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 he 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 get 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 Fresh Start: A 21-Day 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!
The results of a clear skin diet
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 Protein Smoothie Boost 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 when eating for clear skin
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.
5 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.
- Pineapple Clear Skin Smoothie: The smoothie recipe below originated from the Fresh Start 21-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 1/2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup coconut water, unsweetened
- 1 cup pineapple, frozen
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 Protein Smoothie Boost, optional
- Blend spinach and coconut water until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.