As we get older, our skin’s strength and structure can change. Fortunately, there are skin tightening foods that can help you keep its youthful appearance – when paired with a solid skin care routine, of course.
This article will cover dietitian-approved foods that help fight loose skin.
12 Skin Tightening Foods for Face + Body
Thinking of your diet as part of your skincare routine is one of the best ways to level up your skin’s appearance.
While there’s no one-size fits all diet plan for skin tightening, there are many foods to help tighten loose skin. As a dietitian, I suggest incorporating these skin tightening foods as part of a balanced diet to help ensure that your skin gets all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Here’s a list of the best skin tightening foods:
1. Bone Broth
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It helps maintain the structural integrity of the skin and other areas like the bones and muscles. As we age, collagen production slows down and can result in skin that looks less firm.
Thankfully, bone broth is very high in collagen peptides.
Collagen peptides act as primers for collagen production. They also function as antioxidants by removing free radicals, that can cause aging, from skin cells. Plus, collagen peptides promote the production of hyaluronic acid, a substance that promotes skin hydration.
Moreover, recent research has highlighted that collagen peptides are more easily absorbed and utilized by the body compared to non-peptide collagen.
Berries are among the best skin tightening fruits. Dark colored fruits like blueberries and raspberries are packed with a group of beneficial antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.
Polyphenols help fight skin aging by promoting collagen production and preventing the breakdown of collagen.
When it comes to skin tightening foods for face and body, eggs are a top contender. Eggs are a great source of protein. In fact, one egg delivers six grams of protein.
Protein plays an important role in the skin’s structure and elasticity – two factors that are important for skin tightening. Moreover, the skin renews and repairs itself every 28 days, all with the help of dietary protein.
However, not all proteins are created equal. Fortunately, eggs are considered the perfect protein because they deliver all nine essential amino acids. As the building blocks of protein, amino acids are also important for maintaining healthy skin strength and structure.
4. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are good for you for a number of reasons. But in terms of skin tightening, sweet potatoes help by delivering just over 1,400 micrograms of vitamin A in per serving.
Vitamin A is a nutrient that’s commonly used in anti-aging products and supplements. It’s known for its ability to help stimulate the production of keratin, an important protein for the skin’s protective barrier.
5. Acerola Cherries
Red acerola cherries, also known as West Indian cherries, are a skin tightening fruit thats high in vitamin C. Just one cup of acerola cherries packs 822 mg of vitamin C. That’s over 15x the amount of vitamin C in an orange!
Vitamin C is incredibly important for skin tightening because it’s a precursor for collagen. In other words, the body can’t make collagen without vitamin C.
Almonds are full of vitamin E, a nutrient poised for its anti-aging benefits. One ounce of almonds packs over 7 mg of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is one of the first nutrients used in dermatology to help restore healthy skin. It helps prevent skin aging by protecting lipids in the skin against free radical attacks that can age the skin prematurely.
So whether you’re snacking on almonds or drinking almond milk, rest assured you’re doing your skin a favor.
Oysters are one of the best foods for skin tightening because of their high copper and zinc content.
Copper is an essential mineral that plays many important roles in the skin. In fact, copper supports healthy skin aging in the following ways:
- Stimulates the regeneration of dermal layer skin cells
- Upregulates collagen (types I,II, and V) & elastin fibers that help give the skin strength and structure
- Stimulates collagen fibril formation
- Helps create skin proteins
- Functions as an antioxidant
Similarly, zinc also influences skin health by helping skin cells produce keratin.
8. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is more than just a tasty treat. It’s actually very high in iron, a mineral that works closely with antioxidant enzymes in skin cells.
Antioxidants are extremely important for skin health because they help protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Oxidative damage can weaken skin cells and lead to early signs of visible skin aging.
It’s estimated that 3 ounces of 45%-69% of dark chocolate cacao provides 7 mg of iron.
Walnut protein hydrolysate (WPH) is considered a non-peptide collagen found in walnuts. There is some evidence suggesting that WPH may help improve skin elasticity.
Specifically, a 2019 study found that WPH was successful in improving skin appearance, photo-aging, elasticity, and helped repair mechanical structure of the skin’s extracellular matrix.
With that said, walnuts can make a great alternative for people who wish to avoid collagen peptides from animal sources.
10. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are surprisingly excellent for maintaining youthful looking skin. They are rich in selenium, an essential trace element.
Among its many functions, selenium helps with the development and function of keratin in the skin. As a reminder, keratin helps maintain the skin’s protective barrier and can contribute to the appearance of the skin.
Six to eight brazil nuts pack 544 mcg of selenium.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in forming a healthy skin barrier.
Multiple studies have investigated the effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the skin. In particular, one study found that olive oil helped reduce oxidative stress and promoted collagen deposition in mice who consumed olive oil.
Another study saw improvements in photo-aging in participants who consumed higher amounts of ALA, a fatty acid found in vegetable oils like olive oil.
As a bonus, omega-3 fatty can also help with skin hydration and tone.
Water is extremely important for all aspects of skin health. When it comes to skin aging, water helps maintain balance and tissue function.
Naturally, water can also help keep your skin looking hydrated, which is key for a youthful and plump appearance. In fact, a comprehensive review found that drier skin displayed more lines and wrinkles compared to hydrated skin.
To help maintain healthy hydration levels, aim to drink about 2 liters or half a gallon daily.
Can Foods Tighten the Skin?
Many people wonder if food can actually tighten the skin. Food can play a role in how your skin looks. As a dietitian, I encourage you to think of food as one piece of the puzzle. The bottomline is that diet, coupled with a strong skincare routine, can help offset early signs of aging such as loose skin.
In sum, loss of skin firmness and elasticity is a normal part of skin aging. Thankfully, treating your diet as part of your skincare routine by including skin tightening foods can help you maintain youthful-looking skin.
Gaby Vaca-Flores is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Santa Monica, CA. In merging her passions for nutrition and skin, Gaby created Glow+Greens to provide her readers with science-backed education + digestible wellness tips.