I have a confession to make: I have mediocre skin. I’ll admit, it’s not horrible – but it’s not as beautiful and glowing as I’d like it to be. It’s frustrating — I’m nearly 24 years old; shouldn’t this have stopped troubling me around high school? I’ve gone through the gamut of medications – some worked, some didn’t — but recently decided to try a more natural approach to helping my skin shine. On my way home from a trip to Greece in September, I leafed through a copy of Women’s Health the woman next to me had already finished reading, and came across an article about the best foods for great skin. I’m a pretty picky eater (most who know me would probably say that picky is an understatement), so I selected the foods that worked best for me and tried to eat them consistently over the last several weeks. Here’s what worked:
- Almonds: If I had my choice, I’d take honey-roasted peanuts above all else, but that’s probably because they’re the least healthy option. Historically, I’m not a huge fan of almonds, but almonds with sea salt are actually quite delicious — and they make a great afternoon snack. Plus, almonds are just healthy for you in general – they’re cholesterol-free, a good source of fiber and protein, are full of vitamin E and help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
- Green Tea: Again, I’m not a huge fan of green tea (I wasn’t kidding when I said I was picky), but it was just too good for me to not try it. In addition to helping your skin, green tea has antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cancer. And, even better for my pale Irish skin, green tea may actually reverse the effects of sun damage. It’s benefits are most abundant when it’s hot.
- Dark Chocolate: Who wouldn’t like an excuse to eat a Hershey’s bar? Dark chocolate helps soften your skin texture, and like green tea, it contains antixidants that help protect against harsh UV rays.
- Orange Juice: This wasn’t actually one of the 10 on the list from Women’s Health, but it’s a substitute for sweet potatoes, which, unsurprisingly, I’m don’t love. What’s even better about orange juice, for me at least, is that it’s much more accessible – I drink at least six ounces on a daily basis, rather than trying to eat sweet potatoes once a week. In fact, I’ve gotten into the habit of consuming each of these items daily, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my skin. Now, I’m not only saving money on prescriptions, but I’m keeping my body healthier.
The best part of this list is that you and pick and choose what foods work for you. Not a fan of dark chocolate? Try eating tomatoes instead. Not crazy about carrots? Try to add flax seeds to your cooking. Instead of sticking with a few foods consistently, you can try to eat at least one of the ten items each day. Check out the full list here.