7 Foods That Can Help You Look Younger, According to Dietitians and Dermatologists

Photo Illustration by Michela Buttignol for Verywell Health; Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Michela Buttignol for Verywell Health; Getty Images

Fact checked by Nick Blackmer

  • A diet can’t stop the aging process, but certain foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may help protect the skin and slow damage.

  • Preliminary research suggests that certain antioxidants can help reduce the damaging effects of UV rays.

  • Almonds, dark chocolate, and tomatoes are among some of the favorite anti-aging foods health experts recommend.

Your diet could be part of your anti-aging skincare routine.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties may slow down aging in your skin, but it doesn't mean you'll be wrinkle-free overnight, said Rajani Katta MD, a board-certified dermatologist and a clinical faculty member at the Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School.

“When you’re thinking about how to eat for healthier or younger skin, it’s definitely a long-term process,” Katta told Verywell.

It’s never too late to start making changes to your diet, even if there’s been some permanent damage to collagen, the protein that helps give skin its elasticity. Collagen loss can happen because of aging, sun exposure, smoking, or pollution. Meanwhile, various factors like genetics, stress, sleep, and water intake can all affect your skin, but the foods you eat may also make a difference.

“While there is no single food that can alter the aging process, an overall healthy dietary pattern can help make a difference in the way that we age,” Allison Tallman, MS, RD, a registered dietitian based in Nashville, TN told Verywell in an email.

There isn’t a standard “anti-aging diet” or a miracle cure for skin aging, but here are seven foods that may protect your skin, according to dietitians and dermatologists.


Walk down any beauty aisle and you’ll find avocado eye cream, sheet masks, and other skincare products touting the green fruit’s ability to moisturize the skin. Research shows that eating avocados might also offer some anti-aging benefits.

A small study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that women who ate an avocado daily for eight weeks had enhanced skin elasticity and firmness. The researchers suggested that foods rich in monounsaturated fats and the antioxidant carotenoids may promote younger-looking skin. Carotenoids are natural pigments found in many fruits, vegetables, and fungi and they also function as antioxidants that can minimize damage from free radicals and oxidative stress.

“There are potential benefits in the entire produce section,” Katta said.

Related:Polyunsaturated Fat vs. Monounsaturated Fat: What's the Difference?


Tomatoes are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants that may benefit the skin. Take a scroll on TikTok and you’ll find creators blending the fruit with yogurt to make a natural face mask.

Eating tomatoes may also help give the skin a youthful glow. A randomized controlled trial from 2001 found that consuming tomato paste might help make the skin more resistant to sun damage.

This study was one of the exceptions where people noticed some changes to their skin in a short time, according to Katta. “After three months, people were more resistant to sunburn,” she said.


Berries are known to benefit heart health and reduce the risk of certain cancers, but they might support your summer skin protection.

“Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries contain antioxidants, which preliminary studies show may prevent skin damage and also protect your skin from UV damage and pollutants,” said Kathryn Piper, RDN, LD, NBC-HWC, a registered dietitian at The Age-Defying Dietitian in St. Louis, MO.

Research on how antioxidant-rich foods can protect the skin from UV rays is limited, but some scientists theorize that natural antioxidants might help reduce the damaging effects of UV exposure and protect the skin from photoaging.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that may offer protection from UV-light damage and promote blood flow in the skin.

If you want to incorporate this into your anti-aging routine, Piper said to look for at least 70% dark chocolate in order to get the most antioxidant effects. Milk chocolate doesn’t offer the same benefits and its high sugar content might even be disruptive to your skin.

“High sugar foods can really contribute to the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles,” Piper said.

Green Tea

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which may support gut health and prevent cell damage. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant polyphenolic compound in green tea, has been shown to reduce skin inflammation and fight acne-causing bacteria. But there isn’t enough research to determine exactly how much green tea you’d need to see clear benefits in your skin.

Related:Does Green Tea Clear Acne?

Fatty Fish

Salmon, sardines, and other types of seafood that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re also a great source of protein that can help ease the signs of aging.

Consuming enough lean protein is important as you age, according to Tallman. “A loss of muscle mass is the norm during the aging process, especially when one doesn’t consume enough protein in their diet,” she said.


Tallman said almonds are one of her favorite anti-aging foods, and they’re a great source of healthy fats and fiber.

These nuts are versatile, and “they can be incorporated in smoothies, as a snack on the go, or on top of a yogurt parfait for an added crunch,” she said.

A study published in 2021 found that consuming almonds daily could reduce facial wrinkles and skin pigmentation. About 50 postmenopausal women with sun-sensitive skin participated in the study and more research is needed to determine if other populations would get the same anti-aging benefits.

In general, foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are best at protecting your skin from oxidative damage. But the key is to focus on eating whole foods and maintaining a balanced dietary pattern, Tallman said.

“Focus on what you can add into your diet, like how to add more real, whole foods, rather than what you can take out of your diet,” she said. “This makes eating more fun, less stressful, and more nourishing.”

While one food won’t magically make wrinkles disappear, incorporating more nutrient-dense, whole foods into your diet may help protect your skin and slow down the signs of aging.