The skin acts as a window into our internal health. Skin conditions, such as acne, pimples, or eczema are indications that nutrients and toxins are not being properly processed by the internal organs. Cooked fats, dairy products, and other toxic substances may be overwhelming the liver. If the body cannot release toxins through regular channels, it will attempt to expel them through the skin. Additionally, excess mucus in the digestive tract may be preventing vital nutrients from getting to the skin.

Improving skin health and beauty can be tackled from within, by choosing foods that are nutritious and cleansing, and from without, by applying natural cold-pressed oils topically. Commercial soaps and moisturizers may offer the appearance of immediate results, but over the long-term, they damage the skin as they deliver rancid oils and chemicals directly to your pores. Ideally, you should not put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat.

Other factors damaging to skin health include dehydration, smoking, hard tap water, and exposure to weather extremes. Don't overexpose you skin to sun, but do try to get at least 30 minutes of sunlight per day. You may also want to look into dry skin brushing to remove dead cells.

Beneficial Foods

Aloe Vera The inner gel is an ideal topical treatment for burns, cuts, and dry skin. Rub onto face and let sit for 30 minutes to tighten the skin. Can be eaten or applied topically to fight inflammation.
Apples Prevent wrinkles.
Black Olives Erase fine lines and wrinkles. Smooth the skin.
Broccoli Helps to repair sun-damaged skin.
Burdock Root Alleviates rashes, acne, abscesses, eczema, psoriasis, and skin infections. Is an anti-inflammatory.
Cherimoya Helps increase the elasticity, firmness, and suppleness of the skin.
Coconut Oil An excellent gentle moisturizer for the face and body. Restores sagging and damaged skin, increases blood flow to the skin, lightens stretch marks. Treats dry skin and some forms of psoriasis that are caused by fungus. Use topically and internally.
Cucumbers The silica and high water content help improve complexion, add a healthy glow, and hydrate the skin. Use juice or slices topically to treat sunburn, swelling, and dermatitis.
Grapefruit Raw grapefruit contains the skin cleansing enzyme, bromelain. Try rubbing the inside of the peel against your face after eating (Eating For Beauty, by David Wolfe).
Hemp Protects skin from sun damage.
Horsetail Helps wounds heal.
Hot Peppers The capsaicin in hot peppers counteracts inflammation and premature aging of the skin.
Macadamia Nuts Hydrate the skin and repair burned and damaged skin.
Mango Eating the fruit helps relieve clogged pores.
Nettles Relieve chronic skin conditions, such as eczema.
Olive Oil Can be used as a skin softener and soother for dry or damaged skin. Safe for babies. Rub into affected areas and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
Papaya Extremely cleansing internally, and therefore helps clear up skin ailments. Rubbing partially ripe papayas on the skin softens and dissolves dead skin, repairs skin damage and wrinkles, lightens freckles, and clears the complexion. Avoid the eyes.
Radishes Bring a "glow" to the skin.
Stevia Can be applied topically to soften and tighten the skin and smooth wrinkles. May be applied directly to blemishes, acne outbreaks, or mouth sores.
Strawberries Used topically in traditional medicine to treat burns and other skin irritations due to their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Used topically by the ancient Egyptians to treat acne.
Tomatoes A new study has shown that cooked tomatoes help guard against sunburn, wrinkles, and even skin cancer, by protecting the skin from UV rays.
Turmeric Brings color and softness to the skin. Fights against pimples, acne, boils, dryness, and other chronic skin maladies. Helps wounds heal faster. Has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Watercress Helps to heal chronic pimples, acne, and eczema. Natural internal skin cleanser and antiseptic.

Beneficial Nutrients

Chlorophyll Helps sores and wounds heal faster and fights bacteria.
Fats Raw fats, including cold-pressed oils, help to beautify the skin. Eaten to excess, they can cause pimples.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids A deficiency can cause dry itchy skin.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Relieves acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
Silicon Improves wrinkled and aging skin.
Sulfur Helps heal rashes, wounds, and scars. Can heal acne when eaten or used in a topical cream. Makes skin shiny and radiant.
Vitamin A Protects skin against sun damage and acne. Reverses signs of aging. A deficiency can cause a goose bump appearance on the skin. May cause skin to turn orange or yellow in some individuals.
Vitamin B2/Riboflavin A deficiency may cause sores and cracks on the lips, scaly skin, or severe dermatitis.
Vitamin B3/Niacin Works with other B vitamins to maintain healthy skin. A deficiency can lead to skin infections. An overdose can cause an itchy rash known as "niacin flush."
Vitamin B5/Pantothetic Acid Helps wounds heal faster and strengthens scar tissue. Can be used topically or orally.
Vitamin C Supports the production of collagen. Promotes supple, glowing skin. Deficiencies in vitamin C can cause easy bruising.
Vitamin E Erases fine lines and wrinkles. Helps retain moisture thereby preventing dryness, itching, and chapping. Protects against ultraviolet rays. Speeds up wound healing. Beneficial when used topically or when eaten in foods.
Zinc Prevents and treats acne, warts, wrinkling, stretch marks, and aging. Helps heal burns and wounds.