|May 14, 2024

5 Good Foods for Skin Health and Radiance

By Bulletproof Staff
Reviewed by Theresa Greenwell for Scientific Accuracy on 08/08/2023

5 Good Foods for Skin Health and Radiance

  • Turns out, the secret to anti-aging isn’t in fancy lotions and potions, but what’s on your plate.
  • Specifically, eating a healthful diet keeps skin healthy and young. Nutrient-dense foods give your skin plenty of micronutrients, carotenoids and polyphenols to help turn back the clock.
  • Discover how Bulletproof products and the best foods for skin health help feed your body what it needs to achieve that radiant glow.

Who doesn’t want a youthful, radiant complexion? After all, it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with dry skin or skin aging issues. While it’s tempting to seek a golden hue by way of the sun’s rays, it’s not the best approach to beauty because of potential UV damage. The real secret to glowing, healthy skin is not under a sun lamp, but at the farmer’s market with good foods for skin.

A nutrient-dense diet that provides your body with carotenoids and polyphenols will give your skin that healthy, rosy radiance (and other full-body benefits, too). Find out how to support a glowing, vibrant complexion with our comprehensive guide to the best foods for skin. Plus, discover how Bulletproof products can provide a helpful assist in your journey to achieving that unmistakable glow.

5 best foods for healthy, glowing skin

Hand pouring a scoop of Bulletproof Gut Health into a drink of coffee

While we chat about how to get better skin from foods, remember that it’s the nutrient content that makes the difference. Ultimately, a nutrient-dense diet goes a long way in perking up your skin.[1]

These nutrients support skin health by neutralizing free radicals and rebuilding skin cells. So before you run off to make an appointment with a dermatologist, here are five foods you should eat for glowing skin that starts from within.

1. Collagen protein-packed foods and supplements

Hand pouring a Bulletproof Collagen Peptide Packet into a mug

Found in:

  • Bone broth
  • Tougher cuts of meat cooked low and slow
  • Organ meats

Collagen is in every cell in your body — from your tendons and membranes to your fingernails and hair. Collagen hydrates your skin and improves skin’s elasticity, thereby making it more plump and firm. That’s why getting more collagen in your diet helps keep skin wrinkles and sagging at bay, especially as you age.

Not only does collagen production drop as you get older, but daily environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution also interfere with collagen production. If that sounds like an uphill battle, don’t fret. Collagen supplements provide all the building blocks your body needs to make more collagen, naturally.

Bulletproof Unflavored Collagen Peptides is an excellent choice since it mixes well into your favorite drinks without affecting the taste. If you want to reap the benefits of consuming collagen protein while also taking care of your digestive system, give Bulletproof Gut Health Collagen Protein a try.

You can also get collagen in bone broth and organ meats, but there’s no consistency in the amount of collagen you get from your ingredients. Beauty products that boost collagen production can help, but supplementing your diet ensures your body has what it needs for collagen production and repair.

Your body prioritizes which cells get fed first, and since hair, skin and nails are lowest on the totem pole, they get the short end of the stick when your body isn’t getting enough collagen.

And science says it works:

  • In animal studies, supplementing with collagen thickened collagen fibrils (basically the scaffolding that plumps up skin).[2] [3]
  • Humans experienced the same benefits. Researchers measured significant increases in collagen and elastin (the stuff that keeps skin bouncy) after two months of collagen supplementation.[4]

The best part: You can add collagen protein powder to pretty much anything, like coffee, smoothies and even water. A warm mug of Bulletproof Sleep Collagen Protein before bed will not only help you achieve a more restful snooze but it will also benefit your skin health† thanks to the use of grass-fed collagen protein. Talk about a soothing (and health-supportive) bedtime tonic!

Related: 14 Collagen Peptide Recipes to Make Your Skin Glow


2. Vitamin C-rich foods

person holding oranges

Found in:

  • Deeply colored vegetables
  • Lemons, limes and other low-fructose citrus fruits
  • L-ascorbic acid supplements

Certain foods that are rich in vitamin C, like leafy greens, citrus, red pepper and cruciferous vegetables protect your cells from sun overexposure and are anti-inflammatory in the skin.[5]

Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals you encounter just by going about your day.[6] Free radicals, FYI, are major skin-agers and cause oxidative stress, so guarding against them is key.

3. Bright yellow, red and orange foods

bowl of roasted, cubed sweet potatoes

Found in:

  • Veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers
  • Fruits such as oranges, mangoes and watermelon

Among the many skin-happy nutrients in vegetables are carotenoids, the plant pigments in bright yellow, orange and red vegetables. Carotenoids protect the plant by neutralizing free radicals, and they do the same for people who eat them.

We can’t see what carotenoid-rich vegetables are doing on the inside, but we can see what getting more of them does to our complexion. Eating more foods rich in carotenoids gives our skin tone a rosy hue that people perceive as more healthful and attractive.[7]

Some carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are the precursor to vitamin A. Retinoids, a synthetic form of vitamin A, are commonly used in a prescription form as a topical medication to prevent breakouts and psoriasis.

Lycopene, found in low-carb veggies like asparagus and red cabbage, is a red-hued carotene that protects your skin from sun damage and promotes healthy mitochondria in your skin.[8] Mitochondria keep cells functioning as they should, and tired mitochondria make tired-looking skin.

Those damaging UV rays—which can create other harmful skin conditions such as sunburn, DNA damage and skin cancer—can also be halted from carotenoids such as lycopene and beta carotene thanks to their photoprotective properties. [9]

Related: Paleo Breakfast Sweet Potato Bowl 

4. Food sources with glutathione

spinach and avocado salad

Found in:

  • Whey protein gives your body the building blocks to make glutathione
  • Spinach, avocados, asparagus, and okra

We get antioxidants in our diets by eating them, but your body also makes some naturally. Glutathione is your body’s master antioxidant, which means it’s your body’s natural detox agent. It’s responsible for defending against damaging molecules called free radicals. Glutathione also recharges other antioxidants like vitamin C and protects against the effects of toxins in your environment and diet.[10]

So, what does that have to do with skin? Like the rest of your body, your skin is made of cells. Free radicals (damaging molecules caused by factors like stress, smoke and pollution) can cause skin damage, breaking down collagen and accelerating the effects of aging.

What’s more, glutathione production declines with age, so you have less detox protection over time. No thanks.

Up your body’s master antioxidant with glutathione-rich foods for skin health. Undenatured, grass-fed whey protein provides the building blocks your body needs to make glutathione naturally. It’s also found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts, which are low in carbohydrates.

Or, you can take a supplement like Bulletproof Glutathione Force, which ensures you’re getting enough glutathione to curb the damage from everyday life. Easy.

5. Foods high in polyphenols

Grinding Bulletproof Whole Bean Coffee in a Burr Grinder

Found in:

Polyphenols are compounds in highly pigmented plants. Polyphenols scavenge free radicals and prevent them from damaging your cells. They also protect against the signs of photoaging (i.e. sun spots and fine lines).[11] [12]

Resveratrol is the polyphenol that gets all the press because it’s in wine. Because of this, doctors started saying red wine is good for you. Red wine has some resveratrol, but it doesn’t have the highest polyphenol dose you can get.

To fill in the gaps in your diet and get a convenient daily dose of antioxidants,† try Bulletproof Polyphenomenal. It contains a blend of broad-spectrum polyphenols from sources like pomegranate, turmeric, blueberries and green tea.

All of the best foods for skin are healthful for other reasons, too. This list is packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, proteins and fruits because these foods support your entire body. To up your daily greens, learn how to eat more vegetables with every meal with delicious recipes and easy tips.

Looking to send your skin back in time? Try out these 13 anti-aging supplements.

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