Skin-clearing foods for a glowing complexion

Aside from topical over-the-counter treatments and antibiotics, there are a number of foods long-heralded for their skin clearing properties that, added to your diet over time, may help to significantly improve the quality of your skin. Check out our helpful guides on banishing acne: hormonal acne, back acne and how to get rid of acne scars.


Kefir is one of the most probiotic-rich foods you can find and is excellent for aiding digestion problems, which can lead to inflammation in the skin.

Dark Berries

Not only are berries jammed with skin clearing antioxidants, but they’re packed with fibre too: great for staving off hunger pangs and regulating insulin production. Try making a berry smoothie for breakfast or adding them on top of your porridge in winter.


Deficiencies in minerals such as zinc and selenium have been linked to acne in some sufferers, which is why nuts – in particular pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts – are a good, healthy snack to get used to. Selenium helps to actively increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body and strengthens their fighting power, while vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron are all essential to skin health and function.


Clear skin starts from within, and one of the best, cheapest and most effective ways to get there is to help your body flush out toxins by drinking plenty of water. Make sure you drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day (roughly three litres), and drink more after exercise

Oat Milk

Oat milk is high in fibre, lactose free and is particularly high in vitamin E and folic acid, which supports healthy skin and makes it a great milk alternative. Luckily, most baristas have started stocking this alternative so you can still have your early morning coffee!

Red Grapes

It is thought that red grapes – and their seeds – contain powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants that have been shown to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. As a natural antihistamine, grapes can also help to control the side effects of allergic reactions. Try popping a few washed grapes (with seeds) into a fresh salad, or enjoy a handful as part of a healthy snack between meals.


They might stain your fingers, but the skin-clearing properties of beetroots are well worth the effort. The purple roots are particularly high in vitamin A, as well as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E, which is essential for epidermal health and healing. Combined, these nutrients make a powerful all-round body cleanser, helping to eliminate toxins from the body and lower cholesterol too. Don’t like beetroot? Try blending it in a juice with carrot, apple and ginger.


This slippery green fruit is widely known to be a great source of vitamin E, which boosts the skin’s vitality and luminosity. However, it also possesses good quantities of vitamin C, which can be used to reduce skin inflammation, while avocado oil is thought to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, which improves its tone and texture. Eating a regular portion of avocado (half a pear will do!) can also improve the skin’s ability to keep itself moisturised. Any leftovers you can mix with some honey for a DIY face mask!


Each clove of garlic is full of a naturally occurring chemical called allicin, which, when digested, reacts with the blood to create a product capable of killing off many harmful bacteria and viruses your body might be harbouring – including that which causes acne and other skin infections. Couple this with a potent cocktail of antioxidants, and it’s almost unbeatable. To get the most out of garlic, eat raw, chopped finely into a salad or stirred into a meal before serving.


Apart from kale, we struggle to think of a vegetable more worthy of the ‘super’ title than broccoli. Antioxidants like vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K all help to add luminosity to the skin and to revive damaged tissue, while omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and folate support the healing process and aid the proper function of skin cells. Eat raw in a salad, or lightly steamed, to get the most out of your florets. We like to season them with chilli and then stir through a pesto pasta just before serving.


Especially the yolks, which are full of skin clearing selenium, zinc and protein, as well as plenty of vitamins. If you’re time poor, boil three or four on Sunday night, peel the shell, wrap them in cling film and keep them in the fridge to grab and go, or add into salad throughout the week.

Green Tea

Drinking anti-oxidant polyphenol-rich green tea will improve your skin and boost your beauty. Pop a box on your desk and get sipping!

Sweet Potato

There is evidence to suggest that high cortisone levels, one of the main hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, can lead to break-outs. Regulating fluctuating blood sugar levels can help us to combat stress by lifting our moods. Try eating vitamin-packed complex carbohydrates, which release sugar slowly over time, like sweet potato. The root vegetable also contains beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A when it is digested, and can help to improve the circulation of oxygen to the skin. Beta-carotene can also be found in pumpkin and yellow peppers.


If you want a glowing, radiant complexion and spot-free skin, increase your intake of oily fish, like mackerel. Each fillet is loaded with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which combat acne inflammation, as does…


Salmon and other cold water fish. Also, the high protein it contains can help to speed up the skin’s natural healing process. Salmon and avocado is an unbeatable skin loving combination, so you shouldn’t ever have to wonder about your sushi order again. Don’t forget the brown rice if it’s an option!

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