For the healthiest skin, you need to eat healthy foods. This is just as true for people with oily skin as it is for those with dry skin.
The best approach to skin healthy is to start with a well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. This should provide you with enough of the skin-boosting vitamins and minerals.
To help you check in with your diet, though, here is a quick run-down of the top foods to keep your skin healthy and working properly.
Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Skin
Vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C plays two important roles in skin health. One is its antioxidant properties, which may reduce skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, the spongy compound in the skin that locks in moisture.
Vitamin-C-rich food sources: oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, strawberries, sweet red peppers, broccoli
Vitamin D. Vitamin D may protect the skin from damage caused by the sun’s UV rays, which can cause early aging of the skin. The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the UV-B rays of the sun. Too much sunlight exposure, however, can cause more harm to the skin than good. Vitamin D can also be obtained from the diet or supplements.
Vitamin-D-rich foods: salmon, mackerel, sardines, vitamin-D-fortified milk, soymilk, orange juice, cereal and other foods
Vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the skin from damage caused by UV rays and reduces inflammation in the body, including the skin. Most research has focused on the ability of vitamin E to protect against sun damage when applied to the skin, but this vitamin has many other purposes in the body.
Vitamin-E-rich foods: vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, safflower), green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Minerals. Zinc and selenium are both needed for healthy skin. These minerals are found in enzymes that are needed for the skin to work properly. Selenium may also reduce the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays, including inflammation and blistering.
Foods rich in zinc: oysters, Dungeness crab, beef, pork, turkey, chicken
Foods rich in selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, clams, halibut, egg noodles, brown rice, sunflower seeds, whole-wheat bread
Essential fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids both play important roles in the appearance and functioning of skin. This includes maintaining the skin’s function as a barrier and reducing inflammation.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts and walnut oil
Foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids: vegetable oils (safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, sesame), pine nuts, pecans, brazil nuts
Foods to Avoid
In general, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your skin healthier. On the other hand, too many processed and fast foods may worsen oily skin.
This includes baked goods and fried foods, as well as foods high in saturated fats like dairy and some red meats. If these make up a large part of your diet, try cutting back on them and replacing them with antioxidant-rich fresh vegetables.
For more help with taming your oily skin, and for advice on the best cleansers and moisturizers for your face, visit your skin care professional.