Eat Your Way to Healthy Skin


The power of nutrition to transform skin from within cannot be overestimated, says Janine Tait, founder of Bestow Beauty. Here, she explains why it is important for therapists and their clients to become educated in the holistic approach to treating problem skin.

When you run into a problem with your skin, what is the first thing you do?

Most women instinctively look for a new skincare product or treatment. While of course, the right topical skincare strategy is essential, it is still only half of the story.

A holistic approach to skincare is about considering the whole person and viewing skin as a reflection of your life. It is all about identifying and addressing underlying nutritional and lifestyle factors which are contributing to skin problems, and wreaking havoc on how the body feels. Quick-fix methods can often make temporary improvements, but from my experience, genuine skin transformation is only possible when you work from within.

Our skin needs a wide range of nutrients in order to thrive, heal and resist premature ageing. Dull, lifeless, inflamed or spotty skin are indications that your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs for optimal health, or that poor diet is actively working against a clear complexion.

As holistic skincare therapists, we need to tackle skin nutrition by following two paths. Firstly, we need to nourish the skin from within with the essential nutrients required for skin health. Secondly, we need to remove the food and drinks which inflame and aggravate skin. ‘Heating’ foods are a particular food group that must be addressed when working with those who struggle with inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis or overall redness and sensitivity.

Avoid Foods that Heat the Skin

There are certain foods that can heat and inflame the skin from within, often causing flare ups of rosacea or breakouts. Common ‘heating’ culprits are caffeine, alcohol, and spicy food, but even strawberries and oranges can have an inflaming effect. Other major foods to avoid are chocolate, peanuts and curry. These foods are called vasodilators – ‘vaso’ referring to the blood and, and ‘dilating’ meaning to expand. They sensitise skin by increasing blood flow through the fine capillary system that feeds the skin cells. Obviously, this will exacerbate sensitive skin and cause it to immediately react.

  • Coffee

  • Alcohol

  • Chocolate

  • Peanuts

  • Chilli

  • Paprika

  • Curry

  • Oranges

  • Strawberries


The Bestow way of eating avoids all heating foods and uses healthy alternatives instead to nourish and support beautiful skin. If you want to overcome skin problems like acne, rosacea, dermatitis or congested skin, in addition to avoiding the above foods, you should also be looking for skin-friendly alternatives to reduce ‘flare ups’. Drinks such as herbal teas, dandelion or turmeric lattes are great alternatives to coffee.

Raw nuts such as almonds or Brazil nuts are an excellent replacement for salted peanuts, and less ‘spicy’ spices like cinnamon and ginger are great substitutes for chilli. Unlike other ‘heating’ citrus fruits (such as orange), lemons boost digestion and provide plentiful amounts of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that is vital for the production of collagen.

Bestow Beauty’s range of organic superfood powders, oils, herbal teas and recipe cookbooks are perfect for overcoming several skin problems. Each delicious, skin-friendly Bestow recipe avoids heating and congesting foods, and opts for soothing alternatives instead, focusing not on what you can’t eat, but what you CAN eat.

Like all wellness journeys, learning to work holistically requires change, patience and dedication in the beginning, but it is truly a beautiful way to live.

  • Herbal teas (without orange peel)

  • Dandelion or turmeric lattes

  • Kombucha

  • Medjool dates

  • Figs

  • Tahini

  • Almond paste

  • Raw unsalted nuts (almonds or Brazil nuts)

  • Fresh herbs and less 'spicy' spices (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds)

  • Dark grape juice

  • Lemon juice

Janine Tait is New Zealand’s leading dermo-nutritionist and founder of Bestow Beauty, which offers a beautiful range or organic super-food blends, recipes and rituals to nourish skin from within. She is also a respected leader within the Slow Beauty movement which champions a holistic approach to skincare.

For more information on Bestow Beauty call, 1800 625 387 or visit