If you still get stubborn pimples and you’re past puberty, you’re not alone. A large percentage of adults suffer acne breakouts due to stress, the environment, and hormonal fluctuations. Tired of piling on the cover-up? Try these acne-calming foods instead.
This oily fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which tames the red, inflamed skin associated with breakouts. Omega 3s will also boost your skin’s glow and help smooth and firm your complexion, improving your skin’s overall appearance.
Save Your Skin: Salmon is easy to make. If you don’t want to prepare it on the grill or in a pan, try wrapping it in a tin foil packet with lemon, garlic, a little white wine, and veggies. Bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the fish is thoroughly cooked.
Tip: Sardines are a good source of omega 3s as well.
Like many citrus fruits, pink grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition to warding off colds, vitamin C also aids in collagen production, which helps keep skin firm, lessening the appearance of wounds, injuries, and acne. Pink grapefruit is also a good source of lycopene, another anti-inflammatory. Although all grapefruit varieties contain vitamin C and lycopene, pink grapefruit contains significantly more lycopene than white grapefruit, thanks to its pink color.
Save your Skin: Add pink grapefruit to your morning smoothie (remove seeds first), use it as a salad topper, or mix it into salsa to pair with grilled halibut.
Tip: Aim to eat 1/2 a grapefruit a day.
Also rich in vitamin C, Fennel minimizes the appearance of breakouts by reducing swelling. It also flushes toxins and excess water out of the skin.
Save Your Skin: Roast fennel in the oven with a little garlic and eat as a delicious snack or side with any meal. It also works great mixed into salads and stir-frys.
Tip: Fennel, which tastes a bit like licorice, can also improve digestion and freshen breath.
Allicin—the compound that gives garlic its pungent taste and smell—is known to kill off harmful bacteria, including the kind that can cause bacteria. It also is a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it will soothe breakouts.
Save Your Skin: Roast a garlic bulb, break it open, and spread on toast instead of butter. Sauté veggies with a little garlic for a great flavor, or add garlic to stir-frys, pizzas, and pastas. Garlic also tastes great on meats, seafood, poultry, vegetables, and grains.
Tip: Garlic adds a lot of flavor and reduces the need to add salt. Salt creates inflammation and wreaks havoc on the skin.
Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dieticians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.