Perricone Diet

perricone-presciptionThe Perricone Prescription is an ‘anti-wrinkle’ diet.

US skin care expert and dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone wrote his book The Perricone Prescription after concluding that certain foods cause inflammation and water retention. This can lead to premature aging, obesity, and other health issues.

The basis of the diet is a 28 day program. The program aims to reduce saturated fats, refined sugars, and other high glycemic carbohydrates.

3 Day Nutritional Face-lift

As a trial run, Perricone provides a meal plan for 3 days. Many report feeling results after only 3 short days – anything from “feeling more energized”, “losing that puffiness around the face”, “eyes no longer bloodshot”.

The following menu should be followed for 3 days. Protein should be eaten first. Note that the salmon should be wild, or at the least organic.

Wake Up
8 to 12 ounces spring water
3 egg whites and 1 whole egg and/or a 4- to 6-ounce piece of broiled salmon
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (not instant)
4 oz cantaloupe OR 1/4 cup fresh berries
8 to 12 ounces spring water minimum, (more if desired)
4 to 6 ounces grilled salmon or tuna packed in spring water
2 cups romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
4 oz cantaloupe OR 1/4 cup fresh berries
8 to 12 ounces spring water minimum, (more if desired)
Mid-afternoon snack
2 ounces low-salt, sliced chicken breast OR 6 oz plain yogurt.
4 raw, unsalted hazelnuts
1/2 green apple
8 to 12 ounces spring water minimum, (more if desired)
4 to 6 ounces grilled salmon
2 cups romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
1 cup steamed asparagus, broccoli, or spinach dressed with a little olive oil
4 oz cantaloupe OR 1/4 cup fresh berries
8 to 12 ounces spring water minimum, (more if desired)
Before-bedtime snack
2 ounces low-fat low-salt turkey/chicken breast OR 6 oz plain yogurt.
1/2 pear or green apple
3 or 4 almonds or olives
8 to 12 ounces of spring water

Perricone Diet – Is it Good?

Dr. Perricone’s Prescription is good. It is particularly good for women, who have been living with inadequate nutrition for some time. Bringing back lean protein into the diet immediately increases metabolism, cell rejuvenation, and a number of other benefits.

There are numerous positive reports from users of this diet, and despite not being a weight-loss diet, – weight loss has occurred in a number of people.

There are a few criticisms however – getting hold of ‘wild’ salmon could get expensive (the argument here is that most farmed salmon may contain antibiotics and other chemicals.

The book also makes extensive references to other topical treatments that Dr. Perricone provides – not surprisingly these are expensive.

However – the Perricone Prescription is far more than one long advertisement — the diet and advice is sound, and should have a positive impact on your health as well as your skin.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Lane, M. A., Baer, D. J., Rumpler, W. V., Weindruch, R., Ingram, D. K., Tilmont, E. M., … & Roth, G. S. (1996). Calorie restriction lowers body temperature in rhesus monkeys, consistent with a postulated anti-aging mechanism in rodents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 93(9), 4159-4164. link
  • Alarcón de la Lastra, C., & Villegas, I. (2005). Resveratrol as an anti‐inflammatory and anti‐aging agent: Mechanisms and clinical implications. Molecular nutrition & food research, 49(5), 405-430. link

25 Comments or Reviews

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  1. Katrena

    I lost without the supplemnts but I remember being very tired. I was working out daily

  2. Jenner

    Do you have to do the Perricone weight pills to lose the weight and have the great skin?

    • Katrena

      I lost without the supplemnts but I remember being very tired. I was working out daily

  3. Paul

    How about replacing the salmon with sardines on 3-4 days out of the week to continue to benefit from omega 3’s and reduce cost.

  4. ruby

    i been on the perricones diet for the last month and i feel great everyone tells me what am i doing i have purchased all the books from nicholas perricone and i follow the instructions i am never hungry my skin glows and i have lost a lot of weight mostly around my abdomen i use a size 7 of clothes and was using a size 9

  5. chris

    i went on three day diet 7 yrs ago i felt fabulous and lost soo much weight i felt so great i was confident to quit smoking not a puff since by the way i followed the three day diet for months with moderations it is the best i always go back to it when needed

  6. Judy

    The positive side to this diet is that I felt so calm and less stressed with a clear mind. The downside was that I was so hungry between breakfast and lunch. Perhaps it’s the order in which the fish and oats are eaten that makes one feel hungry. I now only eat the oats and berries without egg/fish as the oats are filling enough. I only wished I liked the taste of salmon, too; it really is an acquired taste, I think. However, I will try and replace salmon with tuna, which I do enjoy. I did stick with the rest of the day’s meals though, and felt great, anyway!

  7. Cecilia

    I did a diet from one of Perricone books a bought more than a year ago, that I can’t remember the title and it was specifically to lose weight and improve the skin. It was, if I remember well a two weeks diet with a list of about 12 supplements, and it was fab, but I lost my book and I haven´t been able to find it any more in Mexico where I currently live, does any one has the list of supplements?

  8. Nina

    Dr. Perricone’s diet is a health blessing all the way around. I was astonished at not only how well I felt, physically and mind/emotion-wise, but it really does do all it promises for the skin. Natural products like “Kiss My Face” and “Weleda” seem to compliment the skin benefit of the diet (the Perricone skin products are a bit too expensive for me). This nutritional diet is a wise choice for the whole body, mind and spirit. As much as I love most fish, I had to acquire a taste for the salmon.

  9. PAULA

    i would like a shopping list how much and what to buy for the dr’s 28 day diet

  10. claire


    How do you cook the eggs (three whites + one whole) in the morning?

    Also, for those of you who’ve been using his face creams or treatments what are you favourites? I really can’t afford to have a whole perricone routine but if you could recommend one amazing product that I could use with a less costly routine of other stuff, what would it be?


  11. margaret

    I recently started taking the Health & Weight Management supplements but I have just discovered that I am pregnant. I would like to know whether or not the supplements are safe for the baby during my pregnancy.

  12. Jenifer

    I am 33 and i had horrible skin since my mid 20’s.. horrible breakouts and always looked bloated.. i went on this 28 diet and my skin glows and is very tight.. plus i lost weight and love it.. i will always stick with this diet.. plus i cheat with coffee in the morning but ditch the sugar.. its crazy how much money i have spent on all the cleansing products and its all about the food you put in your body

  13. Laurie

    Took two week vacation and this was my diet for most of the time. I lost weight and I feel better. My skin looks better too. I also cheat with a cup of black coffee in AM. When tempted to have sugar after the vacation, the bad feelings (tired,sluggess etc) after having the sugar reminded me of how great the diet makes me feel! Thinner/good skin best accessary to any outfit!

  14. Tiea

    this is a great diet! it did wonders for my skin and i lost a ton of weight! i was on the full 28day plan

  15. marilyn

    i am going to try this diet starting tomorrow since i started menapose i cant lose a pound,? do you lose wieght on this plan? thanks m

  16. barbarayoungnaturopath

    Being a naturopath and a 62 year old women, who knows nutrition, I tried all the skin care and have the books. It breaks down to good products, not worth the money (need to be fab for the price), used the nutients all along, the difference is the diet I give this to all my patients as a guideline. None eat enough fish or fruit, most have given up eggs because of the misdirection of the medical/drug industry. This is natural and gives spectacular results fast. I recommend it to everyone over 18. He has you add a healthy dose of cinnamon to the oatmeal, super healthy.
    By the way the wild salmon is lower in mercury and you can use canned wild, mash up the bones for the minerals.

  17. Mary

    I have been on this diet on and off more on than off and my skin and face have never looked better. I always had dark circles under my eyes and I do not. I barely have to use concealer. I have also been bothered by a small brown/red spot on my one cheek and I noticed it almost disappears when I don’t cheat. My skin even on the rest of my body is supple and tight. I love waking up at 44 and barely needed make up and spending less time trying to hide and dark circles. It is great hard to stay on the weekends but I do my best. My blood is excellent levels and I feel great and I get alot of compliments on my skin.

  18. Student

    I was getting so exhausted from all the lack of sleep and bad eating. I normally eat pretty well, but that had slipped. Although, I was still eating at least 5 servings of fruit and 3 of veggies. I guess it still wasn’t enough. I am at the end of day three of the three day diet. I can’t believe how much better I feel and look. The bags under my eyes that were getting so heavy that I could feel them are nearly gone. I fell asleep at 1 A.M. last night and woke at 5:30 for work without a problem. I know, that isn’t healthy, but it is now 11:20, and I feel like I could study for another hour without a problem. I won’t because I know I need the sleep, but before this diet I was super lethargic. I was getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep and still felt like I was going to pass out by 10:30 in the morning. I am truly amazed. I did it for vanity and got much more than that. I am going to keep it up for the next couple of days. BTW, just for your info, I am a healthy, slender, and athletic build. I generally exercise 3-4 times a week. It’s not like I was eating cake for breakfast and sitting on the couch. If this works on me I can imagine what it would do for someone that doesn’t follow a “relatively” healthy lifestyle.

  19. Arlene

    I go on this 3 day diet every time I need to get my eating habits back on track. I feel energized after only one day and at the end of the three days my sugar addiction is broken. After three days of this restricted eating, I find that going on a basic Weight Watchers plan is very easy.

  20. Mari

    I tried this diet for three days and didn’t see much of a difference in my skin but lost weight- about 3 lbs. Also, I didn’t notice much of a change in energy. BUT, because of the weight loss I tried it a second time but for a longer period of time. After 5 days my skin looked better than it had in years, I also felt energized (started riding my bike to work!), I lost weight but plateaued after 4 days. I’m not sure how easy this diet would be for anybody else but I happen to LOVE salmon and have found a way to (barely) budget it into my shopping list. I took the fish oil capsules and added a multi vitamin to my daily diet but could never afford to buy Dr. Perricones products or supplements(although I’d love to try them). I’ll continue to follow this diet as often as I need it but need to look for something different for continued weight loss.

  21. Gloria M from NJ

    I have been on Dr. Perricone’s diet for two weeks and it has done wonders for my type II diabetes. My sugar levels are stable, ranging from 95-105 each morning, WITHOUT medication. I’ve had diabetes for over 5 years and believe me, my levels can spike to 200+ when I don’t follow his plan. Since I cook for 1, I do interchange some of the menus, but I’m very pleased with how I feel and look. Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin to it!

  22. Dany

    I have done this 3 day diet on and off for several years now. Whenever I’m feeling that I’ve overdone it and need to be good to myself I head to the supermarket for my ingredients which I’ve rather tragically memorized so I can pick up anytime I like. I have so much more engergy by the beginning of day 2 EVEN though I cheat and have one cup of coffee in the morning still (Sorry Dr Perricone the headaches are too bad if I don’t and I’ve tried swapping green tea but it just isn’t the same!) I don’t do it to lose weight but ALWAYS lose 2kgs over the 3days, I’m never hungry (although do look forward to my next meal it must be said), my face looks SO much better by the end (less dark circles). Cant recommend this enough, better and cheaper than a trip to a day spa!

  23. MSF

    I have been on and off the Perricone diet many times. I do a 3-5 day round of the nutritional facelift everytime I start to feel a little tired or run-down or stalled in my weightloss efforts. I follow the basic principals of the diet most other times. I find that the energy level I have after just the second day of the 3 day Nutritional Facelift far exceeds the energy I have before I begin the regimen. After 5 days I feel I have a flatter mid-section and often loose weight. I have had very good sucess without using his supplements and creams. I follow his guidelines for Omega-3’s and made a trip to the health food store to find many of the other supplements he recommends.

    The downside is that the full 14 day diet plan is complicated and expensive and some of the recipes are not made for one person or even 2 requiring additional efforts to pare down the recipes. However, by following the basic principles of the 3-day diet, I think most can experience great results.

  24. Caroline

    I accidently clicked the 2nd star and gave this a bad review. I meant to give a 5. I lost weight, had energy to exercise and felt great. I’d do it for longer if I liked salmon more… !

Last Reviewed: March 28, 2021