“What we put in our bodies is as central to our beauty as what we put on our bodies. And, conversely, the products we use topically contribute to our inner health. This 360-degree approach [to beauty] means that we consider our food choices as much as we consider our skincare.”

— Kerrilynn Pamer & Cindy DiPrima Morisse

In early 2015, I was introduced to functional foods. Beauty foods, as I fondly call them. Many of which are now at the foundation of my skincare routine. After incorporating them into my diet, I find myself with clearer skin, more lustrous hair, and stronger nails. That’s in addition to major boosts in my self-esteem. With each bite and sip, these morsels enhance from a cellular level, and it’s time I share the wealth.

I’ve enlisted the help of a few wellness gurus to share their beauty food must-haves and spread the word on how to eat one’s self to clearer skin! Everything listed can be found at local bodegas and grocery stores, or via a few clicks on a keyboard. Take note and, begin within.

1. James Francis Kelley

Me! 😊

  • Tocotrienols – “I need tocos! It’s packed with Vitamin E, so it’s great for creating plump and nourished skin. And, it tastes so good, maybe too good… it’s hard not to over indulge. Perfect as a matcha creamer, or as seasoning for popcorn.”

  • Ashwagandha – “Another adaptogen that I can’t imagine living without. It’s a fabulous antioxidant and stress reducer. Add a pinch or two into a meal every day, and feel yourself level up over time.”

  • He Shou Wu – “I am in the midst of combating male pattern baldness, and he shou wu is my warrior on the inside. The herb has historically helped many men and women’s hair go from grey to colorful, and has been used in various cultures to aide in hair growth for centuries.”

  • Matcha – “Matcha is also a favorite of Olshan, Spiegle, and myself. If you haven’t made the switch to the jitter-free caffeine boost, run, don’t walk! Cha Cha Matcha has bottled it into the prettiest packaging. It’s a perfect way to beautify any fridge.”

2. Kerrilynn Pamer

Co-Founder and CEO of CAP Beauty

  • Coconut Butter – “Immune supporting, metabolism boosting, full of healthy fats and purely delicious. We love to spread it on toast and fruits or add to smoothies and lattes.”

  • Genmaicha – “A grounding green tea with toasted rice. It’s packed with antioxidants and is a clean source for energy. It is brilliant iced on a summer afternoon and perfectly cozy and awakening as a morning hot beverage.”

  • Matcha – “Our go-to at CAP Beauty. It’s revitalizing for the skin and the mind. Matcha is a bright and earthy Japanese green tea powder that was first consumed in Japan in the 12th century by Buddhist Monks. It promotes a calm, steady focus and energy. We like it as a soothing morning latte, mixed midday into our favorite face mask (to reduce inflammation and even skin tone), and as a summertime afternoon pick-me-up blended with chilled coconut water. Matcha packs a powerful punch of vitamin C and antioxidants.”

3. Katie Olson

Brand Consultant to Mission-Driven Businesses in Beauty, Wellness, and Functional Food Spaces

  • Cacao Golde by Golde – “Trinity, the founder [of Golde], has done a perfect job creating a product line that is beautiful, delicious, and effective. I love all of her products but this is my go-to heading into the colder seasons.”

  • Oatstraw – “It’s incredible. It’s super high in B complex vitamins and natural nootropics*, so [it] gives you a calming energy. Also, [it’s] really high in minerals and fiber”

  • NerveLess Tea by SuperNaturals – It uses lavender, ashwagandha, skullcap, and oatstraw.

  • Nettle

  • Lavender

*Olson says that nootropics help improve cognitive functions such as memory, creativeness, and motivation

4. Claire Olshan

Founder of Dada Daily and Five Story New York

  • Brussels Sprouts – “High in nutrients, protein and fiber and are a powerful antioxidant.” [As found in Dada Daily’s Crispy Almond Brussels Sprouts]

  • Schisandra – “[It] reduces stress, and is an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory.” [As found in Dada Daily’s Assorted Truffle Box]

5. Amity Spiegel

Aesthetician at CAP Beauty

  • The Light Ray – “CAP’s new collaboration with Wooden Spoon Herbals. It’s a jammy, delicious tincture that’s got gotu kola, hibiscus, rose hip, schisandra, and nettles. [It] will leave you dewy, plump, and radiant!”

6. Angela Shore

Founder and CEO of Jiva-Apoha

  • “My kind of beauty is fennel, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and lemons every day. I only drink oat, almond, and coconut milk with shakes and warm beverages. Simple choices.”

  • Hawaiian Salt – “It’s loaded with antioxidants.”

7. Cara Peloso

Aesthetician at Onda Beauty

  • Mushrooms – “I’m happy mushrooms are having their day. They are so beneficial in so many ways, and can be enjoyed in so many ways: in meals or in supplements.”

  • Seaweed – “Dried seaweed is so delicious. [It has] lots of minerals and micronutrients!”

8. Erin Starkweather

Creative Consultant; Former PR Manager and Content Editor at CAP Beauty

  • Grown Morning Adaptogen – “It’s so convenient! A lot of adaptogens come in powder form, but this is a tincture that tastes so good, I can easily just put a few drops into a glass of water. Or, even right under my tongue!”

  • Activist Manuka Honey – “Their packaging is insanely beautiful, and it’s a true beauty food considering its antimicrobial properties work wonder when taken internally or externally, when used as a face mask.”

9. Jennifer Hare

Pilates Teacher

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – “I always drench my salads in ACV. [It] helps stimulate stomach acid and aids digestion, keeping my tummy happy and my skin clear.”

  • Raw Sugar Free Chocolate – “I love eating raw chocolate every day to boost my mood and feel indulgent. I don’t do sugar, and chocolate is usually easy to find or whip up without it. I love Addictive Wellness Chocolates because they’re delicious and spiked with amazing adaptogenic herbs.”

  • Pink Himalayan Salt – “I add it to my water in the morning to help hydration with plentiful minerals!”

What are your favorite beauty foods? Share in the comments below!


James Francis Kelley is a writer and stylist based in Los Angeles. While he has many interests, he’s most passionate about creating an eco-conscience culture and preparing for a globalized future. If he’s not working, he can be found on Duolingo, biking to electronica music, or browsing Mr. Porter. Find his work on his website, and his musings on Instagram.