Eat Your Way To Clearer Skin. (Yum)

eat healthy diet model fashion week

by Rebecca Cox |
Published on

Struggling to banish those unfriendly blemishes? You can try every spot treatment, serum and cream on the market, but when it comes to having clearer skin, the key lies in our day-to-day routine. Read our Breakout Breakdown here to find out the causes of your spots.

Number one on the list: DIET. If you're serious about having smooth and spot-free skin, you should be working from the inside out.

A healthy diet is the key to healthy skin. What we put into our bodies can have an effect on our hormones and inflammation, both of which contribute towards breakouts and signs of ageing.

Just adding a few tasty superfoods into your everyday diet could keep your skin soft, supple and hydrated, slow down the development of wrinkles and of course, help to avoid unwelcome blemishes.

So, to help you give your complexion a boost, we spoke to a team of nutritionists to get the low-down on how to banish spots for good.

We do love a beauty guide we can get our teeth into…

**Pumpkin seeds **

“These nutritional gems are an excellent source of zinc, one of the most important minerals for maintaining healthy, happy skin,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar ( “Deficiency in this mineral is linked with acne; dry skin, dermatitis and poor wound healing. Pumpkin seeds, like avocadoes, nuts and other seeds, also contain the omega-6 fat linoleic acid. Other seeds and nuts are also good sources of zinc, as well as biotin, a vitamin that is known to contribute to healthy skin and hair.”

Try snacking on a handful of seeds and nuts in between meals. We particularly enjoy toasting up a batch in lemon juice, olive oil and a hint of salt to give them extra flavour.

Oily fish

“As well as being necessary for our heart, brain and eye health, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play an essential role in the structure and appearance of the skin,” says Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns. “They are incorporated into cell membranes in the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and form a matrix around the cells, helping to maintain the skin’s barrier function and prevent moisture loss. They are also thought to have a role in the dermis – the lower layer of skin – by controlling inflammation and minimising collagen damage from UV rays. It’s also good to take a good quality supplement. Go for Super Omega 3-6-9 by Quest Vitamins (£12.19).”

We try to include oily fish in our diet three times a week. Have you tried adding smoked mackrel to your salad with avocado and feta cheese? Other tasty options that are full of goodness include salmon and sardines.

Green juices

“Juices made with lots of fresh green vegetables contain minerals like calcium, magnesium and alkaloids, which help to alkalise the body, preventing it from becoming too acidic,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville. “Our body generally keeps a fairly stable acid-alkaline balance, but a slight over-acidity may be linked to skin eruptions or problems like eczema. Green juices are also rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and other antioxidants including chlorophyll, the substance that produces the green pigment in plants.”

Our favourite recipe is kale, apple, spinach, beetroot, fresh ginger and coconut water. Throw it all in a juicer and drink up!


Dark coloured berries are packed with antioxidants, key to clearing skin, plus they regulate insulin production and stave off hunger pangs with their high fibre content.

Take inspiration from foodie-phenomenon Ella Mills (formerly Woodward) by adding them to the top of your morning porridge or cereal.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruci-what now? “Cruciferous vegetables are the ‘cabbage-family’ vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, red and green cabbage, chard, watercress and Brussels sprouts,” says Dr Glenville. “They contain lots of sulphur compounds, which can support detoxification in the liver (adequate liver detoxification is just as important as healthy bowel for getting rid of toxins). They may also be supportive for hormone balancing, especially in women, because they contain a substance called indole-3-carbinol that has been found to balance oestrogen levels.”

So, these are great if you particularly suffer from breakouts around the time of your period. You could try adding them to your green juice or, if that's too much, finely chop them and add to your lunch salad or steam up for dinner.

And what should we avoid?


“You could be spending hundreds of pounds on expensive creams but if your diet is packed with sugar, you might as well forget about smooth skin,” says says Dr. Marilyn Glenville. “Firstly, sugary and processed foods contain little in the way of vitamins and minerals that nourish and protect the skin. Secondly, sugar and refined carbohydrates (which are quickly absorbed, just like sugar) cause a surge of the hormone insulin, which can then increase your levels of testosterone, which in turn can contribute to breakouts and acne. And thirdly, high levels of sugar in the blood can increase the rate of a process called glycation. This occurs when sugar molecules bind to proteins or fats, making them stiff and inflexible. One of the proteins affected is collagen, and this can result in loss of elasticity of the skin, encouraging the formation of wrinkles.”

So put down those Maltesers and stock up on skin clearing superfoods. OK?

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