natural spices! Yes, I've never posted on the subject of spices and health, but the scientific evidence is mounting. Spices are starting to join the ranks of healthy diet super heroes.  Some of the best are turmeric and cinnamon.  I try to cook with turmeric every week and I add cinnamon to my morning cup of green tea matcha.  I promise to post on spices later this year. So, let's stick it out with our New Year's Resolutions.  We know what's good for us.  I'll use my power tables and demonstrate excellent 'self care' at work.  If diet was your resolution, hang in there.  You'll like the results on your skin, I promise you! Photo: Thanks and Gratitude to TheBittenWord