4 Diets that Promote Healthy Skin

diets for healthy skin

This is a question we get asked often!

Following a plant-based eating plan rich in colorful vegetables and fruits, grass-fed/pasture-raised meats, nuts, seeds and spices is a solid dietary guideline. Plants are naturally anti-inflammatory and are full of all kinds of vital nutrients that also help to detoxify the body by:

  1. Eating organic nutrient dense foods.
  2. Reducing potential allergens/allergy-causing food groups.
  3. Reducing candida in the body.

Three detoxification strategies accomplished just by diet alone!

4 Diets that Promote Healthy Skin

The Mediterranean Diet

Includes fresh fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins (beans and legumes), healthy fats (olive oil), fish, minimal dairy and red meat, whole grains and fresh herbs and spices. Many studies demonstrate people who eat
Mediterranean have far fewer health problems than those on most other types of diets.

The Paleo Diet

Based on foods eaten by early humans largely consisting of various meats, vegetables, nuts and berries. The Paleo diet allows for minimal dairy and excludes grains and processed foods.

My Recommendation: No diet that includes large amounts of meat and fat could ever be considered anti-inflammatory. I would argue that it’s not likely that our ancestors ate large amounts of animal protein on a regular basis when starvation was one of the biggest threats to their survival. Paleo is really plant-based, but allows for meat and minimal dairy. Therefore, a vegetarian could eat Paleo (a bit trickier) by just cutting out the meat and dairy. The main difference between the Mediterranean and Paleo is that the Paleo does not include grains. Decide which is a better plan for you based on your food goals.

The Whole30™ Diet

A way of eating that eliminates certain food groups (sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) that could be having a negative impact on your health (acne) without you even realizing it. The Whole30™ helps to eliminate the most common blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for 30 days.

Although people report significant improvements in all aspects of their health (weight loss, better sleep, more energy, etc), more serious or chronic health conditions, including digestive issues or acne, may take longer than 30 days to heal. This diet is like pressing the reset button on your health. The Whole 30™ diet changes your tastes, cravings and habits. This is the first place I recommend starting dietary-wise in clearing your acne. After completing the Whole30™ you may discover that one or more of the temporarily eliminated food groups will need to be permanently eliminated to remain acne free. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case. It sucks, but having incurable acne is awful too. It will ultimately be your choice.

If healthy, beautiful skin is in the line-up of goals, let me share with you exactly how to achieve it by eating clean. It is not going to be easy, but it’s doable. Changing the food you put on your plate will improve your sleep, energy levels, mood, body composition, motivation, self-confidence and quality of life. Your diet impacts every system and every cell in your body and this has everything to do with how fast and well we age.

Side note: Happy, fit, motivated and confident people appear more physically attractive than people who are not.

Eating clean will help correct hormonal imbalances and digestive issues. It will reduce inflammation and both physical and psychological stress. This is turn will create and deliver vital nutrients and oxygen to the entire body, expelling harmful toxins and efficiently resulting in radiant hair and skin, strong nails and a trim waistline.

Yes, customized clinical treatments and products are beneficial for beautiful skin, but they are only one part of the anti-aging equation. Correcting damage already done instead of preventing it from the start has been the focus of anti-aging remedies. Like many of us where damage has already occurred, it’s not too late to actually reverse a big part of it. How do you do this?

1. Increase nutrient intake and absorption
2. Decrease exposure to toxins both internally and externally

Many of you have asked me, “So what do I eat?” There are so many opinions of what constitutes a healthy diet that it can be very difficult to determine what to eat. Certain diets may work better for some people than for others. For example, different body types may do/feel better with a vegetarian diet versus a meat-eating diet. Don’t get caught up in all of the confusion. All healthy diets include the common basic principles:

• Whole foods (not processed or packaged)
• Plant-based diet (bulk of diet is rich in fruits vegetables)
• Eat foods that has not been tampered with – basically avoid toxins (chemical
additives, pesticides, genetically modified).

Where do I start for gorgeous skin, hair and nails? The Whole 30!

The WHOLE 30 in a nutshell is a 30-day reset button with our health, our habits and our relationship with food. Although The WHOLE 30 is designed to change your life permanently, it is only 30 days of eliminating specific foods demonstrated by science to disrupt your metabolism and hormones, damage your digestive tract, and burden your immune system. The WHOLE 30 will increase collagen and elastin production (reducing fine lines and wrinkles), will decrease inflammation that can cause hyperpigmentation (brown spots), fine lines, wrinklesacne, eczema, psoriasis, blah blah blah, and can normalize hormones keeping our skin clear, evenly pigmented, plumper and well-hydrated.

The GAPS Diet 

Similar to the Whole30™, the GAPS diet, also known as the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, was created by Dr. Sidney Valentine to naturally treat chronic, inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract as a result of damaged gut lining. The GAPS protocol restricts all grains, processed carbohydrates, starchy vegetables and dairy to heal the gut lining, rebalance the immune system, and restore the gut’s bacterial ecosystem.

In addition to dietary guidelines, GAPS has a supplementation and detoxification protocol. Some of the recommended supplements include probiotics, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Light methods of detoxification and overall reduction of our exposure to toxins are also part of the dietary protocol.

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jennifer swink celebrity skin aesthetician scottsdale


I am a medical aesthetician and author of Getting Clear: Everything You Need To Know To Cure Your Acne Quickly, Easily and Naturally. I specialize in chemical peels, microneedling, dermaplaning and microdermabrasion for all skin types, with a focus on acne, aging and ethnic skin.