How Does Nutrition Affect Your Skin?

There are many benefits to eating healthy, from providing essential energy and nutrients, to warding off disease. Researchers are still learning how a nutritious diet fosters skin, hair, and nail health, but registered dietician Nicole Hopsecger asserts: “Your skin is a reflection of your overall health… [I]f you are healthy on the inside, you will be healthy on the outside, too — skin and all.”  

Because we believe it is important to understand how your diet affects your skin, we’re here to share how what you eat can keep your skin healthy too! 


Skin wrinkling is a natural part of the aging process, but using sunscreen, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet can slow the aging process. 

Protein peptides and fatty acids, for example, strengthen the skin’s metabolism and antioxidant activity. The right nutrients can stop your skin from breaking down and keep it strong. 

Limiting sugar and carbohydrates is also beneficial, as these foods can damage your skin’s collagen. Too much sugar in a diet also enables the production of an aging culprit known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) — oxidant stressors which form when fat or protein combines with sugars.


Researchers are still learning how diet specifically affects acne, but many dermatologists agree that diet plays a role in its development and prevention

Acne occurs when new skin cells grow abnormally, blocking pores and trapping natural oils under the surface. Bacteria feed on those oils, resulting in acne blemishes. A diet limited in processed foods and excess fat may help skin cells grow healthily, and without the problems that can lead to acne breakouts 

Research also shows that individuals with acne are 54% more likely to have consumed high-fat, high-sugar diets, over individuals who have never had acne. Fatty foods like dairy and meat — as well as sugary foods and drinks — also promote inflammation, which has been connected to acne breakouts

Chronic Conditions

Nutrition plays a role in many other chronic skin conditions. For example:

Best Ways To Care for Your Skin

Though diet is not a standalone cure for skin conditions, being sure to consume plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods may help boost skin health in combination with hydration, hygiene, and skincare routines. Consider including one or more of these foods into your diet, and take note of any changes:

  • Yellow/orange/red fruits and vegetables
  • Leafy greens 
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans and nuts
  • Fatty fish

Olansky Dermatology can help you find your path to healthier skin. Our expert dermatologists will take note of your skin conditions, and provide you with your next steps — whether that’s a new skincare routine or dietary changes! To schedule an appointment with greater Atlanta’s premier dermatology practice, you can visit us online, or give us a call at (404) 355-5484