How Your Diet Affects Your Skin Health

How does our diet affect our skin? Similar to how our surrounding environment and the skincare products we use both indirectly and directly affects our skin, the food we eat can influence our skin health in many different ways.

When it comes to healthy skin, fried foods, dairy, and alcohol are some of the worst dietary contributors, with some leading a path to acne, oily skin, and even rashes - and that’s only scratching the surface. Though by being aware of these effects and being mindful of what we’re eating, we can supercharge our diets with the best food for skin, helping to unlock its full potential.

How does a poor diet affect your skin? Ranging from foods that cause dry skin to foods that cause oily skin or acne, here are five signs that your skin could be suffering at the hands of your diet.

Do You Have Oily Skin?

Oily foods themselves aren’t likely to be the cause behind oily skin, rather the causes generally include genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. However, our diet may play a role in achieving ideal levels of oils in our skin, especially for those with unhealthy diets. Too much sugar and dairy, and not enough vitamins and healthy fats can contribute to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our gut which can impact our skin health.

A diverse diet, consisting of elements such as crunchy vegetables, quality sources of protein, and fresh fruit, will not only improve the health of your skin, but also many other aspects of health.

If you do suffer from oily skin, applying natural oil based serums can also help the skin to balance oil production.

Are You Experiencing Skin Redness and Rashes? 

Our skin can become inflamed with redness or rashes for a range of issues. Dietary allergies or intolerances can cause a redness or rash, which in some cases urgent medical care may be required.

Some common dietary allergy trigger foods include cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, and soy.

Dairy is one of the most common foods associated with skin issues. Though symptoms often vary from person to person, a skin rash, eczema, or even dermatitis can arise from a milk allergy.

The best way to avoid these effects is to uncover whether or not you have a milk allergy. If this is the case, you can consider substituting the dairy in your diet. Though this is more common in children than adults.

Are you Experiencing Skin Breakouts?

Breakouts are typically caused by an increased oil production on the skin as opposed to the diet, although studies suggest certain foods may trigger breakouts in some of us. Some of the more likely foods to contribute to acne include fast foods, refined grains, sugars and dairy products.

While more research is still needed, numerous studies have found a link between dairy consumption and developing acne. Whey protein which is a popular protein supplement among athletes is thought to potentially contribute to acne breakouts. 

Keeping in mind, everyone can experience and interact with foods differently. If you are suffering from acne regularly, it may be worth removing dairy from your diet to see if the skin begins to clear.

If you notice a positive change, switching to a non-dairy alternative would be the next step. There are plenty of vegan milk products on the market, with almond milk being a popular choice. Otherwise, there’s soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and plenty more

Is Your Skin Dry?

Whether your dry skin is caused by the chilling winter months, hot showers, or the food you’re eating, dry skin can arise from several circumstances. When considering your diet, a dry, rough skin surface can often be caused by dehydration or a lack of fatty acids.

Regularly drinking plenty of water is important for skin hydration, as is ensuring your diet is packed with foods rich in fatty acids, such as salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts. Limiting or avoiding foods and drinks that cause dry skin and dehydration - particularly alcohol and salty foods, will also help to keep your skin from drying out.

Supplementing skin hydration topically with a hydrating natural face cream or body balm daily to moisturise is also recommended to keep your skin from drying out.

Could You Prevent Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are common among many of us, often caused by triggers out of our control – such as growth spurts. However, sudden weight gain or weight loss can often cause stretch marks to arise. Though the situations leading to stretch marks will likely differ from person to person, two key ways that could help prevent stretch marks are a nutritious diet and regular physical activity.

Foods which are high in vitamin C promote collagen production which may help prevent stretch marks, as collagen helps keep your skin strong and elastic. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, such as oranges and lemons.


When it comes to establishing a healthy diet, being mindful of what you’re eating is a great first step. What elements of your diet are good? What needs to be changed? Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and quality sources of protein, while avoiding fried foods, sugar, and other unhealthy treats where you can.

*Before implementing any of these tips or altering your diet for your skin health, speak with a healthcare professional.

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