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10 Best Foods That Tighten Skin (Dietitian Approved)

Are there foods that tighten skin?

While there is no miracle food to reverse the effects of time, there are some foods that may help tighten skin and improve its overall appearance.

In this article, we’ll explore these skin-tightening foods that may naturally promote a healthy complexion.

Aging & Sagging Skin

As we age, our skin loses elasticity and begins to have a saggy appearance.

This can be accelerated by a number of factors including sun exposure, smoking, and weight loss.

Genetics also plays a role in how our skin ages.

Woman with half her face young and the other half old.
Skin loses elasticity with age.

Diet for Skin Health

Your diet plays a role in healthy, glowing skin.

Eating nutrient-rich foods, along with a good skincare routine and sun protection can support the overall health and appearance of your skin.

The 10 Best Foods That Tighten Skin

Below are the 10 best foods that may tighten the skin in no particular order:

1. Acerola Cherries

Acerola cherries, also known as Barbados cherries, are packed with vitamin C. These sweet cherries are one of the most potent sources of vitamin C!

 A cup of acerola cherries contains anywhere from 1500–4500 mg. This is around 50–100 times that of an orange!

How do Acerola cherries tighten skin?

Acerola’s high vitamin C content is why they are a food that tightens skin.

Vitamin C helps stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin strength and elasticity.

How can I add acerola cherries to my diet?

  1. Eat them fresh.
  2. Add them to smoothies.
  3. Juice Acerola cherries.
  4. Use as a topping for yogurt.
  5. Add them to salads.
  6. Pick up this Organic Acerlola Puree at Trader Joe’s.
  7. Order this Acerola Cherry Powder from Amazon.
Acerola Cherries, a food that tightens skin
Acerola Cherries

2. Salmon

Salmon is a fish that is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which offer a number of health benefits, including skin health.

Salmon’s mild flavor is often described as buttery and sweet.

Why is salmon a food that tightens skin?

Omega-3 fatty acids help tighten the skin by decreasing inflammation and hydrating the skin.

In addition, the omega-3 in salmon promotes collagen production which decreases fine lines and wrinkles.

How can I add salmon to my diet?

  1. Enjoy salmon as an entree.
  2. Add it to salads.
  3. Try salmon sushi or sashimi.
  4. Make salmon burgers.
Cooked salmon topped with parsley along side a serving of asparagus
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. They are also a rich source of vitamin C.

Sweet potatoes have a mild, sweet flavor. However, their sweetness can vary based on the variety, their freshness, and their preparation method.

How do sweet potatoes tighten skin?

As mentioned above, sweet potatoes are a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage.

There are three derivatives of vitamin A: retinol, retinal, and tretinoin, which you may recognize as major players in the world of anti-aging.

Vitamin A and its derivatives, particularly retinol, are among the most effective substances in delaying the process of aging

The vitamin C in sweet potatoes also promotes collagen production promoting firm, youthful skin.

How can I add sweet potatoes to my diet?

  1. Roast them with butter and cinnamon.
  2. Enjoy sweet potatoes as a healthy alternative to french fries.
  3. Make a sweet potato soup.
  4. Bake a sweet potato as a substitute for a traditional baked potato.
  5. Prepare a casserole or sweet potato pie.
  6. Mash them for a healthier mashed potato option.
Bowl of cooked cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl; foods that tighten skin
Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene,

4. Almonds

Almonds are tree nuts that are healthy and versatile. They have a sweet flavor and a crunchy texture.

Almonds are packed with nutrients including healthy fats, protein, and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals.

Why are almonds a food that tightens skin?

A serving of almonds contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin E.

A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.

This protective function of vitamin E helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

In fact, a 2021 study found that daily consumption of almonds may contribute to the improvement of facial wrinkles and the reduction of skin pigmentation among postmenopausal women.

How can I add almonds to my diet?

  1. Enjoy almonds as a healthy snack.
  2. Make a trail mix with dried fruit, almonds, and seeds.
  3. Mix them into your morning oatmeal.
  4. Add a bit of crunch to your yogurt with almonds.
  5. Enjoy almond butter with an apple or banana.
  6. Add them to baked goods like cookies and muffins.
A bowl of almonds; foods that tighten skin
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E.

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is made from cocoa beans. It contains more cocoa solids and less sugar than milk chocolate.

It has a deep, intense flavor with a slight hint of bitterness. This indulgent treat is appreciated for its health benefits and high antioxidant content.

How does dark chocolate tighten skin?

The antioxidants in dark chocolate help neutralize free radicals that damage the skin and contribute to premature aging.

A 2022 study found that the flavanols in dark chocolate may protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.

Keep in mind that dark chocolate, despite its health benefits, does have a high concentration of sugar and calories.

In addition, you’ll want to choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) to reap its health benefits.

How can I add dark chocolate to my diet?

  1. Enjoy dark chocolate as a snack.
  2. Dip fruit into melted dark chocolate (berries, bananas, etc.).
  3. Combine it with nuts for a sweet & savory treat.
  4. Add dark chocolate to Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative to ice cream.
  5. Mix dark chocolate into a trail mix with nuts and dried fruit.
  6. Explore dark chocolate dessert options.

You can learn more about the benefits of chocolate for skin health in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “7 Cacao Benefits for Skin: Beauty from the Inside Out”.

Dark chocolate pieces in a aqua-colored bowl.
Choose dark chocolate with >70% cocoa content.

6. Avocados

Avocados are classified as a fruit and are native to Mexico and Central America. They are pear-shaped and have creamy, green flesh.

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins C and K.

Why are avocados a food that tightens skin?

The vitamins and antioxidants in avocados support the body’s production of collagen. Our skin’s structure and firmness are made possible by collagen.

A 2022 pilot study at UCLA demonstrated that daily avocado consumption increased skin elasticity and firmness in healthy women.

How can I add avocados to my diet?

  1. Spread mashed avocado on whole-grain toast.
  2. Whip up some guacamole and pair it with tortilla chips or veggies.
  3. Slice or cube them for a creamy addition to salads.
  4. Top your sandwich with avocado slices.
  5. Blend into a smoothie for a creamy texture.
Avocados; a food that tightens skin
Avocados support the body’s production of collagen.

7. Berries

Berries are small, colorful fruits that come in a variety of types and flavors. They are naturally sweet with varying degrees of tartness.

Common berries include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Berries are very nutritious and are packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.

How do berries tighten skin?

Berries contain significantly more antioxidants than other fruits. These powerful compounds control free radicals that reduce wrinkling of the skin.

Berries also contain anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that give berries their vibrant, red, purple, and blue colors.

Anthocyanins prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin and promote collagen production.

How can I add berries to my diet?

  1. Eat them fresh as a snack.
  2. Blend berries into smoothies.
  3. Toss fresh berries into your favorite salads.
  4. Use berries as a topping for oatmeal & cereal.
  5. Freeze them for a refreshing treat on a hot day.
  6. Infuse berries into your water to add a subtle flavor.

Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian post “The Refreshing Benefits of Infused Water with Fruit” for berry-infused water recipes.

4 white measuring cups with different berries in each cup - blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
Berries are packed with antioxidants.

8. Bone Broth

Bone broth is a nutritious liquid made by simmering animal bones, vegetables, and herbs.

The slow-cooking process extracts collagen, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids from animal bones.

Why is bone broth a food that tightens skin?

Bone broth may help tighten skin due to its high collagen content.

Consistent bone broth intake may support the body’s collagen production, which makes skin firmer and more youthful.

A Review of the Effects of Collagen Treatment in Clinical Studies in 2021, deemed collagen as one of the most important supplements for aging people.

How can I add bone broth to my diet?

  1. Enjoy bone broth as a warm & comforting beverage.
  2. Use it as a base for homemade soups.
  3. Sauté your favorite vegetables in bone broth.
  4. Poach eggs in bone broth for breakfast.
  5. Add bone broth to smoothies for a savory twist.
A bowl of bone broth surrounded by green and white onions.
Bone broth may help tighten skin.

9. Pomegranates

A pomegranate is a unique and vibrant fruit that contains juicy seed-like sacs called arils.

Pomegranate seeds/arils have an initial burst of sweetness that is followed by a slight tanginess.

This flavorful fruit is packed with nutrients including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

How do pomegranates tighten skin?

Pomegranates have a high water content which hydrates the skin. Their antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and support collagen production.

In addition, a 2019 study found that daily oral pomegranate consumption may lead to enhanced protection from UV photodamage, a large contributor to skin aging.

How can I add pomegranates to my diet?

  1. Enjoy fresh pomegranate seeds as a nutritious snack.
  2. Drink pomegranate juice or add it to smoothies & mocktails.
  3. Sprinkle the seeds onto a green salad.
  4. Use pomegranate seeds as a topping for yogurt.
  5. Prepare a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette.
A Pomegranate opened up spilling out Pomegranate seeds
Pomegranates have a high water content.

10. Oysters

Oysters are a mollusk found in saltwater environments. They are considered a delicacy and are often enjoyed raw on the half-shell.

Oysters have a unique flavor that ranges from mild to rich and salty.

Why are oysters a food that tightens skin?

Oysters are high in copper, another essential mineral for skin health.

Copper plays a role in the formation of collagen and elastin, which contribute to smooth and firm skin.

Eating raw oysters can put you at risk for foodborne illness. Avoid them if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system.

How can I add oysters to my diet?

  1. Enjoy fresh raw oysters on the half-shell with lemon or hot sauce.
  2. Grill them in their shells with butter, garlic, and herbs.
  3. Prepare Oysters Rockefeller, a rich, baked oyster dish.
  4. Incorporate oysters into pasta dishes.
A plate of oysters displayed beautifully with sliced lemons.
Oysters are high in copper.

Check out this related post “10 Simple Recipes Packed with Skin-Tightening Foods” for recipes with these skin-tightening foods.

Takeaways from Foods that Tighten Skin

Adding foods that tighten skin to your diet may be a natural way to promote a firmer, more youthful complexion.

The foods above are packed with nutrients that repair and protect the skin, along with aiding in the production of collagen.

Combine a healthy diet, a good skincare routine, and sun protection to achieve vibrant, age-defying skin!

Beef liver is another food that benefits the skin. Check out this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post to learn more – “Beef Liver: The Amazing Skin Benefits of This Superfood“.

Achieve vibrant, age-defying skin!

Hungry for More?

Interested in more information on how your diet can improve your skin?

Check out the Skin & Beauty Nutrition section of the blog for more!

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*Please note this blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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