Plant-Based Foods for Skin Health: A Narrative Review

Year Published: 2021


J Acad Nutr Diet


Vivien W Fam, Prae Charoenwoodhipong, Raja K Sivamani, Roberta R Holt, Carl L Keen, Robert M Hackman


The potential role of plant-based foods in the promotion of skin health is an emerging area of nutrition research. Plant-based foods are rich in bioactive compounds, including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, polyphenols, and phenolic acids, which can contribute to oxidant defense, lower inflammation, and promote structural support of the skin.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Epidemiological studies have associated higher intakes of select fruits and vegetables with positive skin health. Beneficial effects of certain fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and polyphenolic-rich beverages on the skin have been reported, with each of these providing a unique phytochemical composition. Although most studies use extracts, this review will focus on data from whole foods and minimally processed products. Collectively, the evidence to date suggests a promising future for plant-based dietary interventions that promote skin barrier health and function. However, additional research is required to address issues such as the optimal quality and duration of intake as well as potential mechanisms. Studies in the above areas will help formulate specific targeted dietary recommendations.