Essential Takeaways

  • You are what you eat to when it comes to keep your skin glowing from the inside out.

  • Antioxidants help to reduce signs of sun damage, minimize the appearance of fine lines and improve overall skin texture.

  • Omega-3s, Zinc, Biotin, and Vitamin A are also very important.

By Maya Bach, RDN

You are what you eat... How to keep your skin glowing from the inside out.

Focus on Antioxidants: Vitamins C and E

Antioxidants help to reduce signs of sun damage, minimize the appearance of fine lines and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C is required for the formation of collagen, which forms the foundation of your skin. Vitamin E can absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light, helping to protect your skin by preventing UV-induced free radical damage.

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Vitamin C is found in:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Vitamin E is found in:

  • Egg yolks
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetable oils
  • Whole grains

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Add Vitamin A

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a role in skin health by regulating the rate at which skin cells regenerate, leading to smoother, more even skin. Think of it as your body’s own internal exfoliator. A deficiency in vitamin A may lead to your skin appearing drier than normal.

Vitamin A is found in:

  • Dark leafy greens, such as broccoli and spinach
  • Orange or yellow produce, such as cantaloupe, carrots and sweet potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Milk

Boost With Biotin

Biotin, a water-soluble B-vitamin found in many foods, helps to convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from your food into energy to fuel your body. As a result, biotin plays a major part in maintaining the health of our hair, nails and skin. Deficiency of biotin, which is rare in the U.S., may lead to a variety of skin-related issues, including dermatitis and cracked skin.

Biotin is found in:

  • Egg yolks
  • Fish
  • Organ meats
  • Soybeans
  • Whole grains

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Stick With Zinc

Zinc is important for stabilizing cell membranes, helping them resist damage caused by free radicals. Zinc also is important for the production and maintenance of collagen and elastin, helping to reduce wrinkles and sagging. A deficiency of zinc may lead to the development of acne and a dull complexion as your skin cells will not slough off and regenerate optimally.

Zinc is found in:

  • Chickpeas
  • Almonds
  • Meat
  • Shellfish (especially oysters)
  • Peas
  • Whole-grain products

Opt for Omega-3s

Omega-3s are essential components of cell membranes; they help to reduce inflammation and skin damage caused by free radicals. A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids may lead to excessive dryness and acne.

Omega-3s are found in

  • Walnuts
  • Canola oil
  • Fish
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Olive oil

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Maya Bach is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in helping people adopt behaviors that lead to healthier, and happier, lives and businesses infuse well-being to the workplace so they can build a better culture. Born in Tel Aviv and raised in California, Maya now lives in Chicago with her husband and Dexter, a mini Aussie mix. Offering in-person and virtual services, you can learn more by visiting or send her a note at


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This article was reviewed by Dr. Liem Le.
Dr. Liem Le is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist Integrative Medicine Department at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. He is a part of the teaching staff for the Masters program for the Functional Medicine and Human Nutrition program at University of Western States. Dr. Le is currently working on his fellowship in Integrative Medicine with the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine via a scholarship from the White House to complete the initiative.

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