Let’s talk about how to get clear skin… because the struggle is real! I’ve had my own issues with teen acne and then adult acne — it seemed like I couldn’t escape it! Yet once I tweaked a few things in my life, it made such a difference (as you can see in the photos below). If you have sensitive skin, eczema, acne or psoriasis, I hope you read on to learn what the clear skin diet is all about.
I asked my friend and Rawkstar Supply Co. shop manager, Erin Mottayaw, to write this post and share her journey with finding the best foods for clear skin. I think you’ll be inspired and learn some great tips to get your skin looking amazing.
Erin’s Journey to Clear Skin
Most of my life I was a “makeup kind of gal” because I didn’t have good skin. It was sensitive, prone to breakouts, and splotchy. I tried every cleanser, soap, mask, and more to try and tame my face, shoulders, and arms, yet nothing worked.
After trying one of Jen’s green smoothie recipes, I was intrigued, but a total newbie. Yet it’s amazing how quickly I changed:
- I swore I’d never drink a green smoothie without dairy—now I use water or almond milk as the base.
- Then I said I’d never blend (or eat) kale— now I literally have a 4×4 ft container garden of kale. That’s 18 kale plants that I treat like my own offspring!!!
- Finally, I said I’d never leave the house without makeup. These days, you’ll only find me in makeup on date night. Why? Because I discovered the secret of the clear skin diet, and I’m never going back.
Clear Skin Diet: Where to Start?
Jen talked about the glowing, clear skin she experienced with green smoothies, yet I was skeptical. I always had a kitchen full of fresh fruit growing up, yet I still had bad skin.
I agreed to try Seasonal Cleanse, when Jen was asking friends to test it out and share feedback. For 21 days, I ate a TON of plants, drank a bunch of water and avoided these food groups entirely:
- processed sugar
We replaced all these things with plants: fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains.
As hard as it was to do, that cleanse made me see the light. My skin started to clear up around day 5. By day 15, I was acne free… for REAL!
I never realized just how much food played into my skin issues, until I gave up dairy and sugar on this cleanse. I saw that certain foods were causing my acne and others were promoting overall health like…
- Better skin– All my life I had these red bumps on the backs of my upper arms. Embarrassing and annoying. When I fueled my body with whole foods for clear skin, these bumps vanished. Food did what medication hadn’t accomplished.
- Healthier nails– My nails were easily broken and thin, yet now are super strong, healthy, and beautiful.
- Less acne– I thought acne was just for teenagers until mine never left, even after college. A few months of daily smoothies + a cleanse changed all of that. I notice that when I stop drinking smoothies daily, my skin is all too eager to let me know.
- Better sleep– Cleansing forced me to listen to the sleep needs my body had, and led me to better sleep habits over all.
- New passions– Through eating whole food, I gained a new found love for baking, cooking, and gardening. I even started a small pallet garden in my townhouse, so that we could use the herbs for smoothies/future cleanses. Now I’m growing a large garden thanks to amazing #floridagrowingseasons, and I’m growing food my college-self didn’t even know existed.
I included numbers 4 + 5 because believe it or not, stress can show in our skin. Lack of sleep leads to bad eating habits, greater stress, and premature aging. I find my stress levels go down when I sleep better, as well as when I work on projects that fuel my passion. Both of those have the space to take place in my life when I’m eating foods that give me strength and longevity, not foods that work against me.
Now: after the cleanse, my family still eats meat and the occasional dairy. Yet now we also make sure to include plenty of plant based meals to our week as well.
Best Foods for Clear Skin
So what kinds of food can one expect in a whole food, clear skin diet? A lot of beautiful + delicious plants! Here are some incredible whole food, plant based ingredients that will help your skin look great both now and in the future:
- Avocado: Personally, dairy makes my skin worse. Avocados are not only a great creamy sub food for my clear skin diet, they also fight adverse effects from UVA/UVB rays, according to this study by the National Library of Medicine.
- Walnuts– rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, walnuts are a powerhouse in fighting inflammation.
- Sweet potatoes (and other orange veggies)- beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, and acts as a natural sunblock.
- Red/yellow bell peppers– also full of beta carotene, these specific bell peppers contain tons of vitamin C, which promotes the collagen that keeps skin firm.
- Broccoli– the sulforaphane found in broccoli protects against skin cancer, according to this study.
- Berries– low in sugar, high in flavor and antioxidants, berries will help generate glowing skin.
Looking for a clean, organic way to up the protein in our Clean Skin Diet Smoothie?
My plant-based homemade protein powder is a perfect one to use. It blends smoothly into any smoothie and increases protein by 10 g per serving. That would make the recipe below a whopping 24.5 g of protein per serving!
Foods to avoid
Here are foods/ingredients to steer clear of when figuring out how to get clear skin:
- Processed sugar: refined sugar causes acne due to increasing blood sugar in the body, creating inflammation.
- Dairy: though you may not have a dairy intolerance, consuming it can disrupt your hormones, creating acne and eczema.
- Complex carbohydrates: processed foods of any kind can interrupt the body’s natural processes, clog pores, and create reactions that are seen in the skin. Reading labels and limiting overall intake of processed food can lead to healthier, clearer skin (and keep your other organs thriving as well!).
- Alcohol: can affect our hormones and influence acne development.
6 Recipes to Help Clear Your Skin
- Vegetable Barley Soup: This soup is packed with fiber, which helps your digestive system get moving. The more toxins and waste you can excrete through your digestive system, the less chance your skin has to do it.
- Carrot Ginger Soup: This warm and cozy soup contains fresh ginger root which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Sleep Well Smoothie: This bedtime smoothie encourages sleep, which in turns helps your skin out.
- Apple Celery Smoothie: This smoothie is low in sugar and high in fiber.
- Alkaline Smoothie: Ingredients shown to hydrate your skin leaving it happier and clearer.
- Pineapple Clear Skin Smoothie: The smoothie recipe below originated from the Seasonal Cleanse-day cleanse and contains avocado, the ultimate beauty skin food.
Drop a comment letting me know some of your fav foods for glowing skin, and let me know if you try this smoothie!
Clear Skin Diet Smoothie
- 1 ½ cups spinach
- 1 cup coconut water unsweetened
- 1 cup pineapple frozen
- ¼ avocado
- 1 serving homemade protein powder optional
- Blend spinach and coconut water until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
- Use at least 1 frozen fruit for a refreshingly cool smoothie.
- Use the leafy greens of your choice.
- Swap coconut water with regular water.
I have frozen pineapple juice, can I use that instead of the actual fruit? Or does it have to be the fruit?
Great question! We love using whole fruits in place of juice so you’re receiving health benefits from the whole fruit. When juicing you’re missing out on a lot of the fiber we love in our recipes!
Listen guys, I have a quick question I’m hoping someone on this website can help me with. I’m new to juicing although I’ve been enjoying store bought smoothies for years! (Tropical Smoothie, Bolthouse Farms and Naked Green Goodness Smoothies) Because of how delicious the Naked Juice Green Goodness smoothies are specifically I was all in on purchasing my own machine.
The recipe’s on this site sound delicious and I just signed up for the 30 Day challenge.
Here’s my issue. I have a Nutribullet Pro and while I’ve only used it a handful of times, I’m having great difficulty getting my concoctions to turn out as thoroughly blended as what’s shown in the pictures. As a matter of fact, there are always little bits of parsley or spinach floating throughout the mixture which I need to chew in order to get down.
Now, I’ve been blasting with water only up to this point and plan on introducing almond milk, but wonder what else I need to do in order to insure that my blended vegetable/fruit mixtures come out as smooth and appetizing as the ones in the pictures.
I’ve tried researching this on the net, but have thus far not come up with anything conclusive.
Any and all help is appreciated.
P.S. I know that I don’t have one of the Vitamix blenders, but, at present, that brand is a bit above my price range.
Thanks for reaching out, we’ve got you covered! First, you don’t need a pricey blender, you’ve got a green smoothie rawkin’ machine at home! I personally love my NutriBullet and wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Our #1 tip for blending creamy smoothies without leafy pieces is to blend your leafy greens + liquid base first. Once your leafy greens + liquid base resemble a juice consistency add your remaining ingredients. Adding at least one frozen fruit will help too!!
Check out more tips here…
And just a quick FYI for using your NutriBullet. To ensure everything blends perfectly halve our recipes and add a little additional liquid base to create a creamy delicious green smoothie!
Hope these tips help!!
Just made this to kick off my green juicing for the New Year – used cucumber instead of avocado and added ginger. Yum!
Yum! We love blendin’ with cucumber! We hope our recipes are a great addition to your 2016!
Can I make these smoothies with a slowjuicer also?
Of course you can! We love blendin’, as you’re fueling your body with the whole fruit with no loss of fiber. Learn more about the difference between blending and juicing here…
I was wondering what can i substitute pineapple with? and it’s my first time cleansing to lose weight .. do i take the same smoothie same day? how many times?
Thanks a lot 🙂
Thank you so much for reaching out! Looking to substitute pineapple? Try orange, grapefruit, or mango. This recipe is part of our cleanse, check out the full cleanse here…
Interested in using your green smoothie for cleansing + weight loss? Try adding herbs to your favorite recipes. Learn more about our favorites detoxing herbs here…
You can also replace up to two meals with a Simple Green Smoothie. Our co-founder Jadah lost over 25lbs in three months by replacing one meal. Check out here story here…
If you’re using your green smoothie as a meal replacement we suggest adding protein + healthy fats to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Learn about our favorite meal replacement combinations here…
Hope this helps! Reach out with any questions!
If I don’t have coconut water on hand can I just use water or do part coconut water and part water?
We love coconut water in this recipe because it’s super-hydrating + packed with electrolytes. Don’t have coconut water on hand? No worries! Water is a great substitute!
Hi, love this site! Can I use kale instead of spinach in this smoothie?
Of course! We love switching up our leafy greens. Check out our favorite greens here…
Hi! I LOVE your story and this site! I am look forward to beginning the 21 day journey. #rawkon
YAY! We’re so excited to have you as part of our SGS Tribe!! Keep us updated throughout your Fresh Start 21 journey!!
Hi! Can this smoothie be “skin cleanser” even if I use soya yogurt instead of avocado and coconut water? Should I change quantities? thank you
Using yogurt and coconut water in this recipe will create a delicious green smoothie, but we love avocado in this recipe because it’s packed with antioxidant carotenoids for healthy skin, vitamin C + E, and moisturizing monounsaturated fatty acids. Looking to improve your skin health? Check out our post on obtaining glowing skin here…
Hi. I love this smoothie. Thanks for all the recipes.
YAY! Thank you so much for blendin’ with us! 🙂
Can I add Greek yogurt or flavoured yogurt into smoothies?
Of course! Adding yogurt is a great way to add protein to any green smoothie recipe! We personally don’t add cows-milk yogurt to our recipes, as dairy is the #1 undiagnosed food allergy and can be pretty tough on your digestion. For that reason, we reach for almond milk or coconut milk yogurt! But it’s all about finding what’s best for you + your body!
Coconut water is filled with electrolytes and potassium, which are two nutrients your body craves when expending lots of energy. It’s low in calories, fat, and sugar meaning that this is the liquid-base you want when working out to help refuel + rehydrate your body! We call it nature’s gatorade!
Dear authors, I love this recipe! I added a pear today and I also put tahini butter, rolled oats and a little bit of chia seeds to make it a meal!
This week I have started to drink two smoothies a day and I feel great – very fresh and energized in difference to when I eat something with more carbs. And it saves me a lot of time to take care of my health, which I need! This is the best win-win!
Thank you for supporting this great site!
Rawesome!! We love your additions! Pears add a great sweetness + rolled oats will keep you full + satisfied as they maintain your blood-sugar level + they’re slow to digest (perfect for preventing a hungry tummy).
Cheers to being a total meal replacement rawkstar!!
Can I use regular water and substitute coconut water for coconut oil?
Great question! Filtered water is a great substitute for coconut water (both are super hydrating and great for your skin), + no need to add coconut oil unless you’re looking to add extra healthy fats to our Tropical Skin Cleanser Green Smoothie!
Wonderful smoothie recipes. Everyday morning I am having kale, banana and berries mixed smoothie. I feel very fresh. Can I add raisins or dates to my green smoothie?
Looking to add raisins or dates to your green smoothie? Go for it! They’re the perfect way to sweeten up your favorite smoothie recipe!