The Top 10 Best Foods for Skin Repair

The Top 10 Best Foods for Skin Repair

Reference Lab

MAR 05, 2022

Before you head to the health and beauty section to help repair your skin from the outside-in, consider eating the right foods first to repair your skin from the inside-out.

Sure, certain topical skin care products can work wonders for skin, but you won’t be able to recognize the full benefits of those products without first supplying your body with adequate amounts of the right nutrients.

Sustainable, long-term skin health requires a healthy diet to deliver the proper nutrients necessary for your body to maintain cellular turnover, repair, and growth.

Here are the top 10 best foods for skin repair as part of a balanced diet.

How can I improve my skin health through diet?

  • Eat a well-balanced daily diet.
  • Consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Consume plenty of vitamin C, such as from orange juice.
  • Eat foods high in selenium, vitamin E, and zinc.
  • Hydrate with six to eight cups of water per day1.
  • Consume more healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and phyto-estrogens (like in soy).

What are the best foods to aid in skin repair?

#1 Fatty fish, such as herring, tuna, and salmon

These types of oily fish provide high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, while a lack of omega-3s can cause dry skin. Fatty fish also offer high-quality fats, vitamin E (an antioxidant great for your skin), and protein. Cook these foods thoroughly and serve on a leafy green salad with avocados and walnuts for a power-packed, skin-healthy lunch2.

#2 Avocados

If you want a food that provides healthy fats and anti-inflammatory nutrients, avocados are a sure bet. A study of 700 women found that eating avocados can lead to soft and supple skin. Compounds in avocados may also offer some protection from the effects of UV rays. The essential fats can help support skin elasticity and keep skin feeling soft to the touch. Toss this healthy fat into a salad, slice onto a sandwich, or blend into a green smoothie every day.

#3 Walnuts

Like salmon, these nuts are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. One of the best longevity foods , walnuts contain zinc, selenium, and vitamin E, all of which can help your skin stay soft and supple. Walnuts make an easy, crunchy and nutrient-packed topping to many meals. Toss a handful onto that tasty salmon salad with avocados for a quick and satisfying skin-healthy lunch. 

#4 Red or yellow bell peppers

Both of these tasty peppers contain copious amounts of beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A once your body digests them. One cup provides 156% of your daily supply of vitamin A. These peppers are also high in vitamin C, which is necessary for your body’s collagen production. Dice up a bell pepper and mix into a salad with avocados, sunflowers, and maybe even tomatoes.

#5 Tomatoes

These tasty foods contain large amounts of vitamin C as well as carotenoids, such as lycopene, which give the tomato its red color. Beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein in tomatoes team up to protect your skin from sun damage and they may even prevent wrinkles.

#6 Sweet potatoes

That dark orange color of sweet potatoes is the key to their nutrient profile because, like carrots, sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A after you consume . Consider pumpkin and carrots for an additional vitamin A boost. Have baked sweet potatoes as a side with a healthy portion of quality protein and a salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, walnuts, and peppers.

#7 Sunflower seeds

Pour some on your salad to soak up vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and protein, all of which help your skin. In general, nuts and seeds are great choices for nourishing your skin cells .

#8 Broccoli

This superfood contains high amounts of zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all of which help your skin maintain its healthy glow. Like tomatoes, broccoli also contains lutein, a substance that protects your skin cells against oxidative damage, which can cause dry skin. Steam some broccoli and have it as a side vegetable with high-quality protein and some sweet potatoes.

#9 Green tea

You’ve heard a lot about green tea and its antioxidants. But did you know it’s great for your skin? Put away those diet sodas and drink green tea if you need a caffeine boost. The catechins in green tea protect your skin against sun damage. One study even found that green tea reduced redness from sunburn by 25 percent while improving moisture, roughness, thickness, and skin elasticity . Pair this delicious habit with a peptide moisturizer as part of your skincare routine and you are set!

#10 Soy

Eat tofu, edamame, and soy milk to augment your intake of soy. Not only do you receive plant-based protein, but the isoflavones in soy can reduce wrinkles and improve elasticity in your skin. For older women, soy can reduce dryness and increase collagen production.

What foods improve skin elasticity?

  • Soy
  • Green tea
  • Fatty fish
  • Tomatoes

Key Takeaways

  • Products can only go so far if you’re not providing the nutrients that your body needs to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. If you’re struggling with skin issues, a change in diet and assessment of proper nutrient absorption may be the answer.
  • Consume skin-healthy foods as part of a balanced diet to improve and repair your skin from the inside out.
  • Look for foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, healthy fat , and beta carotene to improve both your gut health and skin appearance.


  1. Jones, Taylor. "The 12 Best Foods for Healthy Skin." Healthline. 26 February, 2020.
  2. Lewin, Jo. "Eat your way to fabulous skin." BBC Good Food
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