New research confirms what holistic dermatologists have told their patients for years: A high-glycemic diet, heavy on refined sugars and white flour, could be a major player in skin problems such as acne. It makes sense then that science also continues to affirm beauty from within, the idea that consuming the right nutrients (along with applying natural skin care products) can improve your appearance. “Dermatologists are looking more and more toward the right foods and supplements as a vehicle to healthy skin,” says Farah Ahmed, vice president and associate general counsel for the Personal Care Products Council, a national trade association for the cosmetics industry.

Many key beauty nutrients are food based: think free radical–fighting carotenoids found in dark leafy greens and moisturizing omegas abundant in salmon. So why choose a pill? Rising stars like collagen and omega-7s aren’t readily available in your refrigerator. Plus, “research shows a specific ingredient is going to have better results when combining oral and topical therapies to maintain skin health,” says Chris Fields, vice president of scientific affairs for Applied Food Sciences. Some companies already offer both topical products and dietary supplements formulated to work better together.

Here’s the inside scoop on six beauty-boosting ingestibles and some of their topical companions.