Clear skin diet: What to eat, what to avoid

Careful what you put on your plate. A healthy diet is essential for keeping your organs in top working order. That includes the largest organ of the body—the skin. 

Whether your skin glows or breaks out in zits may be linked to your eating habits. Is your diet helping or hampering your skincare? Let’s find out!


Clear skin diet: What to eat

The right combination of foods glows you up from the inside out. Add these goodies to your daily meals for a brighter complexion.

  • Polish off those veggies.

No turning your nose up at vegetables. If you want clear skin, eat more leafy greens like spinach, as well as power-packed veggies like broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers, and sweet potatoes. They contain Vitamin A, which nourishes the skin, along with Vitamin E and antioxidants to fight inflammation. Need a snack? Slice up some cucumbers. They hydrate and soothe the skin thanks to their high water and Vitamin C content.

  • Fruit brings big benefits.

Make a beeline for brightly coloured fruit at the market. Red grapes and berries are chockful of antioxidants. Citrus fruits like oranges and mosambi are excellent sources of Vitamin C, as are tomatoes. And here’s another reason to buy more avocados: they contain healthy oils and Vitamin E, promoting skin cell function while offering hydration and protection to the outer layers of the skin.

  • Incorporate healthy fats.

Oily fish like sardines, hilsa, salmon, and climbing perch are rich in good fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish are helpful in reducing inflammation, which is a key symptom of acne. If you don’t eat fish, no problem. Get your omega-3 fix by adding chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds to your meals.

Your favourite morning cuppa is quite the superfood. Green tea eases skin inflammation and protects against sun damage. Although it features in an array of skincare products, nothing beats the benefits of ingesting the tea. Just hold off on the sugar and the milk.


Clear skin diet: What not to eat

The acne-prone must watch out for ingredients that trigger breakouts. Which foods should you cut from your diet?

  • Avoid foods with a high glycemic index.

Lots of everyday foods score high on the glycemic index (GI). That includes refined grains, white bread, sugary breakfast cereals, and your favourite candy. Eat these in moderation and you are golden. But if you eat too much, high GI foods will push up your blood insulin. Elevated insulin levels stimulate the overproduction of sebum, the oily substance that clogs the pores and leads to acne.

  • Monitor your dairy intake.

There are many good reasons to consume milk and dairy products. Unfortunately, there are some cons as well. Does your skin feel oilier and stickier than usual? The double-cheese pizza or butter-loaded pav bhaji you had earlier may be to blame. Excess oil blocks the pores and leads to acne outbreaks. If you must consume dairy, go for curd and yoghurt. They offer the goodness of dairy along with probiotics and are gentler on both the gut and the skin.

  • Watch what you drink.

When party season comes around, make sure to count your drinks. Too much alcohol dehydrates the system, leaving the skin dry, flaky, and at risk of breakouts. Keep an eye on your caffeine intake as well. Downing coffee after coffee after coffee through the weekday will dehydrate you. Can’t kick the coffee habit? No problem! Simply moderate your consumption and remember to drink plenty of water.

  • Steer clear of bad fats.

Deep-fried foods are delicious, as are pastries, cookies, chips, and fast food. But they contain high levels of trans fats. Eat too much and the excess oil may start showing on your skin. If you cannot give up on these goodies, reserve them for special treats.


Look beyond diet for clear skin

Complement that healthy diet with a simple skincare routine: just cleanse, tone, and moisturise twice a day. If your acne-prone skin needs a boost, invest in a gentle plant-based product like Clearica Anti-Acne Cream. It fights redness, clears acne bacteria, reduces sebum levels, and revives the skin cells. Exfoliating a couple of times a week will also remove grime and reveal skin that is smooth and blemish-free.


A balanced diet has powerful impacts on overall health, and thereby, on the skin. However, research is still underway on the actual links between food consumption and acne. Remember, breakouts are also governed by non-food factors like hormones, genetics, and humidity.

In short: Diet alone will not cut it. A multi-pronged approach holds the key to clear, beautiful skin.



Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.