If candy-induced breakouts are any indication, what we eat manifests on our skin. To that end, many dermatologists and estheticians subscribe to a specific diet in order to get their healthiest, clearest skin possible (and suggest that their patients do the same).
"I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin," said Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist, author of Feed Your Face, and creator of an eponymous skincare line, to Forbes. "Foods get digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that your body can use to build healthy skin. If you crash diet or eat highly processed foods, your skin won't be as strong and supple as it could be."
Registered dietitian and nutrition expert Alex Caspero agrees, and despite conflicting evidence, recommends that her patients take it easy on both sugar and dairy. "There are some studies that do not show an association with acne, insulin levels, and glycemic loads, but I see consistently positive results in my clients," she told the magazine. "I [also] see great results when I completely remove dairy from the diet."
As far as what to eat for healthy, glowing skin, celebrity esthetician and skincare founder Joanna Vargas believes that "the best skin diet is one that involves eating vegetables of different colors for every meal and a green juice every day." She also loves avocados as a good source of healthy fats and phytonutrients. When dealing with picky clients who don't like fruits and vegetables, she suggests they go to Whole Foods and buy liquid chlorophyll. "It tastes like mint, oxygenates the skin, and works from the inside-out to keep the skin healthy and glowing," she adds.
Wu agrees on the vegetable front and loves red, yellow, and green vegetables in particular. "Tomatoes are good for helping reduce sun damage … they're high in the antioxidant lycopene, which helps fight free radicals." Avocados, olive oil, and protein-rich foods also make an appearance on her list. "If you don't eat enough protein, you are depriving your skin of the amino acids that go into making collagen (which makes your skin strong) and elastic tissue (which makes it supple)," she cautions.
Head over to Forbes for more from Wu, Caspero, and Vargas, and share your skin-clearing diet with us below.