Weird fact about me. I probably only had like 2 or 3 pimples the entire time I was a teenager. Instead, the acne monster decided to attack in my adult years. It started in college where it wasn’t that bad. Then after I started working, my skin would go through clear cycles and not so clear cycles.
At one point, my skin was bad enough that I decided to see a dermatologist. She put me on antibiotics and topical medications and eventually I went on birth control to deal with my acne issues.
All these medications were ultimately terrible for my skin. Sure, they gave me some short term relief, but they didn’t solve the core issue. My acne eventually returned and I also experienced several side effects as a result of being on meds – everything from nausea to yeast infections to skin sensitivity to weight gain and more.
My skin was (and sometimes still does) breaking out for a reason, and I needed to get to the bottom of it. I don’t care what doctors say – acne is 100% related to diet, sleep, stress, and general health and happiness. At some point, I’ll go over the other factors, but today we’ll cover the five foods you can start eating today for clear, glowing skin!
Water: Okay, this is a tricky one because it’s not exactly a food. But water flushes junk out of your system. In the morning, be sure to enjoy some warm water with the juice of half a lemon and then a little later, chug down a big glass of water with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV). The lemon acts as a cleanser, alkalinizes your blood, and provides vitamin C which brightens the skin. The ACV is a natural probiotic which will promote healthy bacteria in your gut and aid in elimination – a critical element for great skin.
Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are great for the skin – they provide so many fantastic micronutrients and phytonutrients that are essential for healthy, glowing skin. Greens are high in vitamins A, E, C, folate, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, lutein and more. Basically, these powerful nutrients slow down sebum production, flush out toxins, protect cells from free radical damage, improve elasticity, help the body produce collagen and more. Personally, I’m a huge fan of getting my greens via a green smoothie, but of course, you can just eat them in salads or even lightly sauté them…ideally it would be some combination of all three ways!
Fruits: Fruits are also valuable powerhouses of micronutrients and phytonutrients. The more colorful the fruit, the more nutrient-dense it’s likely to be. You’ll want to aim to choose fruits that are in season and organic – that way, you’ll be getting fruits that aren’t doused in hormone-disrupting pesticides. I also get a bunch of fruits in my daily dose of green smoothie, but fruits are delicious, so I eat them as snacks as well when I want something light.
Avocado: Yes, avocado is a fruit, but it totally deserves its own category! Full of healthy fat, the avocado is definitely a beauty food. Avocados contain poly and monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and biotin. These nutrients keep skin looking plump, hydrated, and vibrant. That’s right, enjoy that extra spoonful of guacamole, or throw a bit of avocado into your smoothie or on your salad. Or, if you’re like my Mom, you can just enjoy it mostly plain with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Coconut: You guys know I’m obsessed with all the amazing things coconut can do! Everything about a coconut is healthy – from its meat to its oil to its water. Coconut meat and coconut oil contain medium chain saturated fats which are great for maintaining plump, hydrated looking skin. Coconut also helps to alleviate inflammation in the body which can lead to glowing skin. Eat coconut in any way you want – I like coconut shreds more than the oil, but I do cook and bake with coconut oil when I can. You can add some coconut water to your green smoothies for some extra sweetness and electrolytes. Here, I’m talking about what coconut can do for you from the inside out, but it can also do a ton from the outside in.
While I still have acne-prone skin, now I’ve managed to limit the severity of my breakouts and the frequency of them as well. These days, I only have issues during specific times of my monthly cycle. Regardless of whether or not I have acne, my skin definitely has an awesome glowy quality to it now that it never used to when I didn’t eat as well. In fact, I would even venture to say that when my skin is clear, I look way better without any makeup than I do with!