What to Eat If You Want Better Skin, According to a Celebrity Chef

Welcome to our series #CartedByT30, where experts, influencers, and anyone who just really knows how to nail down a grocery list show us exactly what goes in their carts each week. Tune in to our Instagram Story on Sundays to walk down the aisles with them, and then shop out the products here. This week, celebrity nutritionist Serena Poon shares all the foods she eats to get healthy, glowing skin.

Foods for Glowing Skin


Serena Poon

Hi! My name is Serena Poon, and I'm a celebrity chef, nutritionist, and Reiki master based in Los Angeles. Today, I'm excited to show you my Sunday shopping list as I prep out for my week! I usually try to get my produce at farmers markets to support our local farmers, but since there are Whole Foods available everywhere across the U.S., I decided to get my shopping done here where you can find most of the same items near you. I have a photo shoot later this week, so today I'll be prepping out my Luminous Elixir and some healthy snacks to cleanse and get my skin glowing and camera-ready. I'm excited for you to follow along!

1. Organic Tuscan Kale

Kale is a powerhouse source of antioxidants and minerals, as well as high levels of vitamin A, B, C, and E. With the antioxidants fighting off free radicals and the vitamin C boosting collagen production, kale is a staple of mine for improving skin elasticity, increasing rejuvenating skin cell turnover and strengthening and promoting healthy hair growth. The niacinamide (vitamin B3) and vitamin A in kale are key for maintaining clear, blemish-free skin.

2. Organic Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is another great source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Since both vitamins provide powerful antioxidant protection, they help safeguard our skin against the oxidizing free radicals that impair healthy cells. Like kale, anti-inflammatory compounds in romaine block sunlight-induced inflammation in the skin, which helps to protect our skin against cancer and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

3. Organic Hot House Cucumber   

Made up of 96% water, cucumbers are a must when it comes to hydrating from the inside out! Staying hydrated helps our bodies detox and flush out skin-dulling toxins so that we can maintain that healthy, beautiful glowing skin. High in nutrients, vitamins K and C, chlorophyll, manganese and beta-carotene, cucumbers are excellent for keeping your hair healthy and skin young.

Cucumbers are also high in pathogenic acid, which helps to keep those blemishes at bay!

4. Organic Italian Parsley

Parsley is a bit of a secret weapon when it comes to skin health! Like the other ingredients in the Luminous Elixir, parsley boasts high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C, which adds to the production of collagen in the skin and promotes cell repair and reproduction. The levels of zinc found in parsley are also beneficial for controlling skin inflammation and skin regeneration, which can lead to smoother, more even-toned skin. Parsley also balances the sebum in oily skin which is a huge benefit to maintaining clear pores and reducing acne breakouts.

5. Celery

Celery is very on trend right now, but I've been using it for its many beauty benefits with my clients for years! Celery is actually 95% water, which means that it is a perfect way to deeply hydrate our skin cells from within and helps to give us an amazing glow. High in vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, celery is another powerful beauty arsenal great for regenerating, protecting, moisturizing, and strengthening the skin. Another lesser-known bonus about celery is the great source of silica it offers, which helps tighten the skin, as well as the omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential to maintaining elasticity and firmness. The psoralen in celery has also been found to help lessen the appearance of vitiligo and the anti-inflammatory properties of celery help with acne breakouts.

6. Spinach

Spinach is one of our top superfoods. It's not only rich in iron but also filled with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It contains all our essential vitamins for healthy, glowing skin such as vitamins A, B, C, and K.

Also rich in the antioxidant plant pigments known as carotenoids, spinach is excellent for enhancing the body's immune response and protecting skin cells against UV radiation. An excellent resource for vitamin K and folate, spinach can help achieve a clear complexion by minimizing acne, bruising on the skin, and dark circles.

7. Avocado

Foods for Glowing Skin: avocado



I always have organic avocados on hand in my kitchen. It's an absolute favorite fruit of mine because it's not only delicious, but it's also bursting with nutrients! Avocado is great for the skin as a food and as a topical application. The healthy fats, in particular the oleic acid and linoleic acids, provide deep moisture for the skin cells and keep sebum from the sebaceous glands balanced to prevent acne breakouts. Essential vitamins like A, B, C, and E are key nutrients in avocados that provide protection and combat UV damage to help maintain that natural glow. Use the following ingredients to make one of my favorite healthy snacks: guacamole!

For my morning lemon with warm water, I do this daily for gentle detoxing and alkalizing first thing in the morning.

9. Berries

In case I need a little bit of sweetness for my palate, I love choosing these berries for their low-sugar, high-nutrient, and antioxidant values. They're like nature's candy.

10. Nuts

Foods for Glowing Skin: nuts



I use these nuts for soaking and making nut milks for the week. I set aside some for snacks as well.