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Fact vs. fiction: Anti-aging foods

These healthy foods may help slow the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Aug 17, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
beautiful smiling young woman
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Aug 17, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

At Curology, we believe in celebrating the passage of time. As we grow older, it’s natural to experience gray hair, fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Although this process is beautiful in its own right, there’s nothing wrong with trying to maintain fresh, youthful skin. That’s why we offer skincare products and treatments to help slow some signs of your skin’s natural aging process.

There are other ways to keep a youthful glow, however. Adding anti-aging foods for women and men to your diet may help boost your skin health from the inside out!

Aging and food

Aging is a natural part of life, and at Curology, we believe it’s something to be celebrated! But you can do so while also wanting to improve signs of aging—it doesn’t have to be one or the other! 

Nutrition plays a role in presenting a youthful appearance, but scientists are still investigating the relationship between food and signs of aging. More research is needed, but existing studies can help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to anti-aging food. Recipes that include the following ingredients, vitamins, and acids may help slow the signs of aging: 

  • Herbs and spices: A diet high in sugar may accelerate the signs of aging by accumulating chemicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs).¹ However, some herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, oregano, ginger, and garlic may inhibit the production of AGEs,² potentially reducing the appearance of aging. 

  • Legumes: Beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes may protect against early signs of skin cancer,³ which result from sun damage. This often presents as rough, scaly patches of skin that range in color from tan or dark pink to brown. Chilis and curries are delicious ways to work legumes into your diet to help fight against cutaneous actinic skin damage.  

  • Olive oil: Olive oil has also been found to potentially protect the skin against cutaneous actinic damage.⁴ A heart-healthy, high-quality olive oil can be drizzled onto veggies, used as a dip or salad dressing, or mixed into grain bowls. 

  • Vitamin C: Research shows that higher vitamin C intake is associated with improved skin-aging appearance.⁵ Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, bell peppers, avocados, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, strawberries, and watermelons. 

  • Linoleic acid: A higher intake of linoleic acid is also linked to reduced signs of aging.⁶ Linoleic acid is found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils (such as sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil).

Anti-aging fruits and vegetables 

It’s no secret that fruits and veggies are good for your overall health, but did you know they might be good for your skin, too? A large study linked increased facial wrinkling in women with higher consumption of red meat and snack foods, while decreased facial wrinkles were associated with higher consumption of fruit.⁷ Additionally, lipoic acid, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, may inhibit the production of AGEs.⁸ You may want to add the following anti-aging vegetables and fruits to your diet: 

  • Green and yellow vegetables: A higher intake of green and yellow vegetables may be associated with decreased facial wrinkling. Why not load your plate with leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach, yellow peppers, and squash? 

  • Oranges: Oranges are high in vitamin C. As mentioned earlier, vitamin C may be linked to more youthful skin.⁹ If you aren’t a fan of oranges, try other citrus fruits, as well as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

  • Blueberries: Often called a superfood, blueberries are packed full of vitamins and powerful antioxidants that may be beneficial for skin health. 

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are another great source of vitamin C to help boost your skin health.

rainbow composition of fresh vegetables

Potential benefits of anti-aging diets

Following an anti-aging diet may boost the health of your skin and your entire body. Eating a diet rich in plenty of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil is a great way to stay strong and healthy as you age. If you eat a variety of the best anti-aging foods, it may help you experience the following benefits:

  • Better heart health: Regularly consuming whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes is a great way to improve the health of your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease. Also, try to avoid red meat, meat products, and heavily processed foods.¹⁰

  • Reduced risk of diabetes: Research shows that eating a diet rich in anti-aging foods, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, is a great way to help reduce your risk of diabetes and improve your blood sugar control. This research also suggests the benefits of avoiding red and processed meats and moderating your intake of sweet beverages and alcohol.¹¹

  • Healthy hair: Good nutrition is linked to healthier hair, while changes in the health of your hair can be a sign of vitamin deficiency.¹² When you eat an anti-aging diet full of vitamins and minerals, your hair may appear stronger and shinier. 

  • Stronger nails: Following an anti-aging diet that includes almonds, pecans, peanuts, and walnuts may give you stronger nails. In addition to linoleic acid, these nuts contain biotin, which can help prevent nails from becoming brittle.¹³ 

Eat the rainbow 

Our dermatology providers recommend regularly filling your plate with foods that are naturally vibrant in color, as they’re more likely to be rich in vitamins and nutrients. Your whole body will appreciate a balanced diet that includes fruits, veggies, healthy fats, whole grains, proteins, and the occasional treat. Our experts recommend speaking with a nutritionist or registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet or starting any new supplements.

Curology can help you treat signs of aging

Variety of Curology products - Metronidazole contraindications and precautions you should be aware of

A nutritious diet provides great health benefits for your body and skin, but we can help you go the extra mile. Curology was founded in 2014 by board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Lorschter, MD, to help treat acne, rosacea, and signs of aging. We believe in aging gracefully, whatever that means to you, and we want to help you achieve your skin goals.  

Curology members are paired with an in-house dermatology provider. After you answer a few questions and snap some selfies, they’ll prescribe you a personalized prescription formula with active ingredients to help you achieve your skin goals. Our licensed dermatology providers can prescribe tretinoin, a dermatologist-favorite anti-aging ingredient (subject to consultation), and provide general skincare advice tailored to you.

Our full line of skin care products will complete your routine. They’re designed by dermatologists to be non-comedogenic, dye-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic. Our cleanser, moisturizers, sunscreen, lip balm, and more are made to keep your skin happy and healthy.

Signing up is easy. Just answer a few questions and snap some selfies to help us get to know your skin better. If Curology is right for you, we’ll pair you with one of our in-house, licensed dermatology providers to start you on your skincare journey.

FAQs

How is aging and food related?

Aging is a natural part of life, and at Curology, we believe it’s something to be celebrated! But you can do so while also wanting to improve signs of aging—it doesn’t have to be one or the other! 

Nutrition plays a role in presenting a youthful appearance, but scientists are still investigating the relationship between food and signs of aging. More research is needed, but existing studies can help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to anti-aging food.

Fruits and vegetables for Anti-aging?

You may want to add the following anti-aging vegetables and fruits to your diet: 

  • Green and yellow vegetables: A higher intake of green and yellow vegetables may be associated with decreased facial wrinkling. Why not load your plate with leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach, yellow peppers, and squash? 

  • Oranges: Oranges are high in vitamin C. As mentioned earlier, vitamin C may be linked to more youthful skin. If you aren’t a fan of oranges, try other citrus fruits, as well as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.

  • Blueberries: Often called a superfood, blueberries are packed full of vitamins and powerful antioxidants that may be beneficial for skin health. 

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are another great source of vitamin C to help boost your skin health.

What are some potential benefits of anti-aging diets?

If you eat a variety of the best anti-aging foods, it may help you experience the following benefits:

  • Better heart health: Regularly consuming whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes is a great way to improve the health of your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Reduced risk of diabetes: Research shows that eating a diet rich in anti-aging foods, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, is a great way to help reduce your risk of diabetes and improve your blood sugar control.

  • Healthy hair: Good nutrition is linked to healthier hair, while changes in the health of your hair can be a sign of vitamin deficiency.

  • Stronger nails: Following an anti-aging diet that includes almonds, pecans, peanuts, and walnuts may give you stronger nails.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Danby, F.W. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. (2010).

  2. Katta, R., Desai, S.P. Diet and dermatology: the role of dietary intervention in skin disease. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (2014).

  3. Purba, M.B., et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? J Am Coll Nutr. (2001).

  4. Purba, M.B., et al. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? J Am Coll Nutr. Ibid.

  5. Cosgrove, M.C., et al. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. (2007).

  6. Cosgrove, M.C., et al. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. Ibid.

  7. Jacobs, L., et al. A healthy diet in women is associated with less facial wrinkles in a large Dutch population-based cohort. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2019).

  8. Katta, R., Desai, S.P. Diet and dermatology: the role of dietary intervention in skin disease. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (2014).

  9. Cosgrove, M.C., et al. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. Am J Clin Nutr. Ibid.

  10. Dinu, M., et al. A Heart-Healthy Diet: Recent Insights and Practical Recommendations. Curr Cardiol Rep. (2017).

  11. Ley, S.H., et al. Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. Lancet. (2014).

  12. Goldberg, L.J., Lenzy, Y. Nutrition and hair. Clin Dermatol. (2010).

  13. Scheinfeld, N., et al. Vitamins and minerals: their role in nail health and disease. J Drugs Dermatol. (2007).

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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