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Foods That Benefit Skin Health

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Written by Bend Beauty


We’re all about creating beauty you can see and feel from the inside out. Diet is one of the greatest contributors to a radiant complexion – and in this post, you’ll learn more about the best foods to eat to support skin health. Let’s dive in!


Walnuts have a unique nutrient profile compared to all other nuts (1). They’re helpful for your microbiome, which we know is heavily connected to skin health! Eating walnuts promotes biodiversity and enriches the microbiome by increasing good and decreasing bad bacteria. It also reduces production of toxic and inflammatory secondary bile acids as measured in a R, PC trial including healthy men and women. These benefits were ascribed to nondigestible material from walnuts, mainly ellagitannins and fiber polysaccharides (2).

Leafy Green Vegetables

The health promoting effects of leafy green vegetables including antioxidant, DNA protective, and detoxifying activities (3), are primarily attributed to their fiber, carotenoid and vitamin K content (4). Bioactive components reported to protect against cancers, include the antioxidants lutein (also found in Bend Renew + Protect), vitamins C, E, various flavonoids, fiber, folic acid, and chlorophyll (5, 6).

High Polyphenol Olive Oil

To date, clinical studies reporting the impact of high polyphenol olive oil on skin are scarce. However, its strong antioxidant, and ani-inflammatory effects would be expected to positively impact skin health. The Mediterranean diet, with its relatively high olive oil content is connected to enhanced longevity and reduced risk of sickness and death.


Seafood, including fish, shellfish and crustaceans are delicious, and healthy options for those who eat animal derived foods. They are rich in many nutrients including high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and many vitamins and minerals. The omega-3 LC-PUFAs, known for their anti-inflammatory and cardio- and brain-protective effects, are particularly plentiful in fatty, fleshy, saltwater fish including herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and salmon. Reports showing the impact of seafood on skin are rare, but the importance of fish derived omega-3 LC-PUFAs for healthy skin is well established.


Turmeric contains polyphenols called curcumins that reliably protect against oxidative stress (17) and reduce inflammation (8). In experimental models, they prevent UVB-induced inflammation and production of enzymes that break down collagen and/or elastin in keratinocytes and fibroblasts. They also reduce skin damage caused by tobacco smoke, an important risk factor for skin cancer (9).

Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols that provide strong antioxidant protection for skin (10). Experimental studies show it reduces inflammation (10) and prevents formation of enzymes that breakdown collagen and elastin (11).


Cocoa’s potential to prevent and treat skin diseases is attributed partly to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune modifying effects that can neutralize oxidative stress. It has shown promise for skin conditions, including cancer, psoriasis, acne, wound healing (12), and atopic eczema (13, 14).

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, mustard and collard greens, watercress, turnip, and radishes. They contain a natural antioxidant stimulator called sulforaphane that aids liver detoxification. Fun fact – sulforaphane is an ingredient included in Bend Beauty’s newest product, RESET.


Mushrooms are rich in dietary fiber, essential amino acids (15), selenium, potassium, vitamins B2, 3, and D (16), and many bioactive compounds, especially those benefiting immune health, although the quantity of these compounds differs among different mushroom types (15). Polysaccharides and specific proteins account for most of their immunomodulating and anti-tumor effects, while lipids and phenols provide health-enhancing cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects, respectively (18). Some extensively studied medicinal mushrooms include Cordyceps, Reishi and Tremella.

Purple Berries

Did you know that plants produce color partly to protect themselves from the sun? Well, those same intense and beautiful red, purple, and blue hues, can also protect you! The roughly 600 naturally occurring, water soluble, intensely colored anthocyanins, particularly rich in berries, absorb blue-green light and UV rays (19).

They are found in many foods including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, haskap, strawberries, cherries, chokecherries, currents, purple grapes, beets, red cabbage, and red beans (18).

We challenge you to incorporate some, or all, of these incredible items into your diet frequently and note the changes in your skin over time. You’ll find some of these key ingredients, like omega-3s and sulforaphane, in Bend Beauty skin health supplements.

Bend Beauty products are BBP approved and contain many powerful active ingredients to unlock your skin’s potential and optimize your wellness routine.

Shop Bend Beauty – and use code BBP20 for 20% off your purchase on


The Education Collection is a series of blog posts that will provide education surrounding skin health from the inside out. We have partnered with Bend Beauty for this collaboration because we both are on a collective mission to change the narrative surrounding beauty. Bend Beauty is bending the path towards sustainable beauty by providing education and science behind what we put into and onto our bodies, using innovative research that allows us to understand new elements of skin health and longevity and applying that directly to their product development. Beyond Beauty Project and Bend Beauty truly believe that aging is a magical part of life and that beauty is how you feel - from the inside out. Bend has our BBP Stamp of Approval, which is reserved for brands that share the same philosophy and mission as us. We are looking to partner with brands that are committed to not using any verbiage that erodes our self-worth or self-esteem, and who are committed to changing the narrative of beauty for all of us. We love beauty and we love beauty products as much as anyone else, but we firmly believe that there is a way to have all of the fun luxurious products while also feeling empowered about ourselves and our own beauty. We hope you enjoy the fourth part of Beyond Beauty Project x Bend Beauty's Education Collection.




  1. Ros E, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Sala-Vila A. Beneficial effects of walnut consumption on human health: role of micronutrients. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2018 Nov;21(6):498-504. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000508. PMID: 30199393.Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  2. Holscher HD, Guetterman HM, Swanson KS, An R, Matthan NR, Lichtenstein AH, Novotny JA, Baer DJ. Walnut Consumption Alters the Gastrointestinal Microbiota, Microbially Derived Secondary Bile Acids, and Health Markers in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr. 2018 Jun 1;148(6):861-867. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy004. PMID: 29726951; PMCID: PMC5991202.

  3. Wang E, Wink M. Chlorophyll enhances oxidative stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans and extends its lifespan. PeerJ. 2016a Apr 7;4:e1879. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1879. PMID: 27077003; PMCID: PMC4830245. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  4. Adams I. The health benefits of dark green leafy vegetables. Co=operative extension services, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY. 2013.

  5. Hughes MC, van der Pols JC, Marks GC, Green AC. Food intake and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in a community: the Nambour skin cancer cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2006 Oct 15;119(8):1953-60. doi: 10.1002/ijc.22061. PMID: 16721782. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  6. Solway J, McBride M, Haq F, Abdul W, Miller R. Diet and Dermatology: The Role of a Whole-food, Plant-based Diet in Preventing and Reversing Skin Aging-A Review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2020 May;13(5):38-43. Epub 2020 May 1. PMID: 32802255; PMCID: PMC7380694. Accessed online on November 2, 2020 at

  7. DiSilvestro RA, Joseph E, Zhao S, Bomser J. Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 26;11:79. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-79. PMID: 23013352; PMCID: PMC3518252. Accessed online on December 4, 2020 at

  8. Amalraj A, Varma K, Jacob J, Divya C, Kunnumakkara AB, Stohs SJ, Gopi S. A Novel Highly Bioavailable Curcumin Formulation Improves Symptoms and Diagnostic Indicators in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Two-Dose, Three-Arm, and Parallel-Group Study. J Med Food. 2017 Oct;20(10):1022-1030. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2017.3930. Epub 2017 Aug 29. PMID: 28850308. Accessed online on December 4, 2020 at

  9. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural Antioxidants: Multiple Mechanisms to Protect Skin From Solar Radiation. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 24;9:392. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00392. PMID: 29740318; PMCID: PMC5928335. Accessed online on November 27, 2020 at

  10. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural Antioxidants: Multiple Mechanisms to Protect Skin From Solar Radiation. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 24;9:392. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00392. PMID: 29740318; PMCID: PMC5928335. Accessed online on November 27, 2020 at

  11. Schagen SK, Zampeli VA, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):298-307. doi:10.4161/derm.22876 Accessed online o November 21, 2020 at

  12. Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Di Renzo L, De Lorenzo A, Olarte HH, Micali G, Cicero AF, Gonzalez S. Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 11;6(8):3202-13. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. Accessed online on December 15, 2019 at

  13. Bril-Gil M, Massot-Cladera M, Perez-Cano FJ, Castellote C, Franch, A, Castell M. A diet enriched with cocoa prevents IgE synthesis in a rat allergy model. Pharmacological Research 2012;65(6):603–608. Accessed online on December 21, 2019 at

  14. Kang H, Lee CH, Kim JR, Kwon JY, Son MJ, Kim JE, Lee KW. Theobroma cacao extract attenuates the development of Dermatophagoides farinae-induced atopic dermatitis-like symptoms in NC/Nga mice. Food Chem. 2017 Feb 1;216:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.07.141. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

  15. Zhao S, Gao Q, Rong C, Wang S, Zhao Z, Liu Y, Xu J. Immunomodulatory Effects of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms and Their Bioactive Immunoregulatory Products. J Fungi (Basel). 2020 Nov 8;6(4):269. doi: 10.3390/jof6040269. PMID: 33171663; PMCID: PMC7712035. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  16. Valverde ME, Hernández-Pérez T, Paredes-López O. Edible mushrooms: improving human health and promoting quality life. Int J Microbiol. 2015;2015:376387. doi: 10.1155/2015/376387. Epub 2015 Jan 20. PMID: 25685150; PMCID: PMC4320875. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  17. Motta F, Gershwin ME, Selmi C. Mushrooms and immunity. J Autoimmun. 2020 Dec 1;117:102576. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102576. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33276307. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  18. Wang LS, Stoner GD. Anthocyanins and their role in cancer prevention. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):281-90. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.05.020. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at

  19. Rojo LE, Roopchand DE, Graf B, Cheng DM, Ribnicky D, Fridlender B, Raskin I. Role of Anthocyanins in Skin Aging and UV Induced Skin Damage. Anthocyanins in Health and Disease. Chapter 11, 2013:307-319. DOI: 10.1201/b15554-12. Accessed online on December 8, 2020 at


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