One way to get more skin-boosting foods on your plate: Prioritize orange foods.
It may sound strange, but trust me, this makes “skin food” a whole lot easier to understand and a great starting point. See, orange foods like carrots and bell peppers contain carotenoids, like beta-carotene, which are A+ for skin health.
“The number of carotenoids in the skin has been shown1 to correlate with carotenoid intake,” explains registered dietitian Jessica Shapiro, M.S., R.D, CDN, CDCES. That said, it makes sense to incorporate these foods into your daily or weekly meal plans if possible. “Carotenoids provide skin protection with their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and light-absorbing properties,” she says.
In fact, one review study notes that a carotenoid-rich diet can even help protect the skin from UV damage, and therefore contribute to healthy skin aging. After all, 80% of visible signs of skin aging come from excess UV exposure2.
Not to mention, adding more antioxidants to your diet is a great way to boost your skin’s resilience to environmental factors, like pollution, and even the impact of stress on the skin.
Plus, many of the carotenoid-rich foods also contain a hefty dose of vitamin C—which is essential for supporting your skin’s natural collagen production4. Hence, why the classic vitamin-collagen pair is often found in skin supplement formulas.
Now, other non-orange foods also contain carotenoids, including some leafy greens. So while it may be easier to focus on one color, just know there’s a lengthy list of foods to experiment with—more below.