Summer skin secrets: Foods to avoid/add for a radiant glow

The most obvious solution to keep your skin fresh and hydrated is to drink plenty of water, but experts say diet also has an impact, especially during summer.

A New York City dermatologist and founder of RVL Skincare, Dr Rita Linkner, discusses how to boost your glow from the inside out ahead of summer.

How diet affects the skin

While everyone’s bodies and dietary needs differ, Linkner shared that some ingredients are more detrimental to the skin than others.

“The foods that have been associated with acne include high glycemic loaded foods,” she said, which frequently include “foods that are deep fried.”

“In terms of the relationship with dairy and acne,” Linkner continued, a “high intake of skim milk is most commonly linked to acne.”

She specified that more than two glasses of milk daily would be considered a high intake.

A 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a possible link between adult acne and fatty and sugary foods, beverages, and milk [1].

There are several types of acne – including hormonal and comedonal and not all will respond the same way to identical diets and treatments.

Experts suggest speaking with a healthcare professional about what acne treatment is best for you.

Featured product offer
Future Kind+ Vegan Collagen Booster Supplement
  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Contains 16 collagen-boosting nutrients, including silica, biotin, vitamins A & E, and more.
  • 60 capsules per package, with a recommended serving size of 2 capsules per day.

Food and drinks to add to your summer diet for glowing skin

Contrarily, Linkner said there are many foods that people should consume more of during the summer to keep skin looking fresh and clear.

“Stick with foods chock full of antioxidants to help neutralize sun damage,” she suggested. Linkner added that turmeric is also a great anti-inflammatory which also has been shown to have potent anti-carcinogenic effects.

Get glowing skin through your gut

Nutritionist Maya Feller and dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe previously shared more specific foods to keep skin looking and feeling healthy.

“Packaged goods, unfortunately, tend to be very refined, pro-inflammatory foods,” Feller said then.

Bowe, meanwhile, explained that “the fastest way to dial down inflammation and get your skin glowing is through your gut.”

“By making just a few simple changes to your diet,” she said, “you can actually have a major impact on your skin.”

The pair suggest “eating the rainbow” for an antioxidant-rich diet. “Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause acne and even premature aging in the skin,” Bowe said.

Feller recommended foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which she described as “incredibly antioxidant rich.”

Some personal favorites are “broccoli, asparagus and berries.” They are low sugar, antioxidant-rich and just super delicious.

Feller and Bowe also suggest adding healthy fats, such as avocados, salmon and extra virgin olive oil. “Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids,” Feller explained. 

“Those are the good for you, heart-healthy fats and they’re fantastic for your skin.” Bowe hailed them as “beauty-boosting fats because they actually help … trap moisture in the skin and dial down inflammation.”

On the flip side, she suggests avoiding too much sugar because it can “ramp up inflammation in the skin and lead to breakouts and loss of elasticity.”

“Sugar is lurking in things like pasta sauces, salad dressings,” Feller said [2]. 

“The general recommendation is no more than six teaspoons of added sugar for women and nine teaspoons for men.”

Featured product offer
Avea Life Collagen Activator
  • Contains 8,400 mg of Colgevity™, a proprietary blend of L-Glycine, L-Proline, and L-Hydroxyproline.
  • 3 additional ingredients work together to support collagen levels: Calcium AKG (1g), Acerola Cherry Extract (150mg), Astaxanthin (4mg).
  • Vegan and 3rd-party tested.


The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.