Prevent Breakouts with These 21 Nutrient-Rich Foods for Your Skin

Last updated on : December 18 2022

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Acne And Breakouts Defined

The Mayo Clinic describes acne and breakouts as a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples (pustules) and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back, and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.

Easily reversible common causes include using beauty products that clog your skin, scrubbing your skin too hard, smoking, pent-up stress, and of course, picking at your pimples. 

Unsurprisingly your diet has an impact on how much you suffer or not. 

Does Diet Help Or Hinder My Breakouts

Breakouts are frustrating, irritating, and inconvenient; however, with the right approach can be controllable. While they may seem inevitable, there is some truth that this nasty problem is controlled and prevented by choosing your foods more wisely.

There is some evidence to suggest that certain foods may contribute to the development of acne. However, the relationship between diet and acne is complex and not fully understood. Here are a few facts about the potential link between food and acne:

  • High glycemic index (GI) foods may increase acne risk: Foods with a high GI are quickly absorbed and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This may stimulate the production of hormones that can contribute to acne development. Examples of high GI foods include white bread, sugary cereals, and baked goods made with refined flour.

  • Dairy products may also be linked to acne: Some research has suggested that consuming dairy products, particularly milk, may be associated with an increased risk of acne. This may be due to the presence of hormones and other compounds in milk that can stimulate the production of oil in the skin.

  • A diet high in processed and fried foods may contribute to acne: Foods that are high in fat and calories and low in nutrients, such as processed and fried foods, may contribute to the development of acne. These types of foods may promote inflammation and hormone imbalances that can lead to acne.

  • Some foods may have a protective effect against acne: On the other hand, some foods may have a protective effect against acne. These include fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in antioxidants, such as nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

It's important to note that the relationship between diet and acne is complex and not fully understood. While certain foods may contribute to acne, other factors, such as genetics, hormones, and skincare practices, also play a role.

The best approach to preventing acne is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and to follow a consistent skincare routine. If you are concerned about acne, it is always a good idea to speak with a dermatologist or other healthcare provider for personalized advice. 

Foods that Help Prevent Breakouts & Contribute to Healthy Skin

You may have heard this before, but it is still just as accurate—you are what you eat. Adding specific food items to your diet can help prevent skin problems and acne. 

We've compiled a list of the top 21 foods that help keep your skin looking healthy and bright.

Here they are.



Avocados are known as alligator pears owing to their rough green peel and pear-like shape. They are full of monounsaturated fats, also known as good fats and vitamin E.

Avocados work on multiple levels to clear your skin. Vitamin E fights the bacteria that causes acne and pimples. Their high fiber content helps keep blood sugar levels stable and puts tabs on hormonal flows, both causes of problem skin. 

Eating avocados regularly have proven to help keep your skin soft and toned. Monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid eradicate the causes of breakouts, thereby keeping your skin healthy and glowing.

Add avocados to your salad or consume them in the form of guacamole with fresh peppers or another raw veggie. Consider using avocado oil topically on your skin to cleanse and prevent sebum from clogging your pores. 

Guacamole is a dip made from avocados and is originally from Mexico. The name comes from two Aztec Nahuatl words—ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce), and here is the best guacamole recipe around.

Fatty Fish

fatty fish and other healthy foods

Omega-3 fatty acids have several health and beauty benefits, including healthy skin promotion and fighting off blemishes. The best food sources for getting all the Omega-3 fatty acids you need are in fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

Salmon contains significant amounts of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. These acids help keep levels of inflammation in your body low. If left unchecked, inflammation targets the cells of your skin, causing clogged pores, which are most likely to lead to breakouts like black or whiteheads.

The fatty acids in salmon also affect your mood and hormonal levels in a positive way; less stress, fewer skin issues!

Salmon's protein content contributes to the collagen in your skin, keeping your skin moist and supple. It also contains high concentrations of vitamin B, vitamin E, and zinc—all of which repair your skin cells and renew growth. New skin equals flawless skin.

Lastly, salmon has vitamin D as well as a mineral called selenium, which protects your skin from sun exposure.

Add fatty fish to your diet by tossing them over salads. Try baking or grilling the fish or exploring with sushi. 


fresh baby spinach

Green leafy vegetables are one of your best bets when it comes to preventing and getting rid of blackheads. Rich in vitamin E, proteins, and iron, spinach increases the blood flow to your skin, reduces inflammation, boosts collagen levels, and gives your skin a youthful and fresh glow.

Spinach is an excellent source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and several vitamins, which combine to keep you beautiful and healthy. Spinach is also rich in beta-carotene and acts as a powerful anti-aging food by removing dead skin and preventing wrinkles.

Add sautéed spinach to any dish or pair it with foods rich in Vitamin C (like citrus fruits) for added absorption. Spinach is tasty eaten fresh, so be sure to try it in a salad or part of a homemade dip. Add it to your omelets and salads, or whip up a rejuvenating green smoothie.


artichoke bulbs

Artichokes are one of the healthiest foods in the world because they have a higher amount of antioxidant cynarine compared to other vegetables. Research shows that these woody, fibrous plants promote healthy and shiny skin.

Owing to this, the vegetable is used in plenty of cosmetics and facial creams. Eating it also has some positive effects on your body—it improves digestion, boosts your immune system, and lowers your cholesterol.

Trim out the thorns on the artichokes, and steam the vegetable for 30-45 minutes. Incorporate artichokes in creamy dips, pasta sauces, or salads.


garlic bulbs

One of the most beautiful seasoning agents, garlic packs a punch with added taste, aroma, and high nutritional value.

Each clove of garlic is a veritable powerhouse of nutrition and flavor. It contains a naturally-occurring chemical known as allicin. This compound works with your blood to kill dangerous bacteria and viruses. It also helps to clear skin infections and acne problems like pimples.

If you can tolerate garlic's strong taste, try eating it raw. You can also chop it up and add it to your salads and meals. Sauteed spinach and garlic are excellent side dishes to baked or grilled chicken and seafood.

Red Grapes

fresh red grapes

Both the fruit and the seeds of red grapes contain a considerable amount of antioxidants.

Research suggests that red grapes can efficiently improve skin conditions like eczema, skin allergies, and psoriasis, as they contain antioxidants and natural antihistamines.

Consuming red grapes is as simple as washing the fruit and popping it whole into your mouth—they make for a healthy and filling snack. You can also add a handful to your salad.


fennel leaves and bulbs

Fennel is a root vegetable that has a distinct licorice flavor. Very popular in Mediterranean cuisine, fennel tastes a little sweet and crunchy making it a great addition to salads.

Eating fennel has many health benefits. It improves your digestion and helps to reduce water retention in your body by flushing out toxins and liquids. Fennel is an excellent tool in your anti-breakout arsenal as it works like a charm for your skin as well as hair.

Add the fronds to salads, and grill, roast, or braise the root till cooked. Another way to incorporate fennel into your diet is in the form of fennel tea bags.


broccoli florets

A super vegetable, broccoli contains some vitamins—A, C, B complex, K, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, folates, calcium, and antioxidants.

This vegetable helps to repair damaged skin tissue, improve the luminosity of your skin, and boost the functioning of your skin cells. It is a super vegetable!

While broccoli florets can be eaten raw in salads, you can also steam the vegetable to get the maximum benefit from it.

As an alternative, try tossing the florets in olive oil, with some garlic, pepper, and salt, and then roasting until cooked. Spritz some lime juice on the mix for a quick and healthy solution to bright and zit-free skin.

Avoid overcooking your broccoli and, instead, choose to leave a slight crunch to ensure maximum benefits.


sliced up cucumbers

You already know that cucumbers contain about 95 percent of water, which makes it a great diet food option. However, this is just the tip of the coolness iceberg that cucumbers are.

Along with their hydrating benefits, cucumbers contain anti-inflammatory flavonols, polyphenols, and phytonutrients, as well as antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, amongst others.

The skin of cucumbers contains silica, which keeps your skin healthy, youthful, and free from acne and blackheads.


selection of raw nuts

Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin E and B.

Brazil nuts are rich in a powerful antioxidant known as selenium. This antioxidant keeps your skin healthy and boosts its elasticity. The effectiveness of selenium increases when used alongside vitamins A and E found in high concentrations in almonds.

Rich in Vitamin E, walnuts contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which make them an excellent alternative for vegetarians. Moreover, eating walnuts makes your hair healthier and fuller as their protein content nourishes the hair follicles.

Add a few Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds to your daily diet and bid farewell to breakouts for good. Grab a handful and snack on them while watching TV, or sprinkle some chopped on your salad or dessert. Eat in moderation, of course.


fresh raw oysters

Yes, oysters and aphrodisiac have become synonymous with each other. But this is not the only reason to consume them.

Oysters contain many beneficial ingredients that make them a fantastic tool for fighting and preventing acne and other skin problems. The high concentrations of zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin B make oysters your ally in the anti-breakout battle. 

All of these ingredients help to amend sebum production and reduce the clogging of pores, thereby contributing to healthy skin. Zinc also helps in the growth and repair of skin cells and keeps your eyes, nails, and hair healthy, thick, and beautiful.

Next time you are eating out, order some oysters, and combine a romantic date with healthy eating that produces fantastic results.


fresh sliced tomatoes

Sensitive to sun exposure? Tomatoes are high in antioxidants and give your skin an extra layer of protection.

A study in London found that women who consumed tomato paste combined with olive oil for 12 weeks experienced considerable improvement in their skin's ability to protect itself from UV damage. UV damage is responsible for various cases of skin cancer, freckles, wrinkles, and other flaws.

Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, an anti-aging antioxidant that gives your skin a natural glow making it look younger and healthier.

The good news is that your body absorbs this antioxidant quickly when consumed in a cooked or processed form. So enjoy those delicious tomato ketchup and juices.

Bell peppers

fresh red bell peppers

If you love a touch of spice and color in your food, you will be delighted to know that bell peppers of various colors are an excellent food for healthy hair and skin.

These delicious vegetables contain Vitamin C that helps form collagen—a fiber that is important for blood vessels, hair follicles, and our skin to stay healthy and grow well.

Chop up some bell peppers and add them to salads or use them while cooking any other dish. Bell peppers also taste great with fresh dips and quesos.


sliced up fresh pumpkin

Cooked pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, converted to Vitamin A by the human body. Vitamin A is vital for the growth of skin cells, which in turn keeps the skin soft and wrinkle-free.

If cooked pumpkin is not your favorite, a handful of lightly-roasted pumpkin seeds also do the trick. The seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids in addition to vitamins A and K, which nourish both your hair and skin.


coconut and coconut oil

Coconut is used in many ways for healthy skin and hair and is one of the most natural ways to moisturize and maintain good health cheaply.

Cook your food in coconut oil because of its vitamins E and K, healthy fats, and minerals. Drinking coconut water every day is a delicious beverage that contains potassium and helps in natural hydration.

Miranda Kerr and other celebrities have praised and relied on coconut oil for years. She shares, "I will not go a day without coconut oil. I take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or my cups of green tea."


oats in a heart shaped breakfast bowl

If you wish for lovely tresses and healthy skin, pick whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast rather than going for a bagel or other cereals. Oats have a high content of zinc, potassium, magnesium, and biotin—nutrients that prevent breakage of hair and the promotion of healthy skin.

Incorporating oats into your regular diet is easy because oats are easy to prepare and combine with other meals. Have some with brown sugar, chopped fruit, and milk as a breakfast cereal or make a savory dish with vegetables.

Go ahead and experiment with oats. Many Irish recipes use oats as a base for side dishes, so explore other cuisines to find ones that suit.


fresh kiwi fruit and juice

Don't go by this fruit's tiny size. Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, it keeps bones and teeth healthy and prevents wrinkles and skin aging.

Vitamin C is known to promote collagen synthesis, which in turn makes your skin firm and prevents the formation of fine lines. Kiwis are also thought to protect you from heart ailments and cancer. Surprisingly, just one medium-sized kiwi is more than enough to meet all your daily needs of Vitamin C.


raw bunch of organic carrots

We know from our childhood that carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and ideal for supporting eye health. However, did you know that carrots are good for bright looking skin and hair?

Vitamin A gives you the shiny hair you have always wanted as it maintains the natural oils in your scalp and hair. Also, researchers have found that people who eat carrots have more yellow tones in the skin, which is a sign of good health.

So start eating carrots, and soon you may not even need your blush!

Sweet Potatoes

whole and sliced raw sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is another delicious yet healthy vegetable that does a lot of good for your skin and hair as it has high amounts of beta-carotene.

This nutrient acts as an antioxidant to fight aging skin and keeps your scalp healthy, reducing the problem of hair loss and breakage.

If you are not a fan of mashed potatoes, add them to your diet in a roasted form with your favorite herbs.


raw organic farm eggs

Very few people dislike eggs, and these are perhaps the tastiest way of eating healthy for skin and hair.

Eggs contain sulfur, which works in several ways to boost your immune system and maintain healthy nails, shiny hair, and radiant skin. Moreover, consuming eggs is a great way to get protein without a high-fat content—a combination that reduces your chances of developing wrinkles.


fresh natural homemade yogurt

Make a habit of having yogurt regularly if you want to keep your skin glowing and hair well-conditioned through your diet.

Yogurt does a lot more than provide calcium to your bones; it is also rich in vitamins B2, B6, and B12 and protein, all of which help to detoxify your skin and maintain healthy teeth and nails.

Try Greek yogurt as a mid-day snack or opt for breakfast that consists of low-fat yogurt combined with fruits or granola. Remember that plain yogurts pack the most potent punches and are most healthy because there are no added sugars in it.

These superfoods are tasty, convenient, and easy to incorporate into your regular diet. Eating these snacks regularly a few times a week ensures that you are more likely to notice a change in your hair and skin.

Tips to Prevent Breakouts

foods for healthy skin and hair

Along with adding these foods to your diet, there are a few other things that you can and should do to prevent skin problems.

Wash your face twice daily

Keeping your face clean is the very first step to preventing skin problems like acne, pimples, black, and whiteheads.

Washing your face ensures that the impurities in the cells are flushed out, removing dead skin cells. We recommend using warm water and a mild facial cleanser to clean your face.

Wash your face gently and dab it dry with a soft cloth.

Take your makeup off every night.

Removing your makeup may sound like a tedious process, especially when you are tired and want to fall into bed. However, it is an indispensable step to ensure that it does not clog your pores, causing skin problems overnight.

Choose non-comedogenic and oil-free cosmetics, and clean all traces of makeup off your face before your sleep.

Read more: 15 habits of women with great skin


We cannot stress this enough. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Water is your absolute best friend when it comes to preventing breakouts and keeping your skin healthy.

Try an over-the-counter acne product.

Products with benzoyl peroxidesalicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid kill or reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. Another option is a retinoid gel, which works to keep acne from forming.

Use these products with caution if you have sensitive skin.

Other Resources On Acne And Breakouts

How To Treat Acne - Try These 14 Lifesaving Options

This article researches different treatment alternatives for you to discuss with your doctor or dermatologist.  

7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars

This article discusses 7 practical solutions to get rid of acne scars, with little-to-no scarring left.

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