Raspberries' Role In Skin Health

  • Fouzia Shami Masters of Pharmacy - MPharm, Liverpool John Moores University


Raspberries are small, vibrant berries that come in a range of colours, including black, purple, and golden, with red raspberries being the most common and popular variety. Red raspberries, native to Europe and northern Asia, are cultivated in mild climates and regions worldwide.

Known for their sweet and slightly tart flavour, raspberries also boast exceptional nutritional value. They are rich in essential nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamins such as vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants.

This nutrient profile contributes to various health benefits, potentially supporting skin health by aiding in collagen production and possessing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

In summary, raspberries are a flavourful and versatile addition to a balanced diet, offering both taste and nutritional advantages.1

Nutritional values of raspberries

Raspberries have very low calories, yet are a nutritionally dense fruit that offers a range of micronutrients to a healthy lifestyle when added to a balanced diet.

Here is a summary of the nutritional values in 100 grams of raspberries:2,3

  • 52 calories
  • 1.2 grams of protein
  • 0.65 grams of fat
  • 11.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 6.5 grams of dietary fibre
  • 4.42 grams of sugar
  • 25 milligrams of calcium (3.5% RDA)
  • 0.69 milligrams of iron (8.6% RDA men, 5% RDA women)
  • 22 milligrams of magnesium (7.3% RDA men, 8.1% RDA women)
  • 29 milligrams of phosphorus (5.2% RDA)
  • 151 milligrams of potassium (4.3% RDA)
  • 26.2 milligrams of vitamin C (65.5% RDA)

Raspberries are also rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, including anthocyanins and quercetin. These compounds are linked to potential health benefits, including protecting cells from oxidative stress caused due to free radicals. This benefit has been shown to have long-term effects on anti-aging and reducing inflammation.

Benefits of raspberries for skin health

Raspberries can play a significant role in promoting skin health, thanks to their rich nutritional content and potent antioxidants, which contribute to collagen production and protection of the skin from oxidative stress. Vitamin C, in particular, is crucial for collagen production, a protein synthesised by the body that is essential for maintaining elasticity and firmness, which helps the skin look youthful. To reduce oxidative stress, antioxidants help fight free radicals, which results in the reduction of premature ageing and supporting a radiant complexion.

Properties of vitamin C

Collagen, a protein within the body, gives structure to the skin. Wrinkles form on the skin over time as collagen production slows down. As people age, the middle layer of skin (dermis layer) begins to thin over time. Ageing skin will have a reduced ability to retain moisture, lower efficiency in oil secretion, and slower healing time, all of which are factors that contribute to the development of wrinkles. This process can be exacerbated by smoking, sun damage, pollution, and generally not taking care of skin.4

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been shown to have strong anti-wrinkle effects due to its ability to directly increase collagen production. Apart from increasing collagen production, vitamin C also leads to smoother skin, reduces skin roughness, and is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation or uneven skin tone.5 Furthermore, vitamin C can increase the effectiveness of topical sunscreen by decreasing UV damage via its strong antioxidant properties.6

Topical application of vitamin C may result in greater protection against sun damage than consumption, thanks to its direct route of administration. A study shows that the topical application of ascorbic acid delayed the effects of chronic high-dose UV exposure to the skin, leading to a reduction in skin wrinkling and the development of skin tumours.7

Consuming a higher intake of dietary vitamin C has also been correlated with a lower risk of trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). This suggests a reduced risk of developing dry skin and/or dry skin conditions.8 This could potentially help reduce symptoms of skin conditions that present as dry and itchy, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Antioxidant protection

Raspberries contain a wide range of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and quercetins, which have been shown to decrease inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a result of having a build-up of unstable molecules called free radicals damaging cells within the body, and antioxidants help neutralise free radicals to prevent such damage. Oxidative stress can impact the entire body and may lead to a range of health conditions, such as autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.9

In the skin, a study has shown that raspberry extract shows promise as a reagent in preventing sun damage, reducing the effects of chronic inflammatory skin diseases, and lowering the risk of skin cancer. This is mainly due to the antioxidant’s role in regulating enzymes that can cause inflammation in the body.10,11 Consequently, Raspberries may also aid in the reduction of swelling associated with common skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Incorporating raspberries Into skincare

To take advantage of the benefits of raspberries, individuals can either consume them or look for skincare products for topical application. Both consumption and topical application offer  advantages and should be combined  with other foods/products to maximise effectiveness.

Dietary Consumption

There are many ways to incorporate raspberries into the diet to benefit from their skin-boosting compounds. Here are some suggestions on how to enjoy raspberries in easy, everyday dishes:

1. Fresh Snacking – Enjoy raspberries as a fresh and convenient snack. Their sweet and tart flavour makes them a satisfying alternative to less healthy snack options. Try stuffing raspberries with dark chocolate chips for a sweet treat.

2.  Smoothies – Add a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries to your morning smoothies or smoothie bowls. Try blending with other frozen fruit for a natural and healthier version of ice cream.

3. Yoghurt Parfaits – Create a healthy and visually appealing yoghurt parfait by layering Greek yoghurt, raspberries, and granola. This combination offers a mix of probiotics, protein, and skin-loving nutrients.

4. Salads – Toss raspberries into salads for a burst of colour, flavour, and nutritional benefits. They pair well with both green salads and fruit salads. You can also try making a raspberry vinaigrette for a fresh new flavour.

5. Homemade Jams and Sauces – Make your own raspberry jam to spread on whole-grain toast or use as a dessert topping for desserts like cheesecake. This allows you to control the ingredients and avoid added sugars often found in commercial products.

6. Desserts and Baked goods – Incorporate raspberries into desserts like cakes, muffins, or tarts. Their natural sweetness can help reduce the need for added sugars in recipes.

7. Infused Water – Enhance your hydration by infusing water with raspberries. This adds a subtle fruity flavour to your water and encourages increased water intake, which is beneficial for overall skin health.

Topical application

Skincare can be expensive, and many people opt for DIY alternatives to take advantage of the benefits of raspberries, such as making face masks or scrubs. Mash a few raspberries into a paste and mix with yoghurt or honey to create a DIY face mask. Apply this mixture to your face for a refreshing and hydrating skincare treatment.

There is a growing trend towards clean and natural skincare. With their rich antioxidant content and vitamins, raspberries fit well into formulations that prioritise natural ingredients, and many brands market their products by mentioning the addition of raspberry extract or raspberry seed oil.

Precautions and considerations

Raspberries are generally safe to eat daily, but there are some situations where precautions must  be taken into consideration:

1. Allergies – Some individuals might suffer from serious allergic reactions to raspberries, potentially due to oral allergy syndrome. Symptoms can range from itching, burning, tightness in the throat, to swelling of the face, lips, or throat. In rarer cases, individuals can suffer more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis.12

2. Digestive Sensitivity – Raspberries have a high fibre content, and some individuals may be sensitive to this, leading to digestive discomfort. It is highly recommended to introduce raspberries gradually into your diet to assess your tolerance.13

3. Oral Health – Raspberries contain natural sugars, and frequent consumption may lead to dental issues.

4. Drug Interactions – It is not uncommon to find foods that interact with medication, and raspberries, like many fruits, contain compounds that could potentially interact with certain medicines. This can include increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of the medicine being taken.

5. Pregnancy – Red raspberries are popular as they can regulate uterine contractions and facilitate labour and safe delivery. However, excessive consumption has shown a trend in women experiencing premature labour. Raspberry leaf tea consumption is also popular among pregnant women as it can help manage morning sickness, but more research is needed to prove its safety and efficacy.

Although these points are very specific to certain situations, and while raspberries are nutritious, consuming them in moderation is key. Excessive consumption of any food, even healthy foods, can lead to digestive issues or a possible imbalance in nutrient intake. Always consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific health concerns, especially if you have allergies, existing health conditions, are taking medication, or are pregnant/breastfeeding.


Raspberries are rich sources of antioxidants and other beneficial micronutrients, such as vitamin C and magnesium, which can help support overall health. The ability of these nutrients can help a variety of inflammatory skin conditions, as well as everyday issues such as oxidative stress and environmental damage. However, eating raspberries alone will not necessarily improve skin health. To ensure that skin health is maintained, a combination of lifestyle changes such as a healthy balanced diet and an appropriate skincare routine are paramount in promoting overall skin health.

It is also important to note that while some studies have concluded that raspberries have a positive impact on skin, further research is being carried out on other parts of the raspberry plant, such as raspberry seeds (raspberry seed oil) and raspberry leaves (raspberry leaf tea), and their specific applications.


This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Fouzia Shami

Masters of Pharmacy - MPharm, Liverpool John Moores University

My academic journey, combined with practical experience, has honed my scientific expertise and communication skills. Through community pharmacy, I developed a keen understanding of patient interactions, while my pharmacovigilance experience enhanced my attention to drug safety. Passionate about transforming intricate and complex concepts into accessible content, I am eager to contribute my skills to the vast realm of medical information, ensuring that crucial healthcare information resonates with diverse audiences.

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