5 Ways Diet Affects Your Skin

I’ve mentioned in various areas on my website, blogs, and social medial platforms, that I have dealt with my share of skin issues over the years. I struggled years ago with periods of awful acne that wreaked havoc on my self-esteem.

What made it worse was that my acne did not occur when it was “typical” to happen (i.e. in JR high and high school during puberty). I was beyond my teen years and I really started to develop problem skin in college and beyond. I tried so many things to clear my acne and spent so much time and money researching and purchasing “miracle” products. I’ve probably utilized every over the counter acne medication and several prescriptions over the years.

As I started to deal with other hormonal issues (i.e. ovarian cysts, PMS, and painful periods), I decided to really clean up my diet to try and help relieve my symptoms. To my amazement, as I made better food choices to help my hormonal and menstrual issues, my acne started to improve as well. Over time my skin became the clearest that it had EVER been. This help me realize how huge of an impact diet and nutrition has on our skin health.

You’ve heard it a million times, but it is true – “you are what you eat” and your skin is a direct reflection of that. Everything you put in your body will have a noticeable impact on your skin. Your skin is telling you what it likes and what it doesn’t like.

Take the time to notice what your skin is telling you so that you know what foods to eat and avoid, ensuring that you achieve beautiful healthy skin. Let’s look at some common ways that diet affects your skin.

The five common ways diet affects your skin:

Oily Skin

If you’re like me, dealing with oily skin can be a pain if not controlled and kept in check. Oily skin can often lead to clogged pores which can lead to breakouts. A diet high in dairy can cause your skin to produce more oil due to the hormones found in these products.

Sugar is another biggie! Sugar spikes your blood sugar levels, throws off your hormones, and can signal your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Fried foods can also be troublesome. Many studies have linked the high omega 6 fatty acid content in fried foods (due to the heavy grease and oils) and its contribution to an oilier complexion.

Dry Skin

Another common symptom of a poor diet is dry skin. A diet low in Vitamin B can result in dry, cracked skin. A diet high in caffeine results in dehydration as well due to it being a diuretic. Since many people enjoy drinking coffee, keep that in mind so that you can limit your intake. Alcohol and foods high in salt can also have a dehydration effect on our skin and contribute to its dryness.

Healthy fats such as raw nuts, avocados, coconuts, fatty fish and olive oil are amazing superfoods that will keep your skin moisturized, soft, and healthy. Plus, getting in a full eight glasses of water each day will also help to avoid dryness.


Breakouts, rashes, and redness are all common skin problems associated with inflammation. Inflammation is caused by consuming inflammation producing foods and/or food that you may have a sensitivity to.

Sugar, dairy products, refined grains, and trans fats are common foods that are responsible for inflammation. If you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and acne try to lower your consumption of these foods.

For some people with a sensitivity to nuts, even normally healthy food can cause a problem. Starting an elimination diet can also help to determine the exact culprit in your diet that is causing the inflammation.

Sun Damage

Believe it or not, a diet low in Vitamin C, E, and D leaves your skin vulnerable to sun damage. This is because these vitamins help fight against the free radicals that are produced from the sun’s harmful rays.

Fill your diet with tomatoes, red peppers, garlic, carrots, and citrus fruit to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. They are high in antioxidants and limonene, which are known to help protect against sunburns and fight off damaging free radicals.

Sallow skin

Individuals who suffer from sallow skin are characterized by their pale or yellow complexion and dark circles under the eyes. They typically look tired and older than they really are. Sallow skin is commonly caused by vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and dehydration. A diet rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 can prevent sallow skin.

If you suffer from any of these five symptoms, it is likely that your diet can be contributing to your skin issues. Healthy skin can be achieved not only through proper skin care routines, but largely by adopting a healthy diet. Implement a diet full of healthy fats and antioxidants to achieve healthy glowing skin.

Dealing with acne, clogged pores, blemishes, dry skin, or other skin troubles? Discover the keys to successful skin health including the best foods to eat, most helpful habits to establish, and what to avoid for clear skin. Learn how by downloading my free resource here, The Ultimate Guide: The Secret to Glowing Skin.

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Registered Nurse

Certified Women's Health Coach

Hormone Health Specialist

© 2020 by Healthier Existence.