One of the most sought-after results of a properly tailored beauty routine is that you want to achieve clear, beautifully glowing skin. But like most aspects of health, nice skin is primarily a result of what you put into your body rather than what goes on top of your skin. If you’re looking to score beautiful, blemish-free skin, here are a few ways to get your eating (and drinking) habits on lockdown!

Fruits & veggies with a high-water content

Hydration is one of the biggest contributors to fabulous skin. When you’re well hydrated, your skin has greater elasticity and a healthier color thanks to more efficient blood flow. We’ll get to drinking water later, but consuming high water-content foods not only gives you hydration, but a boost of nutrients that can do wonders like boost immunity, aid digestion, or increase your energy. Next time you want a snack, reach for some watermelon, cucumbers, or celery!

Skip the salt (or go low sodium)

I do want to start by saying that sodium is a nutrient and your body does need some of it. The problem is that most of our diets contain way more of it than we need. Cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. Sodium is sneaky and can appear in unexpected places—like flavorless club soda—so be sure to read nutrition labels to see how much sodium you’re consuming. Too much sodium in your diet can make your skin appear dull due to dehydration, and can increase the appearance of under-eye bags. Possibly worst of all, your skin may try to overcompensate for the dehydration by secreting excess oils, which can lead to acne. Not to mention, that next-day facial puffiness after a sodium-packed dinner. No thanks.

Stick to whole foods; lose the junk food

The less processed your food is, the better it is for you. Knowing exactly what’s in the food you eat is a good habit to get into. Do you notice that your skin appears duller if you’ve been eating a lot of sugary snacks? Maybe you break out if you have one too many pizza nights? You don’t need to kiss your beloved treats goodbye forever, but learning what your skin reacts positively and negatively to can be a big help in getting your eating habits in check. One way you can incorporate more whole foods into your diet is by cooking your own meals rather than dining out, so that you can know exactly what you’re eating. Not a cook? In addition to snacking on raw fruits and veggies more often, start reading nutrition labels. Avoid things with long lists of unpronounceable ingredients.

Drink water, water, and more water

And just when you think you’ve had enough water, drink another glass of it. Seriously. You may make a few extra trips to the restroom, but the benefits for your skin and body are worth it. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s hard for them to drink water because they don’t like the taste—so they turn to juice and soda instead. While water is flavorless, its taste can be affected by things like your piping and any additives that are in your area water supply. That said, not all beverages are created equal, and sugar-packed substitutes aren’t going to do much to hydrate your skin. If you find it difficult to get your recommended daily water intake, here are a few tips:

  • Add ice – Some people find it more appealing to drink more water if it’s ice cold.
  • Drink it at room temperature – Others, like myself, drink more water if it’s room temperature or just below.
  • Turn it into tea – Green tea has amazing benefits for your skin! In addition to hydrating you, you get a nice antioxidant boost.
  • Infuse it – Infusing water with fruit is a great way to give a flavorless drink some, well, flavor. You can buy a special infuser water bottle, or you can add your fruit to a pitcher of water and let it sit overnight.

Nothing makes a beauty regimen better than giving it a solid foundation. Keeping your skin hydrated and nourished from the inside out will keep you looking refreshed and glowing with or without makeup. Making a few small changes to your eating habits can make a big difference in the health and appearance of your skin. Happy snacking!

—Katie Labar

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