Beauty is a holistic process; your skin is a reflection of your overall health. Using the right products for your skin type and wearing sunscreen every day is important—but healthy eating habits, too, are essential to keeping your skin supple and bright as you age. A balanced diet will make you feel good and look good, as well.

That said, "eating healthy" can be subjective. This guide will lead you to foods that will boost luminosity and protect against signs of aging and sun damage.

Below are three simple ways to tailor your diet for the sake of your health and your skin.

How to Protect Skin and Minimize Signs of Aging With Food

1. Look for Antioxidant-Rich Foods

According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidant-rich foods like spinach and leafy greens, carrots, apricots, tomatoes, berries, lentils, salmon, and nuts have proven benefits for your skin.

Studies have shown that fatty fish like salmon can help reduce inflammation, which you may experience more of as you age. Inflammaging is a phenomenon that describes the gradual increase of your body's inflammatory response due to a mild increase in immune system activity as you age. Exercise and a healthy diet can slow the effects.

Fatty fish contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which can help with elasticity and hydration. Leafy greens contain vitamin C, which has been proven to be a key building block in collagen production. This keeps skin looking plump and youthful.

2. Consider Your Vitamin B3 Intake

Vitamin B3 foods have tons of benefits, like maintaining the health of your nervous and digestive systems. Notably, they also help to repair damaged skin. A study done by the New England Journal of Medicine found that vitamin B3 foods actually protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, reducing the damage done to your skin and the chance of cancer spots.

Foods high in vitamin B3 include chicken breast, turkey, tuna, salmon, and liver. You can also find vitamin B3 in potatoes, tomatoes, and green peas. It can be found in bread, too! All this considered, it's fairly easy to incorporate vitamin B3 into your meals. A well-balanced diet will meet your body's vitamin B3 needs.

3. Limit Fried, Sweet, and Processed Foods

Fried foods, processed meats, alcohol, and sugar should be enjoyed in moderation, as they can wreak havoc on your skin. Sugar and fried foods contain high amounts of advanced glycation end products, which can exacerbate signs of aging in your skin, like dryness and wrinkles.

As you age, your collagen production slows, leading to a loss of elasticity and glow in your skin. Alcohol, soda, and coffee are known to deplete nutrients and slow the production of collagen even further. You don't have to give these things up entirely, but focusing on healthy eating habits is essential to age gracefully and have fun while you do it.

A well-balanced diet of vegetables, good proteins, fruit, and plenty of water will make your skin shine. It's never too late to start eating healthy and letting your skin speak for itself.

Author

  • Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.