What A Dermatologist Eats For Breakfast For Plump, Healthy Skin
Another day, another TikTok beauty trend users deem "brand-new" when it really represents a basic skin health principle. This one involves starting your morning with a "skin care breakfast," or a nutrient-rich meal that nourishes your complexion from the inside out. If this sounds familiar, that's because plenty of folks (us included) have been championing skin foods for years.
I don't mean to give sass. When compared to other more questionable TikTok fads (such as skipping sunscreen), this is a "trend" I can definitely get behind! Board-certified dermatologist Geeta Yadav, M.D., founder of FACET Dermatology, would also consider herself a fan—below, she shares her go-to staples for a well-rounded, skin-plumping breakfast.
What a derm recommends for your "skin care breakfast"
First things first: ample hydration. "I'd recommend always starting your day with a glass of water with lemon, ideally warm or room temperature, as full-body hydration promotes healthier skin," Yadav notes. The lemon also delivers vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production (but more on that below).
Here, find two delicious breakfast options, depending on your morning cravings.
"It gets a lot of flak, but there's nothing wrong with avocado toast, especially when you're using whole-grain toast," Yadav explains. Avocados are rich in fatty acids, namely oleic acid1, which help moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier. They also feature vitamin E, which helps protect your skin from free radicals.
"If you're someone who enjoys fish first thing in the morning (not all people do!), eating fatty fish like salmon, which you can always eat smoked, promotes skin density and moisturization, as well as combating inflammation due to its high levels of omega-3s," Yadav explains. So feel free to top your toast with some smoked wild salmon.
Fancy a sweeter morning meal? Yadav loves a berry smoothie with leafy greens (you can even add avocado for more creaminess!). Berries "feature antioxidants, vitamins like A and K, and a compound called anthocyanin, which can support collagen production," she notes. They also boast vitamin C, which helps promote fibroblast production2, tend to damaged collagen DNA, and regulate collagen synthesis3, or the pathway in which collagen is made.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can even toss a scoop of collagen powder into your smoothie blend. Hydrolyzed collagen supplements have been shown to help promote the body's natural production of collagen4 and other molecules that make up the skin, like elastin and fibrillin. As a result, research shows that these collagen peptides are able to support skin elasticity and dermal collagen density5. Feel free to browse our favorite collagen powders here, all of which come recommended by a nutrition Ph.D.
If smoothies just aren't your jam, Yadav also enjoys chia pudding. "This is an amazing option for people who often skip breakfast as it's easy to prepare overnight," she explains. "Just mix chia seeds with your milk of choice (soy is nice, as its isoflavones can help prevent the deterioration of collagen), and a bit of a sweetener, like maple syrup and honey. The chia seeds will plump up overnight, creating a rich pudding that can be topped with berries and nuts." (Pro tip: Collagen powder mixes well in chia pudding, too!)
To create a "skin care breakfast," simply prioritize fatty-acid- and antioxidant-rich foods that plump the skin from the inside out. Yadav personally prefers avocado toast (topped with wild salmon or nuts and seeds), berry-based smoothies, or creamy chia pudding for her morning meal. But there are plenty more skin-healthy foods where these came from—feel free to choose your own favorites to chef up.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty 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 more. 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 Brooklyn, New York.