Whether you're battling dry skin in the winter or an oily sheen come summertime, it seems we're rarely at ease with our complexions. Pollution, sun exposure, stress and a diet full of sugary, processed foods are just a few of the external factors that can cause your skin to look less than its best. Beauty expert, Liz Earle has honed her expertise for over 25 years and knows that great skin starts from within. Save face with her top five dietary do's and don'ts for a glowing complexion all year long.


Five natural ways to keep your skin healthy

1) Avoid sugar

Wean yourself off the white stuff! Sugar can be damaging to our skin, as raised blood sugar levels increase the risk of skin inflammation, and research suggests that inflammation contributes to problems such as acne, eczema and skin ageing. Try using a natural sweetener instead, such as xylitol, which reduces tooth decay and is thought to help support bones. Stevia is also a natural herbal sweetener.

Read more: All you need to know about sugar.

2) Include probiotics

Probiotics have become synonymous with helping to maintain good digestive health whether taken as daily supplements, or ingested as active cultures in ‘live’ organic yogurt. The benefits of these 'friendly' bacteria are now thought to extend beyond the digestive tract and help keep skin clear. By lining the gut, they create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation – often the trigger for breakouts.

Discover more digestive health recipes and tips.

A bowl of bio yogurt with berries

3) Go green

Green foods can help encourage clearer skin. Adding a spoonful of chlorella, spirulina, barley grass or wheatgrass powders to a homemade juice or smoothie can help maintain the body’s natural balance. These green powders are also a great source of chlorophyll, which helps cleanse the system and provides us with a fantastic energy and vitality boost.

4) Pack in the plant oils

Introducing plant oils into our diets is one of the most beneficial things we can do for our complexions. Look for cold-pressed oils, as these will contain more vitamin E to keep us looking younger for longer. Drizzle a spoonful over cooked vegetables like broccoli or runner beans, or try using a mixture of different oils such as olive oil, rapeseed and pumpkin seed oils in salad dressings.

Salmon fillet with satsuma salad

5) Fish for compliments

If you want to make sure you’re looking your most radiant, then make sure you include plenty of oily fish in your diet. A great source of protein and omega-3s, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and may even help with skin disorders such as psoriasis.

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This page was last updated on 17 January 2019 by Kerry Torrens.

Kerry Torrens is a qualified Nutritionist (MBANT) with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.


All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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