I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the less worried I am about owning the most expensive handbag or wearing the smallest size jeans possible, and the more concerned I am about taking care of my skin.  Yet like most of you, I’m not all about shelling out my hard-earned money for fancy skin products that may or may not work. Thank goodness we don’t have to! There are some delicious, inexpensive vegan foods you can eat to brighten your skin that anyone can take advantage of and that are incredibly easy to find. In fact, most all of these can be found at your local supermarket or even at a farmer’s market if you’re lucky enough to have access to one.

Eating to protect your skin is incredibly important, especially during the summer months when the sun’s harsh rays can cause everything from wrinkles to skin cancer, not to mention acne and dryness. Avoid buying all those pricey products none of us really need anyway and just eat your way to beautiful skin instead. The best part is, it’s a pretty tasty job and one that will reap a lifetime of beauty, body, and brain benefits!

There’s no denying that there are many perks of eating clean plant foods, with one of the best being that they keep your skin healthy for years to come. For further effects, you’ll need to avoid inflammatory foods like sugar and allergenic foods like wheat and soy, along with most processed foods or foods high in sodium. Drink plenty of water and don’t forget to rest.  Within one week of eating the foods below and practicing these healthy habits, you’re sure to not only see brighter skin, but also likely have a brighter mood too!

  1. Cucumbers

    Cucumbers are packed with silica, a mineral that improves your skin quality and appearance in a fairly short amount of time. Silica specifically helps to prevent wrinkles by helping the body produce more collagen which keeps your skin firm and supple. Cucumbers are also packed with water and are incredibly alkaline so they help to not only brighten your skin, but also fight off acne. Juice with them, blend them into a smoothie, or add them to your next flavorful vegan salad.

  2. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed with nutrients like potassium and lycopene, which can both help to brighten your skin. They also contain a large dose of Vitamin C, which acts as a natural antioxidant that wards off wrinkles and sun damage. Eat them cooked or raw and even enjoy them on a raw pizza or in a vegan taco dish!

  3. Oatmeal

    Believe it or not, oatmeal can actually take your skin from drab to fab in just a few days. Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties and skin-softening properties that will help it look more youthful, clear, and overall more radiant. Enjoy your morning oatmeal with a bit more enjoyment, knowing your feeding your face and your body something healthy!

  4. Cocoa

    Cocoa, cacao, or just straight up dark chocolate is a great (and quite enjoyable) way to brighten your skin. Cocoa helps improve arterial flow, which as a result makes your skin look much brighter and more radiant. Cocoa’s antioxidant content is also so high, you can count this superfood as a natural weapon against wrinkles. Not sure whether to choose cocoa or cacao? Check out the differences and see which one works for you.

  5. Carrots

    Carrots give you an all-natural glow without the need for a fancy tanning lotion or day spent out in the sun. Carrots are jam-packed with Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which isn’t only a natural antioxidant, but also a weapon against acne and wrinkles. Eat a cup a day until you see glowing skin, but be warned: if you overdo it, you might notice your skin or hands turning orange so remember a little bit of carrot goes a long way! Try them in these raw vegan carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or use them in this raw carrot sushi.

  6. Red Bell Peppers

    Just one red pepper can contain over 330 percent of your daily Vitamin C content and is a great low-glycemic way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Red peppers also make any dish you add them to incredibly flavorful, like this raw soup.  Lastly, red peppers are a great source of potassium, which helps to promote healthy water balance in the body so your skin doesn’t dry out.

  7. Lemons

    Lemons are well-known for just about everything these days, but one of their best benefits is the cleansing effects they have on the skin and body. Lemons help to detoxify the liver, which as a result brightens your skin. Anytime the liver is overwhelmed, you may notice your skin breaks out more. Squeeze lemons into your water, juice with it, or squeeze lemon juice onto salads for a healthy dressing option.