by Victoria Hoff
view feature on BYRDIE.com
We’re already aware that what we put in our bodies affects our skin as much as the products we put on it. This knowledge often puts us on the defensive—we know to avoid certain aggravators like alcohol and sugar, for example, since they can contribute to acne and dullness. (Dairy Face, anyone?)
But in addition to cutting out the bad, it’s also worth being proactive about what you consume, since there’s a whole laundry list of foods that can actually contribute to a brighter, clearer complexion. And leave it to Pinterest to play host to a ton of popular recipes designed to do just that.
Below, you’ll find some of the virtual mood board’s most popular skin-boosting recipes, from a detox salad with over 34,000 repins to a scrumptious-looking smoothie bowl.
Every ingredient in this pink smoothie contributes to a better complexion. Berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants and vitamins, which help fight the free radicals that often contribute to decreased collagen and other signs of aging. “As anti-inflammatories, antioxidants assist the body in healing and provide protection from future damage,” says celebrity skin guru Joanna Vargas.
Meanwhile, a scoop of greek yogurt offers a dose of probiotics—as more and more research supports the skin benefits of “good” bacteria, dermatologists are prescribing probiotics as a way to combat acne, rosacea, and more. “Research has shown that the bacteria in your gut interacts with your immune system, which leads to changes in your skin,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe. “I always tell my patients to incorporate foods and drinks that are rich in probiotics, like yogurt, miso soup, sauerkraut, and kombucha.”
A dead-ringer for Whole Foods’ famous salad bar dish, this detox salad contains a base of cauliflower and broccoli. As cruciferous veggies, they’re effective at balancing hormones and boosting estrogen, which in turn can help clear up blemished skin.
This recipe also contains sunflower seeds, which are packed with complexion-boosting vitamins like folate, selenium, and vitamin E. Oh, and it’s totally delicious, too—if you click through the image, you’ll see that more than 30,000 Pinterest users agree.
What’s not to love about detox water? It’s pretty, endlessly customizable, and gives regular old H2O an extra kick of nutrition (and makes it more palatable, too). This popular recipe contains cucumber, which is high in nutrients that help fight water retention and puffiness. (Sweet dreams, under-eye bags.)
Bonus tip: Invest in a bottle with a built-in infuser to put your artfully-crafted spa water on full display. We’re fans of this sporty option by Define ($20).
AVOCADO QUINOA SALAD
You had us at avocado. Aside from tasting like the elixir of the gods, the creamy green fruit (yes, fruit) is packed with monosaturated fatty acids, the nutrients responsible for keeping our skin as plump and hydrated as possible. Meanwhile, dark leafy greens like parsely and arugula are loaded with anti-aging antioxidants, while the lycopene found in tomatoes fortifies the defense against free radicals. Quinoa does more of the same—there’s a reason why the supergrain is becoming more and more popular as a skincare ingredient.
MANGO SMOOTHIE BOWL
Finally, nothing makes our hearts (and Instagram feeds) sing like a beautifully-crafted smoothie bowl. This one is fortified with chia seeds for a solid dose of omega fatty acids, as well as kiwi, which contains copious amounts of skin-brightening vitamin C. A word to the wise: Mango and banana are plenty high in natural sugar, so there’s no need to sweeten this delicious breakfast any further.