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Eat your way to beautiful skin

Posted by Nic Florido on 6th Sep 2021

Vaia Pappas

Vaia Pappas, founder of the award-winning Vaia Beauty is one of Sydney's most well-known skincare gurus, with 20+ years' experience in herbal medicine and health sciences.

Food is our main source of energy, medicine and nourishment and what we eat determines how well our body functions.

While topical skincare is important (SPF, SPF, SPF people!), healthy eating is the first step to beautiful skin. Foods get digested and broken down into vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body can use to give you healthy, beautiful skin. If you deny your body of essential vitamins and minerals or eat a diet of sugary, highly processed foods, your skin just won’t be as strong and supple as it could be. For example, if you don’t eat enough protein, your skin will be deprived of the amino acids that go into making collagen (which makes your skin strong) and elastic tissue (which makes it supple).

Add these to your diet for glowing skin

All the colours of the rainbow

Think of colourful fruits and veggies as your multivitamin. Fruits and veggies are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that will support good gut health and a glowing complexion. Antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory foods like brightly coloured fruits and veggies promote skin metabolism and act as a defence against environmental stressors.

One of those stressors is free-radical damage, which can weaken your skin’s immunity and break down its metabolic function. In non-science-y terms, environmental stressors like free-radical damage slow down your body’s production of collagen, which causes skin to become uneven, dull, thin, wrinkled, and blotchy. No thank you!

Healthy fats

Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy cellular membranes. They’re vital for keeping the structure of the skin hydrated, protected and more youthful. Things like fish oil are my first prescription to clients who wish to address dry and inflamed skin.

Healthy, fatty acids found naturally in food like salmon, sardines, egg whites and avocado help contribute to the production of collagen, which is a protein that helps keep the skin foundation strong and wrinkle-free. For a veggie option, look for raw nuts like peanuts, which serve up a healthy dose of good fats.

Fermented foods

Exemplary gut health has become a sort of beauty goal lately, and for a good reason. It’s currently the insider’s secret to clear, luminous skin and the driving force behind our kombucha obsession. The fermented tea is, of course, teeming with probiotics: the live bacteria and yeast that support and replenish our natural gut bacteria.

Probiotics lead to good gut health which ultimately leads to glowing skin. It’s as easy as that. Research shows that some of the microbes present in fermented foods actually promote skin health specifically. They reinforce your skin’s natural barrier against bad bacteria, balance your skin’s pH levels and may even protect against skin cancer.

Load up on gut-friendly, fermented foods and drinks like kombucha, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kefir and probiotic soda.


This one might seem obvious, but it needs to be said. Your skin can get easily dehydrated and needs water to keep its plump and supple texture. Aim for 3L a day and snack on fruits and veggies that are high in water content throughout the day. Add more watermelon, cucumbers, celery and tomatoes to your diet for a hydrated and glowing complexion.

Add these foods to your diet and slowly watch your skin glow from the inside out. Bon appetite!