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.
Yummmm!! One of my all time favorites. The texture is awesome and the taste is super delicious!
I totally agree!!
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
It’s always useful to read articles from other writers and use something from other sites.
Thanks for your support and we’re happy we could help you learn more about green smoothies!
Can you use pomegrants in smoothies?
Pomegranates are a great addition to your green smoothie! In addition to being high in antioxidants, they are also a good source of potassium, folate, vitamins C and K, and fiber, if the full seed is eaten.
Check out one of our favorite recipes here…
Helloo, anything whats a good replacement for spinach
We love switching up our leafy greens! One of our favorite substitutes for spinach is kale. They both have a mild flavor but are packed with nutrients!
Learn more about our favorite leafy greens here…
This is my favorite!!! I always feel like I’m vacation when I drink it! 🙂
Thanks so much for reaching out + for your kind words! We’re so happy to have you as part of our community :). This recipe was definitely inspired by some of our own tropical vacations! Sometimes you just need to feel like you’re on the beach!
I cannot eat bananas…what is a good replacement for them in these smoothies?
Thanks so much for reaching out! Feel free to swap out the banana for any fruit that you love :). Avocado is my personal favorite banana swap (it helps keep the creamy texture!), but pineapple, mango, and peaches or nectarines are also great substitutes!
Hi! Coconut water is expensive and I can’t afford it. Are there any cheaper alternatives? Also, while this recipe doesn’t call for it, are there dairy free alternatives to Greek yogurt for the recipes that call for Greek yogurt?
We’ve got you covered! Water is the perfect substitute for coconut water, and easy on the wallet. Learn more about our favorite liquid base options here…
And don’t worry, you won’t find dairy in our green smoothie recipes. It’s all about finding what works for you + your body, but for us we prefer to avoid dairy and reach for alternatives like coconut and almond milk.
Hi, do you know how many calories/kj this smoothie is per serve? Thanks
We personally don’t count calories, so we don’t include them in our recipes at this time. You’ll find that when you consume more nourishing whole fruits and veggies, you will not only feel full longer, but you’ll also have lessened cravings for high-calorie, nutritionally empty foods. So in the end it balances out. But we know many people would like to have calorie info. Three great resources for tracking calories are Self Nutrition Data, and the phone apps: My Fitness Pal and Lose It.
I am so excited to start my free 30 day challenge. I was wondering if I can substitute almond butter for peanut butter? I also suffer from constipation and wanted to know if there is anything I should avoid putting in my green smoothies?
We’re so excited to have you blending with us! Of course you can swap in peanut butter! Peanut butter + almond butter occupy similar niches in a healthy diet, and can often substitute for the other in most recipes! We love nut butter made from almonds because it contains more vitamin E and iron than peanut butter, but we love both!
Worried about constipation? The leafy greens + fiber in our recipes are perfect for helping you keep regular! Ensuring that you drink plenty of water with your green smoothie will help too!
I purchased the smoothie recipes a while ago and I cant find them on my computer or email. Can you please resend them to me.
We want to get those recipes to you right away! Send a quick message to our team at the link below…
I have leftover guacamole (it’s a little spicy but not too spicy). What would you recommend adding to a smoothie if substituting guacamole for plain avocado?
Yum! Adding a little spicy guacamole sounds like a tasty idea. No need to add anything else. If you find your smoothie too spicy, you can always add a little more fruit to help balance the flavors.
Hi please can you help me I have been cutting my fruit up & freezing it but then when I take it out of the fridge some of it has turned bad, what is the best way to make the smoothie as I don’t have time in the mornings to start cutting fruit
Thanks in advance
Oh no! We hate hearing that your fruit is turning bad in the freezer. How are you freezing your fruit? We suggest slicing up your fruit, and then placing on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once frozen, store in an airtight freezer-safe container or prep your smoothies! Some fruit will experience browning like banana, apple + avocado. But don’t worry the taste + health benefits are still there!
Learn more about prepping your green smoothies here…
Hello, I have just found your site, and also signed up for the 30 day challenge. I am hoping to start this week after making a trip to Sam’s on Wed. I have 2 questions, all your recipes make enough for 2 servings. Do you not recommend halving the recipe to make just 1 serving, or does it matter? Also, I was reading about your 21 day cleanse but it states it is not available right now. Is that a book that I need to order that is just out of stock or how does that work? Thanks so much!
Thanks for reaching out! We’re so excited to have you join our 30-Day Challenge! You’re right all of our recipes make 2 servings, because we love sharing the green smoothie love with others. Know you only want one serving? Simply halve our recipes!
We’re so excited to hear you’re interested in our Fresh Start 21 Day Cleanse. We’re currently revamping our cleanse to ensure we’re providing our community with the best resource possible! We’ll be relaunching our cleanse at the end of January, we hope you will join us!
Want to be the first to know when our cleanse is available? Make sure and sign up here…
Awesome! Thanks so much for the info and such a timely response.
You’re so welcome, Shelley! Reach out with any questions! 🙂
Hi! Does the pineapple have to be frozen or can I use pineapple fresh from the store?
We suggest using at least one frozen fruit in each of our recipes to make your smoothie cold + creamy!
What can I use instead of avocado? I live in Jamaica and avocado is seasonal so it’s not available right now. Can I use coconut oil? What other options can I use to help clear my skin?
Thanks for your tips!
We love using avocado because it’s packed with healthy fats! Coconut oil is a great substitute! Learn more about our favorite healthy fat sources here…