The One Summer Fruit This Derm Recommends For Plump, Glowing Skin
Look, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the ticket to hydrated, supple skin is to only eat healthy, hydrating foods. It's like when celebrities tell you the secret to their smooth complexions is drinking tons of water, instead of their access to top-shelf treatments, procedures, and professionals: Sure, what you eat and drink shows up on your skin—no doubt about that—but keeping it moisturized and plump always requires multiple avenues.
That caveat being said: While diet isn't the only avenue, it's still an important one to keep in mind; a few specific foods are even well known for their complexion-changing properties. Recently, board-certified dermatologist and mbg Collective member Whitney Bowe, M.D., raved about her favorite skin-healthy fruit over TikTok—and the best part? It's practically a summertime staple.
Yes, eating watermelon is actually great for the skin, says Bowe. Here's why this juicy fruit is derm-approved.
What makes watermelon great for skin.
Watermelon not only hydrates but also provides your skin with essential amino acids and antioxidants. Here are the highlights:
- It's hydrating: "[Watermelon] is great for hydration from the inside out," says Bowe. In fact, it's arguably one of the most refreshing and hydrating fruits out there, with about 92% water per serving size. And, as we discussed, one of the ways to ensure hydrated, plump skin is to get your fill of water-dense, hydrating foods—like, say, a juicy slice of watermelon.
- It contains vitamin A: Specifically beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. If you're familiar with your skin care vocabulary, you may associate vitamin A with another beloved ingredient: "Retinoid, retinols—those are [also] vitamin A derivatives that help with skin cell turnover, so those are very healthy for the skin," says Bowe. So not only are you ingesting antioxidants that can help protect your skin cells from oxidative stress, but the vitamin A content can help those cells look more vibrant, youthful, and supple, too.
- It contains vitamin C: Another antioxidant that helps you tap into your glow, but vitamin C plays a special role in skin health: "Your skin actually requires vitamin C in order to synthesize collagen," says Bowe, which means it can help support healthy skin aging, elasticity, and smoothness.
"Eating watermelon—big thumbs-up from this dermatologist," adds Bowe. You can slice it up and eat it raw (the rind, too; don't toss it!), add it to refreshing drinks and smoothies, or—as this TikTok user demonstrates—create a watermelon "cake" dressed in berries and cream. (Hot tip: You can create your own DIY vegan whipped cream with aquafaba and vanilla extract.)
Eating hydrating, antioxidant-rich foods can support your skin health from the inside out. It's not the only to-do for moisturized, supple skin (find our full list here), but if your complexion looks drier or duller of late, a hydrating fruit plate won't hurt.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. 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. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.