What to eat and foods to avoid to keep your skin looking its best

Taking good care of your skin starts with what you put in your body. At The Skin Nerd, we have a 360-degree approach to skin health, which includes treating the skin from the inside out with nutrition and supplements. The skin can be a barometer of your internal well-being and, therefore, a healthy, balanced diet and adequate water intake are essential for achieving and maintaining perfect skin. But what do you need to make sure your skin looks great and performs at its best?

What to include


Protein helps stimulate collagen and elastin – essential for giving skin a plump, plump youthful appearance. Eggs are a great source of protein, as are lean meats and fish, so stock up on these foods often for a dose of skin feel!

Good fats:

Fats can be good! Omegas are essential fatty acids that are important for managing conditions such as eczema. Acting as the building blocks of skin cells, fatty acids help strengthen the skin barrier and smooth out surface layers for a healthier-looking complexion. Nuts, avocado and fish are all examples of sources of good fats that lubricate the skin and help it stay hydrated from the inside out.

Fruits and vegetables:

Antioxidants are heroic ingredients in skin care for a reason. Fighting free radicals and providing protection against photo damage, fine lines and inflammation *, antioxidants also protect your skin against external aggressors such as pollution, stress and smoking. Fruits and vegetables like blueberries, broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes are high in antioxidants and help prevent cell damage. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin also contain beta-carotene, another powerful antioxidant that helps maintain good skin health.

The water:

Eight glasses of water a day help hydrate the body, which is the key to keeping the skin pumping. If you have a hard time drinking plain water, add fruit slices like lemon and lime to add natural flavor.

What to avoid


Refined sugar can cause inflammation which can lead to a number of skin problems such as redness, irritation, and congestion. It also speeds up the aging process of the skin and decreases the immunity of the skin, leaving it more vulnerable to infections. Many of my clients have found that reducing sugar intake helps reduce redness and clear up congestion.


Coffee and tea are used by many for uplifting during the day, but can trigger cortisol levels, resulting in an increased stress response and irritated complexion. Too much caffeine also has diuretic effects (making you urinate more) and can therefore dehydrate the body. Limit your intake to one per day and replace it with the Nerdie drink of your choice – skin thirst-quenching water.


We all love a drink or two on Friday nights, but try not to overdo it on a regular basis as alcohol can dehydrate your skin and make fine lines or wrinkles more noticeable.

Finding out if you have a food group intolerance can also make a difference in the condition of your skin. An allergy to dairy products, for example, can be a cause of acne and eczema. To help you keep an eye on the health of your skin, I recommend that you keep a skin diary. By noting how your skin looks and feels every day, you can track any changes and determine if any differences have actually made a difference! Remember that changes will not happen overnight and you should give your skin at least 28 days before you can expect any visible result. If you are concerned that you may be allergic to any ingredient or type of food, it is important to speak to your GP for further advice.


Lademann J, Patzelt A, Schanzer S, Richter H, Meinke MC, Sterry W, Zastrow L, Doucet O, Vergou T, Darvin ME. Contribution of antioxidants through natural nutrition and supplementation: advantages and disadvantages from a dermatological point of view. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011; 24 (5): 269-73. doi: 10.1159 / 000328725. Published online June 1, 2011. PMID: 21646825.

** Always check with your GP before taking any supplements.

Cheesy choice

Solgar Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 4000 IU Vegetable Capsules,

€ 19.25

Vitamin D stimulates the skin to support a healthy immune system.

A nutritional supplement is a great way to increase the amount of nutrients your body receives on a daily basis and can really improve the health of your skin. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D supports your immune system, but we often lack this vitamin during the dull winter months and may need an extra boost. Solgar v
itamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 4000 IU Veg Capsules ** is my pick of the week because it delivers these benefits in an easily ingestible format. Just take one tablet per day to promote calcium absorption and help maintain healthy bones and teeth.

** Always check with your GP before taking any supplements.

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