How Food Affects Your Skin

Photography by Don Ross III

Photography by Don Ross III


Your skin can tell you a lot about what's going on inside your body. Chinese medicine interprets features of the skin to reveal deeper issues within the body. Color, texture, dryness, lines and breakouts indicate imbalance within caused by a whole host of things, including the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Luckily, skin vitality can be restored and maintained by including a variety of fiber-rich plant foods to hydrate and nourish the epidermis from head to toe.

Read on to learn what your skin is telling you and which foods protect and boost the largest organ in your body — your skin.



Breakouts on different parts of face and body suggest there are toxins built up in the body. According to Chinese Medicine, breakouts that occur specifically in the chin or jaw area may be indicative of a blocked colon. Insufficient hydration and excessive dairy intake may be the root of this.


Distinct lines on your forehead 

Lines across your forehead may indicate that you are congested, especially in your colon and gallbladder. This can be from a diet heavy in cooked oils and processed food.

Fiber-rich foods help to alleviate a blocked colon and relieve constipation. Including whole-grains such as oats in your diet along with raw vegetables and fruit such as carrots and dates can provide you with ample fiber that your body needs to clear both toxins and your skin. 


Dark under-eye circles and puffiness

Puffy, dark circles under your eyes tend to erupt after restless sleep and times of high stress. Too much caffeine and refined sugar can exacerbate the effects of adrenal fatigue that come from stress and lack of sleep. 

Reducing sodium in your diet can help with the excess fluids that may contribute to puffy eyes. Along with drinking more water, including hydrating foods such as celery can also aid in the disappearance of dreaded under-eye circles.


How to care for your skin with a fork and knife

Fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts have the power to transform lackluster skin to radiance from head to toe. To look and feel its best, your skin needs ample hydration, antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  Try incorporating pigment-rich foods such as beets and carrots along with healthy fats like flaxseeds and coconut into your nutrition repertoire.



Your eyes may thank you for eating carrots but so will your skin! Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene which your body makes into vitamin A. Vitamin A gives you a moisturized healthy scalp that helps grow healthy, shiny hair.



These tiny seeds are best in their whole form and are rich in vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. The essential fatty acids in flaxseeds help to mitigate inflammation which can cause skin dryness and damage.



Nature’s candy satisfies your sweet tooth with the wonderful benefit of fiber. Gooey dates contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps to prevent and relieve constipation. Rich in antioxidants and the mineral selenium, dates help to reduce oxidative stress in the body by clearing out free radicals that can damage the DNA in your skin cells.  



Coconut water, oil and meat all help to build healthy skin by hydrating it inside and out. The water is full of electrolytes that restores balance to the body. Coconut oil also makes a great full-body moisturizer.

Note: It may not be the most glamorous thing to talk about, but a conversation about food and health cannot go without mentioning digestion. Having frequent and easy bowel movements plays a pivotal role in your skin health. Chronic constipation or insufficient movement can wreak havoc on your skin. Including fiber-rich foods will help with elimination but you may need more help if you experience persistent digestive issues. In addition to eating more of the plant foods previously mentioned, a few things you can do to help include: increasing hydration, taking a digestive enzyme, colonics and intermittent fasting.

 Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new healthcare routine.