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Have Oily Skin? Eat These 8 Foods

January 14, 2021

Have Oily Skin? Eat These 8 Foods

Are you constantly reaching for blotting papers, and do you feel like you’ve tried every mattifying makeup and skincare product under the sun? 

Those of us with oily skin know just how challenging it can be to keep excess oils at bay. While the dewy look is in, there’s a fine line between a fresh, glowing complexion and skin that’s just oily. Plus, an overproduction of oil in the skin can lead to a whole new set of issues, such as clogged pores and acne.

While products and treatments certainly help, nothing can replace the role of a healthy diet when it comes to your skin. Research has shown that there is in fact a connection between the foods we eat and the health of our skin. There are particular foods that offer oil-balancing benefits.

If you’re looking for ways to modify your diet to keep your skin in check, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about 8 foods that can help to keep your oily skin under control:


Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are high in vitamin C, which offers incredible benefits for the skin.

Consuming vitamin C can increase the effectiveness of sunscreen, decrease cell damage, and even reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also plays a key role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis and can repair and prevent dry skin.

Now, you might be thinking, “How do oranges help with oily skin?” Oftentimes, our skin produces excess oil in response to a lack of moisture, which is the opposite of what we might think. Consuming enough vitamin C in your diet can help to keep your skin moisturized, which in turn, can keep it from overcompensating and producing more oil.

Whole Grains

Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice are associated with various health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. They’re a much better option than refined grains, which have been linked to inflammation and even obesity. 

In addition to being rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, whole grains have high fiber content, which is key to healthy digestion. Research shows that there’s a connection between gut problems and skin health, and poor digestion can lead to imbalances in the skin and even skin disorders. So, if you’re someone with oily skin, eating whole grains can be an excellent way to ensure you’re consuming enough fiber to keep your gut healthy. 

Pumpkin Seeds

In addition to being a delicious snack, pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, offer a variety of health benefits—especially for the skin. 

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of the minerals manganese and zinc. Manganese is needed in the production of proline, an amino acid that is essential for collagen formation. Zinc, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to fight acne, which is often caused by excess oil production in the skin. 

These powerful seeds are also high in antioxidants, which protect cells from harmful free radicals that can accelerate the aging process. They’ve even been linked to improved sleep and helping to keep blood sugars stable, which are both essential for healthy skin.

Bone Broth

There’s been quite a bit of buzz around bone broth recently—and for a good reason! Bone broth is packed with anti-aging nutrients, collagen being the star of the show. Collagen is a structural protein that promotes strong skin and protects against signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. 

Bone broth also contains glycine, an amino acid that helps to detoxify the body and aids in the production of glutathione. This antioxidant protects cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, it’s rich in minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. 

Essentially, bone broth helps to keep your skin hydrated and balanced, which may keep your skin from producing excess oil.


Broccoli is packed with skin-loving vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc. It also contains lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that protects the skin from oxidative damage which causes dry, wrinkled skin. 

Additionally, this powerful vegetable contains sulforaphane. This sulfur-rich compound protects skin against sun damage—a key culprit in premature aging. Sulforaphane has even been shown to help maintain collagen levels in the skin, keeping it firm and plump.

Next time you’re in the vegetable aisle, consider stocking up on broccoli. No matter your skin type, you can reap the benefits of this nutritious green. 


A seed from the legume family, lentils are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They’re full of magnesium, potassium, zinc, folate, and B vitamins. Lentils are also an excellent source of protein and fiber. 

Lentils help to keep blood sugars stable by slowing digestion and the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This means you won’t experience a drastic spike in blood sugar levels. 

Maintaining stable blood sugar not only helps you to feel your best, but it also plays a role in keeping your skin in good health. Studies show that blood sugar spikes cause the body to release a hormone called insulin. This process can trigger sebaceous glands to produce more oil and even lead to acne.


Salmon is a well-known source of omega-3s. These fatty acids are known to protect skin against sun damage and reduce inflammation. They also improve skin barrier function by sealing in moisture. Salmon also contains astaxanthin, an antioxidant known to prevent skin damage and aging. 

While salmon is a fantastic food for those with dry skin, it shouldn’t be overlooked by those with oily skin. A common misconception among those with oily skin is that they don’t need extra moisture, when in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Nourishing your body with foods that help to keep your skin moisturized, like salmon, can help to keep your skin in balance and cut back on excess oiliness. 

Coconut Water

Staying hydrated is key to healthy skin, and if you’re looking for something to sip on other than plain water, look no further than coconut water.

Coconut water is a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. It also has antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This sweet, nutty drink is also a great source of hydration, as it contains electrolytes that can help to restore and maintain proper fluid balance in the body. 

Other Ways to Combat Oily Skin

Some people are more genetically prone to having oily skin, while others may suffer from it seasonally, such as during the warm summer months. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when dealing with oily skin:

  • Don't over-cleanse: Those with oily skin are often tempted to wash their face more frequently. However, this may lead to the skin producing even more oil. Aim to wash your face twice a day—morning and night. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser that is free of any harsh or drying ingredients, as this can make the problem worse. 
  • Exfoliate 1-3x per week: Exfoliation is important for all skin types, especially those with oily skin. Proper exfoliation removes dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to acne. It also creates a smooth, clean canvas so your skin can fully absorb the products applied afterwards. 
  • Apply moisturizer daily: Despite what you might think, keeping your skin moisturized is critical if you have oily skin. This will keep your skin balanced and lessen the need for it to overcompensate with excess oil. There are plenty of moisturizers to choose from, and some are formulated specifically for those with oily skin types. 
  • Don’t sleep in your makeup: Sleeping in makeup repeatedly is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. If you don’t cleanse your face, this increases the chance of clogged pores, breakouts, irritation, and even premature aging. It can also throw off your skin’s balance and cause it to become overly dry or oily. No matter how tired you are, always take a few moments to remove your makeup and cleanse your skin before going to bed. Your skin will thank you!
  • Avoid touching your face throughout the day: If you’re looking to control oily skin, do your best to not touch your face during the day. Doing so can spread oil, dirt, and bacteria from your hands to your face, which can result in clogged pores and acne.

Dealing with oily skin might seem like an uphill battle, but there are ways to keep it under control. By maintaining a healthy diet and following a skincare routine that works for you, you can keep your complexion balanced, radiant, and glowing.