Can We Eat Our Way to Healthy Skin?

Food. Just in the same way that certain foods can ruin your figure, some foods will ruin your skin. The old adage “you are what you eat” holds true. If you eat junk, your skin is likely to feel and reflect that. If you eat well and manage a healthy lifestyle, your skin will reflect it. 

MayoClinic dermatologist, Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D. explains even though research on the best foods for healthy skin is limited, “antioxidant-rich foods still seem to have a protective effect for the skin”. But recent research has made a breakthrough in identifying skin-healthy foods. The pistachio nut, being on. Having been theorized to be skin-beneficial in the past (my mother always swore my Grandpa’s good skin was from his copious consumption of pistachios, and not just his Italian heritage) a recent 2022 study done at Cornell University has verified the anti-oxidant power of the pistachio, though it should be noted that the pistachios Cornell used to study the antioxidant capacity were sustainably grown pistachios from western America.1

Meet the Expert: 

Lawrence E. Gibson is a practicing dermatologist in Minnesota and is associated with MayoClinic. With 21 years of experience, his specialty has been dermatopathology, the study and diagnostics of skin diseases. As such, he has paid special mind to the natural preventative measures one can take against  skin diseases and dysfunction. 

Consider these skin-friendly foods:

  • Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables
  • Blueberries
  • Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish
  • Pistachios and other nuts 

“On the flip side, some foods seem to be associated with skin damage,” adds Dr. Gibson. “For example, some research suggests that a diet high in processed or refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats promotes skin aging.”

While some foods may specifically help create healthy skin, a good diet in general is a good place to start. Concentrate on Whole Foods, with as little processing as possible. The less chemical exposure and modification, the better. If you’re going to eat meats, dairy and vegetables as a part of a healthy diet, eat organic and pasture-raised. Limit sweets, but welcome honey and maple syrup into your diet.

As always, work with a healthcare professional to find out what works best for you. 



  1. Yuan, W., Zheng, B., Li, T., & Liu, R. H. (2022). Quantification of Phytochemicals, Cellular Antioxidant Activities and Antiproliferative Activities of Raw and Roasted American Pistachios (Pistacia vera L.). Nutrients, 14(15), 3002.
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