GreenSmoothieGirl Logo
Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Minutes. Add 10 Years to your life.
Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies—print this and eliminate the need for recipes! Get it now for free!

9 Green Smoothies For Clear, Younger-Looking Skin From The Inside Out


Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Mar 06, 2020 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Photo of smiling African American woman in yellow shirt from

Glowing skin isn’t only for sun-kissed beach bunnies and pregnant women. We all have the ability to shine from the inside out, regardless of age, gender, or skin tone. The key is to nourish our bodies with the right foods that support skin health so we can have that healthy glow all year long.

Read on to learn why skin issues like premature aging, eczema, psoriasis, and acne are about far more than your daily face washing routine, and how you can help clear up your skin by adding green smoothies to your daily nutrition routine. You’ll feel better on the inside, too!

In this article:

What Contributes to Skin Health

Skin health is dependent on a variety of factors. Some factors we can control, and some we have to work around.

  • Genetics: This is, of course, a factor outside of our control, but we can work with it. Genetics determine your skin type (dry, oily, etc.), predisposition to certain skin conditions, and how your skin ages. 
  • Skincare products: Sometimes the products we use to make skin look better, actually makes it look worse. There are many products that are too harsh or are saturated with chemicals, or we overuse them and damage the skin’s natural moisture barrier (which helps your skin to retain hydrating water and electrolytes). Often, a minimalist routine, like using coconut oil to remove makeup and moisturize skin, is much better.
  • Our environment: We all know that sunlight has an effect on skin, and we certainly need it to get important Vitamin D. But the sun’s rays can cause sunburn and damage DNA  if you bask in them for too long1. The temperature outside can also affect skin (extreme heat or cold), as well as how polluted the air in your environment may be. 

[Related: Sun Exposure, Sunburn Prevention, & 5 Effective Sunburn Treatments]

  • Medication: Many medications have side effects that include increased skin sensitivity, dryness, redness, etc.
  • Hormonal health: Different stages of life can naturally affect hormone balance, like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. Hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism can impact skin health, as well.  
Hormone Health Revolution Masterclass | Green Smoothie Girl
  • Lifestyle: The way we live our lives can manifest in our skin. You know this if you’ve ever gotten stress acne (related to hormones) or notice you’re looking a little pale when you haven’t been sleeping. Exercise is also a contributor, evidenced by that healthy glow after some cardio. Smoking is a major factor in skin health, creating damaging free radicals and contributing to premature wrinkles2

Because the skin is a major organ of detoxification, exposure to toxins and allergens in foods, environment, skin products, and other lifestyle-related factors will affect how your skin looks. The more your skin has to work to detoxify, the more prone it is to manifest conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and acne. 

  • Gut health: Many of the factors above can also affect gut health, like stress, sleep, hormones, and medication. Bacteria don’t just live in your gut, they live on your skin too, so eating and supplementing probiotics can have positive effects in both areas3.
  • Diet: On top of eating foods that support gut health, we also want foods that nourish skin from the inside out. There are particular foods with vitamins and minerals that specifically support skin health, as well as those that have hydrating qualities.

The Importance of Gut Health For Your Skin

The gut and your skin are all connected. In fact, our whole digestive tract is considered to be “outside” of the body. Think about it: the digestive tract is open to the outside world on both ends (mouth and anus), so it follows that the bacteria on the skin will affect the bacteria in the tract and vice versa. 

There are good and bad bacteria in our bodies, and ideally we want to lean more towards the good. These good bacteria are the probiotics that protect us from illness and infection.

Ad for PZP

The balance of bacteria in the body is affected in several ways:

  • Hygiene: How often we’re washing hands, showering, changing clothes, brushing teeth, etc. and the techniques and products we use to do so.
  • Antibacterial products: Hand sanitizers, antibacterial soaps, and other similar products affect the amount of bacteria on the body.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotic medications can have a lasting effect on the microbiome, making a slippery slope to other health problems4.

[Related: What To Do After You’ve Taken Antibiotics]

  • Environment: The cleanliness of your home, public transportation that you use, your car, your workplace, the people you interact with, exposure to toxins, etc.
  • Pets: Pets at home have a noticeable appearance in the microbiome5. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just another way your bacterial balance can be affected throughout the day.
  • Diet: This includes how well you’re cleaning your food, if you’re eating naturally antibacterial foods (like leafy green herbs, for instance), or if you’re eating fermented foods that contain probiotics.

How does this all work together? When you have a good balance of probiotics in the gut, you’re supporting the immune system, 70% of which lives in the digestive tract6. When your immune system is strong, it can produce more antibodies and anti-inflammatory molecules that protect your skin.

Skin Conditions Related to Gut Imbalance

Though gut health isn’t necessarily the only cause of the following skin conditions, studies show that the relationship between the gut and the skin is so strong, researchers are calling it the “gut-skin axis7.” Ongoing research shows that improvements in digestion can clear up skin and alleviate symptoms of:

  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne 
  • Atopic dermatitis

The Best Foods for Glowing Skin

A regular plant-based diet will naturally help give you clear up skin and get that all-day glow, but if you really want to amp up the skin-loving qualities of your meals, start incorporating these foods:

  • Healthy fats: Healthy fats are soothing and nourishing to the skin, and you can use them externally and internally! Coconut oil, for instance, is a healthy source of dietary fat and can also be used for chemical-free, clean skin care. Healthy fats to enjoy also include avocado, nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, and ghee.

            [Related: 3 Fats That Hurt, 3 Fats That Heal]

  • B Vitamins: Vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B7 all contribute to skin health. They can be found in foods like nuts and seeds, seaweed, rice, split peas, avocado, leafy greens, and broccoli.
  • Collagen-boosting foods: Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and a major component of skin, so it’s important to eat foods that support its production. The building blocks of collagen include plants like avocado, peppers, brussels sprouts, greens, berries, papaya, nuts, and seeds.
  • Skin-protective foods: Foods rich in Vitamin A, zinc, copper, and selenium help nourish skin on a cellular level. These include nuts and seeds, ginger, legumes, leafy greens, and whole grains.
  • Water: Chronic dehydration is a common culprit for aging skin. Drinking enough water hydrates tissues on the inside and out, and it also improves circulation, meaning all those great nutrients from the foods above can actually get to where they need to go.

Alkaline water is my favorite way to hydrate, boost minerals, and get other health benefits that contribute to beautiful skin.

Green Smoothies To Clear Up Your Skin

Start your day on the right foot with these green smoothies that’ll have you looking and feeling radiant before you even leave the house in the morning!

  1. Arugula Arame Attack
    (From The Green Smoothies Diet)

    If you want glowing skin on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to get seaweed in your diet where you can. It’s packed full of minerals that support digestion and hormonal balance, plus B vitamins that support the skin. Worried about the taste? The fruit in this recipe balances it out nicely. Make sure your seaweed comes from a quality source that routinely evaluates its product for contamination; Pacific seafood was largely affected after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, so be sure the brand you choose is on top of their testing.

    Ingredients:
    3 cups water/ice
    2 large handfuls arugula
    ¼ cup arame or wakame, or 1 raw nori sheet
    Spinach, added until mixture reaches 6-cup line
    2 cups pineapple, preferably frozen in chunks
    2 bananas, frozen in chunks
    2 cups frozen blueberries, blackberries, or mixed berries
    1 apple or pear
    ½ tsp stevia

    Directions:
    Blend first four ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and stevia and blend until smooth. Serve immediately for best results, or refrigerate up to 24 hours in glass jars and shake well before serving.

  2. Black Kale Blackberry Brew
    (From The Green Smoothies Diet)

    Flax is a super skin-loving addition to this smoothie. It contains omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory and help bring hormones into balance8. There’s also plenty of fiber in this smoothie to keep things moving along in your digestive tract, keeping your gut healthy and your skin clear.

    Ingredients:
    2 ¾ cups water/ice
    2 stalks celery
    5 large leaves black (lacinato) kale
    ¼ whole lemon
    2 tbsp sprouted flaxseed
    2-4 tbsp raw, organic honey
    Spinach, added until mixture reaches 6-cup line
    2 cups chopped fresh pineapple (optionally frozen)
    2 cups blackberries
    2 bananas, frozen in chunks

    Directions:
    Blend first seven ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and blend until smooth. Serve immediately for best results, or refrigerate up to 24 hours in glass jars and shake well before serving.

Photo of three green smoothies and two bowls of kale from
The kale from our Black Kale Blackberry Brew is one of the reasons this drink has so much healthy fiber.
  1. Avocado Dream Smoothie
    Avocados are highly nourishing to the skin, not just through their healthy fats, but their fiber too. You can use plain water in this recipe, but coconut water is recommended because of its high potassium and electrolyte content. Potassium maintains fluid balance in the body, keeping you well hydrated, and electrolytes help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier.

    Ingredients:
    2 cups coconut water
    4-5 handfuls spinach
    1 avocado
    Juice of 1 fresh lime

    Directions:
    Blend coconut water and spinach till smooth, then add the avocado and lime juice. Blend until very smooth.

  2. Dandy of a Smoothie
    (Adapted from The Big Book of Green Smoothies)

    Bitter flavors kick off the digestive process by stimulating gastric juices (stomach acid and bile). Dandelion greens bring the gut-healthy bitterness to this beverage. If you’re new to adding greens in your mix, add more mild-tasting spinach than dandelion at first until you get used to the flavor. This recipe also has avocado and olive oil, which are great sources of Vitamin E that protects your skin from UV damage when exposed to the sun9.

    Ingredients:
    Handful of baby spinach
    Handful of dandelion greens
    Handful of parsley
    2 bananas, frozen in chunks
    2 frozen peaches or mangoes, frozen in chunks
    1 pint blueberries
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 small avocado

    Directions:
    Blend ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately for best results, or refrigerate up to 24 hours in glass jars and shake well before serving.

  3. Pineapple Delight
    (From The Big Book of Green Smoothies)

    Don’t forget that herbs can count as leafy greens! Cilantro, in particular, supports your natural detoxification systems thanks to the compound linalool. Linalool helps your liver do its many jobs10, one of which is to filter out toxins that could affect your skin if not detoxed properly. Add to this the cucumber and lime, rich in Vitamin C to help your body produce collagen11.

    Ingredients:
    1 cucumber
    1 lime, peeled
    1/2-1 cup pineapple
    Cilantro, to taste
    1 tsp spirulina
    1 pinch cinnamon
    1 pinch sea salt
    Optional: Honey or stevia

    Directions:
    Add all ingredients except sweetener to a high-powered blender and puree until smooth. Taste, and blend in honey or stevia to your liking, if needed.
Detox Banner | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't? Green Smoothie Girl
  1. Chai Green Smoothie
    This is one even the kids will love, with the sweet chai spice mix making this green smoothie taste more like dessert! I like to use spinach in this one because it’s a more mild-tasting green, which allows the delicious spice blend to really shine through. Almond butter adds healthy fats and richness to the smoothie, along with B vitamins and Vitamin E. It also contains skin-supporting minerals like copper, which helps the formation of collagen, and zinc, which helps keep acne at bay12.

    Ingredients:
    2 cups baby spinach
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    1/4 cup almond butter
    1 banana, frozen in chunks
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

    Directions:
    Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and mix until smooth.

  2. Aloe and Apple Smoothie
    (From The Green Smoothies Diet)

    Aloe vera is packed with nutrients that boost skin glow, including Vitamins A, C, E, and antioxidants that fight free radical damage13. You most likely have used it in the past on a raw sunburn for relief, but you can have in it your smoothies, too. The gel contains soluble fiber that soothes the digestive tract. With a smooth-moving digestive system, you’re able to get all the nutrient benefits from the greens and fruit for your skin. It’s easy to grow your own aloe vera (I’ve had the same plant for 25 years!), or use a quality, hand-filleted gel.

    Ingredients:
    2 ¾ cups water/ice
    2 large spears of fresh aloe vera, cut from the plant (or ¼ cup bottled)
    4 large collard leaves
    Spinach, added until mixture reaches 6-cup line
    1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
    2 large granny smith apples
    2 bananas, frozen in chunks
    3 cups frozen blueberries
    ½ tsp stevia

    Directions:
    Blend first four ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and stevia and blend until smooth. Serve immediately for best results, or refrigerate up to 24 hours in glass jars and shake well before serving.

  3. Wheatgrass Mango Smoothie
    (From Readers’ Favorite Recipes: Volume 1)

    Wheatgrass might seem like a wellness trend, but as you’ve seen with green smoothies, there’s plenty of evidence for its benefits and reason for it to stick around! On top of being rich in Vitamins A, C, and E and antioxidants, research has found it to help regulate blood sugar. When your blood sugar is out of whack, it can cascade into lots of other problems that affect your immune system, hormones, gut health, and, of course, skin14. This recipe helps keep blood sugar stable, inflammation down, and your skin shining from within.

    Ingredients:
    ½ blender full of fresh wheatgrass
    2 ripe bananas
    1 cup frozen mangoes
    Water, enough to blend

    Directions:
    Because wheatgrass is so fibrous, I do this in two steps. First, blend the wheatgrass with some water for a few seconds, then add bananas and mangoes and a splash more water. Blend until smooth.

  4. Atomic Super Smoothie
    (From Readers’ Favorite Recipes: Volume 1)

    For the superfood lovers out there, this one’s full of them! From the gut-loving chia seeds to the highly antioxidant goji berries and cacao nibs, this blend is a delicious defense mechanism against skin inflammation. Again, you can use plain water, but water kefir (or even regular kefir) will be more beneficial, thanks to its probiotics. For the fruit, I prefer to go with a mix of berries, which help support collagen production.

    Ingredients:
    3 cups water or water kefir
    2 tbsp brewers or nutritional yeast
    2 tbsp chia seeds
    2 tbsp goji berries
    2 tbsp cacao nibs
    2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
    1 tbsp spirulina
    30 raw almonds
    ½ whole lemon, cut into small pieces
    2 heaping handfuls spinach
    3 cups different fruits (1 cup each type)
    Cinnamon, to taste

    Directions:
    Add everything to the blender and mix ’til smooth. You may need to thin the mixture out with additional water.

Photo of top-view green smoothie with chia seeds on top from
The chia seeds in our Atomic Green Smoothie contribute to the powerful superfood punch this smoothie contains!
  1. Pear and Ginger Green Smoothie
    (From Readers’ Favorite Recipes: Volume 1)

    The more ginger the better for me in my smoothies! You may want to start with one inch and then adjust to your taste level. I love it because it’s anti-inflammatory, great for digestion, increases circulation (so blood can deliver nutrients into the cells more efficiently, it’s great for the liver, and it’s high in antioxidants! Could you have a more harder-working star ingredient?

    Ingredients:
    1 lemon, half the peel removed
    2 pears
    1 cup fresh pineapple
    1 inch fresh ginger
    2 kale leaves
    1 rainbow chard leaf
    2 handfuls spinach
    Water, to blend
    Stevia, to taste

Directions:
Blend on high until smooth. Serve slightly chilled.

Bonus: More Healthy Skin Practices

Glowing skin is mainly an inside job, but there are a few other practices you can bring into your routine that can give a nice boost, like dry brushing and using infrared saunas.

Skin Brushing

Your lymphatic system is a major component of your immune system, as it helps make immune cells and white blood cells that fight off infection. Lymph is a clear fluid produced by the lymph nodes that contains cells that help your body fight off infection. The vessels through which it runs are located just under the skin, so dry brushing the skin helps the lymphatic system function properly.

You brush your hair to get the tangles out—you’re essentially doing the same with skin brushing. The lymph isn’t tangled, per se, but gently brushing your skin can get lymph flowing if it’s stagnant. This helps your body along in its natural detoxification process15, maintaining your skin’s natural glow. Plus, you’re exfoliating!

Skin brushes are typically wooden with a long handle and natural, firm bristles, and you use them on dry skin before getting in the shower or sauna. The brushing strokes should follow the motion of the valves in the lymphatic system, and your brushing will be most effective when you do it in the right order. 

I’ve got a video and free skin brushing illustrated chart you can download to get started, or a kit with my favorite skin brush and a laminated version of the chart that’ll stand up to years of use.

Photo of Green Smoothie Girl skin brush

Infrared Sauna

Infrared saunas use infrared light wavelengths that is absorbed by the surface of the skin and creates heat from the inside out, rather than using steam to heat the body like a typical sauna you may be thinking of.

Sweating in an infrared sauna helps detoxify the body, since many toxic chemicals come out best when we sweat16. This includes heavy metals and other toxic environmental substances that may impact skin if not eliminated17.

You don’t have to have a fancy gym membership or go to the spa to get some quality sauna time these days. You can purchase one for your home that can fit up to four people!

Some quality infrared saunas can get as hot as 170 degrees, but they’re not as uncomfortably hot and steamy as a typical Finnish-style sauna, so you may want to stay in longer. It’s best to only go for a few minutes at first, working your way up to 30 minutes or so. And remember, since sweating is the objective, you’re losing water. Make sure to stay hydrated before and after.

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
Photo of smiling African American woman in yellow shirt with post's title text overlaid from

Sources:

  1. McNeill, A.M., Wesner, E. “Sun Protection and Vitamin D.” The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal. The Skin Cancer Foundation. 2016. Published online May 14, 2018.
  2. Poljšak, B., Dahmane, R. “Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging.” Dermatology Research and Practice. 2012; 2012: 135206. Published online 2012 Feb 29. doi: 10.1155/2012/135206
  3. Vaughn, A.R. et al. “Skin-gut axis: The relationship between intestinal bacteria and skin health.” World Journal of Dermatology. Nov 2, 2017; 6(4): 52-58. Published online Nov 2, 2017. doi: 10.5314/wjd.v6.i4.52
  4. Fleming-Dutra, K.E. et al. “Prevalence of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions Among US Ambulatory Care Visits, 2010-2011.” JAMA. 2016;315(17):1864-1873. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4151
  5. Tun, H.M. “Exposure to household furry pets influences the gut microbiota of infants at 3–4 months following various birth scenarios.” Microbiome. 5, Article number: 40 (2017)
  6. Vighi, G. et al. “Allergy and the gastrointestinal system.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 2008 Sep; 153(Suppl 1): 3–6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x
  7. Salem, I. et al. “The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis.” Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018; 9: 1459. Published online 2018 Jul 10. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459
  8. Nadjarzadeh, A. et al. “The effect of omega-3 supplementation on androgen profile and menstrual status in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized clinical trial.” Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2013 Aug; 11(8): 665–672.
  9. Maalouf, S. et al. “Protective effect of vitamin E on ultraviolet B light-induced damage in keratinocytes.” Molecular Carcinogenesis. 2002 Jul;34(3):121-30.
  10. Altınok-Yipel F. et al. “Hepatoprotective Activity of Linalool in Rats Against Liver Injury Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2019 Apr 1:1-7. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000581.
  11. Pullar, J.M. et al. “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.” Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866. Published online 2017 Aug 12. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866
  12. Gupta, M. et al “Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review.” Dermatology Research and Practice. 2014; 2014: 709152. Published online 2014 Jul 10. doi: 10.1155/2014/709152
  13. Surjushe, A. et al. “ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW.” Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.44785
  14. Shakya, G. et al. “Hypoglycaemic role of wheatgrass and its effect on carbohydrate metabolic enzymes in type II diabetic rats.” Toxicology and Industrial Health. 2016 Jun;32(6):1026-32. doi: 10.1177/0748233714545202. Epub 2014 Aug 12.
  15. Gilbère, G. “Support the Lymphatic System.” American Holistic Health Association. 
  16. Genuis, SJ. et al. “Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements.” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2011 Aug;61(2):344-57. doi: 10.1007/s00244-010-9611-5. Epub 2010 Nov 6.
  17. Sears, M.E. et al. “Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Sweat: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012;2012:184745. doi:10.1155/2012/184745
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Detox, Green Smoothies, Holistic Care

No comments found, but you can be our first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *