Simple Anti-Aging Foods For Better Skin

Some of the best foods for skin elasticity and overall health are simple to prepare, fun to eat, and inexpensive. Give these antioxidants rich foods a try...

Anti-aging foods are readily available year round, inexpensive, and easy to slip into your everyday diet.

They're simple to consume, but the effects they have on skin health is potent, and many even offer protection against oxidative damage and UV rays.

We'll list the most important foods and nutrients that offer the best anti-aging benefits and how you can easily obtain them through diet and supplements.

Anti-Aging Foods for skin health

by Linda Robison

Interested in adding more skin loving anti-aging foods to your diet? 

Think Colorful!

Like: Red, Purple, Pink, Yellow, Orange, and Green...

Incorporating these skin loving foods into your diet is easy.

For example, just adding a few tablespoons of tomato paste weekly can make a big difference.

Tomato paste is loaded with lycopene - an antioxidant - which naturally protects your skin from sun damage.1

The National center for Biotechnology Information found that consuming a small amount of tomato paste can protect against photodamage. 

All you need is just a few tablespoons of tomato paste daily. Dr. Oz recommends 4 tablespoons daily for general health, or you can take a lycopene supplement.

The Life Extension Foundation recommends between 10-30mgs of lycopene daily for optimal health.2

Tips to enjoy:

  • Good excuse to enjoy a nice plate of whole wheat pasta – right? 
  • Or add a few tablespoons to broths, soups, stews.
Antioxidant foods for skin health and anti-aging effects.

And when you're cooking up that pasta and tomato sauce, consider throwing in a few slices of Red peppers to support collagen production.

Yes, red peppers are loaded with vitamin C.

Think Pink For Smooth Skin

Pink - Well, sort of pinkish foods like salmon, shrimp, lobster, egg yolks….contain Astaxanthin ("asta-zan-thin").

This carotenoid also protects against sun damage and damaging UV rays. 

Research indicates that astaxanthin also helps with fine lines, skin spots and support elasticity and firmness.3 

This nutrient is a little harder to obtain, as most don't eat shrimp, salmon or lobster on a daily basis. This is where supplements come in handy.

Supplements can also help if you don’t like these foods or are allergic to them.  The Life Extension Foundation recommends 4-8 mg per day.

Cheap Anti-Aging Foods

Orange – Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, squash...are inexpensive and really easy to work into your diet and are in season all year round.

They naturally contain beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body.

A study published in the Photochemistry and Photobiology found that beta-carotene along with sunscreen offers significant protection against sun damage.

More recent studies found that beta carotene offers a wide range of health benefits, from improved cognitive function to anti-cancer effects.4

Gold - Herbal teas are often overlooked for their powerful anti-aging benefits inside and outside the body. They contain a compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).

EGCG has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects for the skin. Small studies show that compounds found in green tea may help improve skin elasticity when taken orally or used topically.5

So in addition to drinking green tea daily, consider using cold tea bag compress to refresh and de-puff tired eyes.

The topical application may help improve skin wrinkles around the eyes.

Tip: Next time you make a cup of tea (use 2 bags) and place the used tea bags in the refrigerator. Next time you need a revitalize tired eyes, apply the cold tea bags over the eyes for 20 minutes.

With a beautiful scent and color - herbal teas not only have a magical calming effect on your mind and body, but they also possess powerful health benefits.

Plus, they are inexpensive and easy to find in any supermarket or drugstore!

While green tea is the most popular herbal tea, don't forget about the other varieties that are just as effective for healthy skin aging.

Black tea, for example, is beneficial for your face due to its high antioxidant content. You can use black tea skin lightening, to make peels, masks, scrubs and more.

Not sure which tea to go for? We break down the best top three teas for a youthful appearance and age-related disease prevention benefits.

Fight Free Radicals With Greens

Green – Green foods like spinach, mustard greens, kale, avocados and olives contain high amounts of vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and can help fight free radicals.

Simply put - free radicals can destroy that most important skin power house, collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and skin aging.

And don't be afraid of the good fats in the avocados and olives – they can help keep your complexion smooth and moist. 

Tip: While avocados are not always in season and can be expensive, spinach, mustard greens, and kale are inexpensive and always available. I throw them into soups, stews, shakes, salads, stir fries and even in pesto and hummus dips. 

Foods that cause skin inflammation

There is a growing trend for following an anti-inflammatory diet because we now know that inflammation can age your skin very quickly.6

Here are just a few ways inflammation can make your complexion look old:

Collagen Breakdown: Chronic inflammation triggers the release of enzymes that break down collagen fibers. As collagen diminishes, the skin loses its firmness and elasticity, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Weakening of Skin Barrier: When your skin's natural barrier is not healthy, it's more susceptible to moisture loss and external irritants. A weakened barrier can result in dry, rough, wrinkled and sensitive skin, which are common signs of aging.

Hyperpigmentation: Inflammation can trigger an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. This is what causes dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Promotion of Glycation: Glycation is a process where sugars in the bloodstream bond with your collagen proteins. This process can make the skin stiff, less elastic and saggy. 

What foods bad for your skin?

Anti-foods for bouncy skin.

To keep as much bounce and fullness in your skin as you get older, try to avoid sugary foods and simple carbohydrates!

Here is a simple list of aging foods to avoid as much as you can:

  • Sugar: Excessive intake can lead to increased inflammation and skin issues.
  • Refined grains (white bread, pasta): These can spike blood sugar levels and contribute to skin problems.
  • High-glycemic index foods (potatoes, sugary cereals): These may exacerbate skin conditions.
  • Processed foods (fast food, snacks): These often contain trans fats and additives that can trigger inflammation.
  • Saturated fats (found in fried foods and pastries): High consumption can promote inflammation and skin aging.

Not only are these foods detrimental to the skin, but can also wreak havoc on your health – because of the effect it has on insulin and glucose levels.

Just remember, insulin spikes can accelerate aging throughout the body and damage the all important collagen  - your skin's best friend.

Are you a food junkie? Here are some tips and substitutes for better skin diet.

Diet/food substitute for better skin

Ok, you don't have to give up simple carbs up completely - just try to make small substitutions here and there. It will make a difference for skin and all over health. Here is an example:

Breakfast: Instead of sugary cereals and milk everyday, try a protein smoothie. Mix yogurt, protein powder and some frozen fruit or peanut butter.

This takes less than 5 minutes to make and tastes great!

TIP: Peanut butter has an amazing appetite curbing ability too.

Lunch: Instead of a white bread sandwich and chips/pretzels, try a protein rich soup and salad. Or add last night's left over chicken (and veggies on top of a big salad.

You can also add a can of tuna too.

Snack: Carrot sticks with peanut butter, cheese sticks or hummus is a great choice. 

Dinner: Try to replace a portion of your simple carb with a favorite veggie or extra salad.

Well, I guess you get the message. It's all about making small replacements here and there...wherever you can reduce the amount of simple processed carbs. 

For best results, try to limit foods that cause skin inflammation. 

Final thoughts on anti-aging foods...

Don't try to make radical changes to your diet, that won't work. Just slowly try to sneak these healthier choices into each meal.

With a little effort, you can work these important anti-aging foods into your daily diet, while avoiding the worst foods for your skin.

Proper nutrient dense foods can also help repair premature aging skin due to abuse like alcohol.

While anti-aging foods are important, don't forget to use creams, serums, and masks that are rich in vitamins too. Topical skin vitamins can have an impact on skin health too.

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1. Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 5106

2. Lycopene, Life Extension, Dec. 2004

3. Astaxanthin Slows Skin Aging, Life Extension, May 2018

4. EXCLI J. 2016; 15: 1–4.

5. Double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of green tea extracts in the clinical and histologic appearance of photoaging skin - PubMed (

6. Inflammaging and Immunosenescence as Part of Skin Aging—A Narrative Review - PMC (