A Derm Explains The One Underrated Fruit That's A+ For Smooth, Supple Skin

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.

The food you eat affects your skin, full stop. Just as high-glycemic culprits can lead to oily, congested pores, scarfing down antioxidant-rich, hydrating foods can enhance a smooth, supple complexion. Perhaps you're familiar with some of the usual players—wild salmon, collagen, and the like—but board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr, M.D., introduces us to a few new favorites to toss into the grocery cart. One of which, turns out, is stellar for firm, hydrated skin. 

"Pomegranate juice is a big one," she explains on the mindbodygreen podcast

What makes pomegranate juice so great for skin?

"Big antioxidants for skin health are vitamin C and E," says Barr. Perhaps that's why you pat on a vitamin C serum on the daily or look for vitamin E in your cleansing oil—both these antioxidants can support collagen production, manage photodamage, and keep the skin from losing moisture. But in case you didn't know: Ingesting these antioxidants can support your body's natural levels as well, which can help disarm free radicals and offer those same benefits from the inside out. It's important to get your fill of vitamin C in particular, as your body can't make its own or effectively store it. Perhaps that's why higher vitamin C intake is associated with less wrinkled skin.

Here's where pomegranates play a role: "There are great studies that show pomegranate is among the highest content of vitamin C," says Bar. The tart fruit also has some impressive antibacterial properties, which speaks to why it's been used medicinally for centuries. Neuroscientist and nutritionist Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., even previously told us that pomegranate contains nearly the same amount of antioxidant polyphenols as red wine. Needless to say, those tiny seeds pack quite the punch. 

But don't scoop out the seeds just yet! You should know that it's pomegranate juice in particular that receives most of the skin-healthy hype. Specifically, one study found that mice given a pomegranate juice concentrated powder had reduced UV damage on the skin, as well as increased collagen and hydration levels. "It wasn't just the seeds or flesh; it was literally the entire fruit, and the only way to do that is through a prepared juice," says Barr. That's not to say pomegranate juice alone will give you glowing, supple skin, but it certainly doesn't hurt to add the vitamin-C-rich sip to the menu.  


The takeaway.

Skin-healthy foods are a great way to elevate your skin care routine from the inside out. As we've mentioned before, topicals are important (that vitamin C serum still stands!), but supporting your body's internal processes is just as key. While there are plenty of other antioxidant-rich foods to add to your plate, consider pomegranate juice another star for your skin.

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