4 Recipes for Better Skin

The “you are what you eat” adage wholly applies to your skin. “If you want clear skin and a healthy glow, concentrate on what you're putting into your body,” international nutrition and wellness expert Jessica Sepel says. “Think about it-skin is your body's largest organ, and what you put into it is going to have an impact.” You probably already know what to avoid in order to achieve a glowing complexion-sugar, alcohol, and processed foods-but there's a slew of good skin foods that are worth incorporating into your diet. The issue, then, is how do you turn the long list of fruits, veggies, fats, proteins, and more into a meal you actually want to eat? With a background in health science and nutritional medicine, and a book dedicated to the topic of healthy eating and its positive effects, Sepel knows how it's done. Here are her favorite better skin recipes.

Glorious Green Smoothie

Jessica Sepel

“Be sure to load up on brassica veggies,” Sepel says. “These help to cleanse the liver, which can lead to clearer skin.” Simply blend all of the ingredients together, and enjoy this ultimate green smoothie.


2 stalks of kale (leaves only)

1 cup coconut water

1 cup spinach

1/2 green apple

1/2 banana

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 handful fresh mint leaves

1 handful ice cubes

Detox Salad

According to Sepel your skin needs plenty of good fats too. “Essential fatty acids are crucial for healthy, glowing skin. They also balance hormones and reduce inflammation.” Incorporate virgin organic coconut oil, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, walnuts, chia seeds, and oily fish into your meals. This detox salad is the perfect mix of veggies and healthy fats. Just add a portion of your favorite lean protein-the amino acids build and repair skin cells-and dig in.

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 red cabbage, shredded

1/4 white cabbage, shredded

1 carrot, grated

1 cup steamed broccoli

1/2 cup spinach leaves or rocket leaves

4 walnuts

1/4 cup fresh spring onions, chopped

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup fennel, sliced

1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons mixed raw seeds

1/2 pear (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

1 teaspoon turmeric

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon tahini

1 teaspoon raw honey

Himalayan salt and ground pepper, to taste

Skin Glow Balls

“By increasing your intake of enzyme-, mineral-, antioxidant-, and nutrient-rich foods, you will get that radiant glow-from-within look we're all craving,” Sepel says. These sweet snacks are gluten-free, dairy-free, and loaded with skin-benefiting ingredients. Whip them up in a high-power blender or food processor, and keep them covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.


1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1-2 tablespoons cacao

2 tablespoons nut butter

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons stevia or raw honey

1 pinch of sea salt

1 squeeze of lemon juice

1/4 cup water, added slowly until the mixture is smooth and sticky, but not wet

Cinnamon, Banana, and Walnut Smoothie

Sepel recommends eating your way through a rainbow of fresh, whole foods. “Think low glycemic index foods like berries, whole grains, beans, eggs, nuts, and seeds.” Just toss all of the ingredients into a blender and sip this smoothie for breakfast, as a snack, or a healthy treat.


1 serving pea or rice protein powder

2 tablespoons raw walnuts

1/2 ripe frozen banana

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon stevia or maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 squeeze of lemon juice

1 cup almond milk

1 cup ice cubes

Aloe Vera Juice

This one isn't exactly a recipe, but it's worth noting that staying hydrated is essential for maintaining great skin. Sepel says herbal teas count, but lately, she's been quenching her thirst with aloe vera juice. “Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera has soothing and healing effects on the skin and gut. It also stimulates the growth of new cells, helping the skin to heal quickly.” The bottom line is what you put onto your skin is not as important as what you put into your body. If you eat clean and drink plenty of water, you'll see the difference in your complexion.