Whole Foods and Your Skin continued...
"Taking just one nutrient alone will not give you good skin -- you have to have a balance, which is not only essential to the health of your skin, but it prevents an imbalance from occurring -- and an imbalance is what contributes to inflammation," says Linker.
McDermott tells WebMD the need for whole foods may go even deeper than that.
"There are over 1,300 phytochemicals - beta-carotene, for example, is only one of 500 carotenoids -- and the more we find out the more we realize how much we need all the components working together," she says. Whole foods, notes McDermott, "provide the entire consort of micronutrients and phytochemicals needed by the skin for optimum performance," one reason she says variety is the key.
Heller agrees: "There are things you can get from fruits that you can't get from vegetables, and vice versa -- so it's important to vary your diet as much as you can."
When it comes to washing down all those great whole foods, nothing may be quite as beneficial for skin as water. While recent research questioned the need for the traditional eight glasses a day, when it comes to skin health, experts say hydration is still key.
"Bare minimum, the skin needs between 32 and 64 ounces a day of water or other liquid such as herb tea or juice, in order to have proper hydration and help prevent dryness," says Linker.
Heller goes even farther, sticking by the latest Institute of Medicine recommendation that women consume almost 91 ounces of water daily (from food and beverages) and men about 125 ounces.
"One of the tests to see if someone is mildly dehydrated is to pinch the skin on back of hand -- if it doesn't pop back quickly, it can be a sign of dehydration -- which tells you that your level of hydration is directly reflected in your skin," says Heller.