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We know that beauty isn’t only skin deep, but you may not realize how important what you eat can be for your health. While taking care of your skin with a proper skin care routine is definitely crucial, what you put into your body matters, too. Here, we’re sharing six research-backed “beauty foods” to add to your healthy lifestyle.
Eating a healthy diet, full of delicious whole foods, is one of the best ways to take care of yourself—and you know we’re all about practicing self-care. Another benefit of eating well? Some seasonal healthy eats are known for complementing your skincare routine by helping you glow from the inside out. So, next time you’re deciding on a quick snack, consider opting for something that will do more than just curb your hunger. We love blending beauty foods into smoothies, mixing them into salads, and using them to top off oatmeal or chia seed pudding—just to share a few ideas.
Want to learn more about some of the foods that qualify as beauty foods? Click through for six common beauty foods!
Remember when your parents used to tell you to eat your greens? Turns out they were onto something! According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens, which are known to be rich in antioxidants, which are known to be rich in antioxidants, can have a positive effect on ones’ health. Studies have shown that adding as few as two to three servings of leafy greens to your weekly diet can lower the risk of developing certain health concerns, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Of course, we also know that applying antioxidants topically, like using serums formulated with vitamin C, are known to be effective in helping to neutralize the effects of free radicals on the skin. We’re fans of a two-pronged approach that involves eating and applying antioxidants!
Beta-carotene, the same compound that gives carrots their bright orange hue, is an antioxidant that has been shown to help protect the skin against UV-damage, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you’re not a fan of carrots, according to the Mayo Clinic, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and winter squash are a few other sources of beta-carotene.
Editor’s note: Of course, no one is saying carrots should replace your sunscreen. The Food & Drug Administration recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 15 every single day. It’s also wise to follow the FDA’s other sun protection-related tips, which include reapplying SPF at least every two hours, seeking shade when outside, and wearing protective clothing and accessories.
Are you getting enough vitamin C in your diet? You may turn to vitamin C every time you feel a cold coming on, but its benefits don’t stop there. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, studies, including research published by the NIH, have also established that vitamin C may be linked to anti-aging skin benefits. When you think of vitamin C, your mind probably goes straight to oranges—and with good reason. According to the NIH, citrus fruits like oranges are one of the best sources of vitamin C. Other sources include tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, and green peppers. Bet you didn’t know a few of those!
Who doesn’t love berries? Thankfully, that love isn’t unfounded. Research from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has found that berries have antioxidant properties that may help ward off signs of aging. However, further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of antioxidants coming from berries.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are micronutrients that are loaded with antioxidants. According to another study published by the NIH, research in the laboratory has shown that polyphenols in green tea may have an anti-inflammatory effect and may also help protect against UV damage when used in combination with sunscreen. Remember, nothing helps protect the skin against UV damage like applying and reapplying broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, avoiding the sun at peak hours, and wearing protective clothing, especially if you plan to be in direct sunlight.
That’s right—plain old water, in addition to keeping your body hydrated, works to keep your skin hydrated as well. Research published by the NIH has found that increased water intake in one’s diet can improve skin’s hydration levels, especially in those with chronic dry skin. Keep a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go and you can do your part to help the environment while you hydrate. As for the amount of water you should consume daily, it depends on a variety of factors including your lifestyle, height, and weight. You can always ask your doctor to get a better idea of just how much H2O you need to drink!
Unfortunately, not all of the foods we’re naturally drawn to have beauty benefits. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a diet that contains too much sugar may damage elastin and collagen molecules in the skin. Yikes! The only place we recommend sugar is in your facial exfoliation! Go ahead and reach for the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub the next time you’re craving something sweet—just be sure to avoid any temptation to have a taste.
Next: Your Complete Guide to Popular Skin Care Ingredients