Perricone 3-Day Diet: Get a Face Lift…in Your Kitchen?

A healthy, anti-inflammatory diet aids in the elimination of puffiness and increases contours and firmness. Dr.Perricone recommends getting some immediate benefits by following an antioxidant-rich diet for 3 days. The foundation of this diet is salmon, eaten twice a day. Wild Alaskan Salmon is beneficial to skin because it contains DMAE, astaxanthin, and essential fatty acids that increase skin’s radiance, glow, and firmness.

Read on to learn about the benefits of these components and for a menu of this breakthrough, wrinkle-free diet:


DMAE is an anti-inflammatory nutritional substance and is also important in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential to communication between nerves and muscles. For muscles to contract, acetylcholine must send the message from the nerves. Because of this, DMAE combats sagging that is associated with aging.


Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant found in marine plants, algae, and seafood. It protects cell membrane components from oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby diminishing wrinkles and providing a wealth of other benefits.

Fatty acids

Fatty acids help the body absorb nutrients from fruits and vegetables and keep cells supple. They improve memory and mood and keep skin glowing and wrinkle-free.

Example Menu

3 egg omelet and/or 4-6 oz. grilled salmon.
½ cup cooked oatmeal (not instant)
2” wedge of cantaloupe or 1/3 cup fresh berries
8 – 12 oz. spring water

4-6 oz. grilled salmon.
2 cups green salad (Romaine lettuce or other dark leafy greens with extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon)
1 kiwi fruit or cantaloupe and berries
8 – 12 oz. spring water

1 apple
2 oz. slice of turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt
Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds

4-6 oz. grilled salmon
2 cups green salad
½ cup steamed veggies. (Asparagus, broccoli, spinach, etc. No root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, or beets.)
Cantaloupe and berries
8 – 12 oz. spring water

Before Bedtime Snack
1 pear or apple
2 oz. slice chicken or turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt
Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds

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268 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I am 72 years old, and I think I have pretty good skin. My forehead and chin are smooth, but I have lines aroung my mouth, and the pores on my skin are enlarged. I have tried many, many products, but none seem to make any difference. I began using Dr Perricones cleanser, cold plasma, and finishing mosturizer yesterday. I am hoping for good results.

  2. i wonder when do we have to drink the water, i mean, do we have to drink the 8-12 oz. of spring water straight after the meal? please advise.

  3. I am so excited to get started and see the difference not only in how my skin looks, but also in how I feel!

  4. Love the diet! No matter what your age good nutrition is most important. I’m at that age when gravity is starting to take effect so I depend upon good diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques. Thanks for your wonderful contribution, Dr. Perricone!

  5. [...] and overall health.  The first three-day phase of the diet, if followed strictly, promises a “facelift in a fridge”.   We’ll [...]

  6. I did the 3-Day Diet about 7 years ago, when my husband and I were in the process of interviewing for the Amazing Race. I felt great on it. I’ve been trying to lose just 5 lbs in the right places for my daughter wedding in 61/2 weeks. I am thinking this is the right jumpstart. I love all of the food. It’s satisfying and so easy. I am 49 and want to enter my 50′s looking and feeling wonderful!

  7. My wife and I tried this. There is no difference at all and we’re now just sick to death of salmon and greens.

    I think that if you eat fast food and crap all the time, and then do something like this, you’ll see a difference just by virtue of the salt reduction. As your face becomes less puffy from less salt, you look better.

    However, if you’re not stuffing your face with salt and cheese and sugar every day, this won’t make a huge difference.

    What this diet does VERY WELL, however, is show you just how much food you can eat when you are eating well. This is a 1,600 calories-per-day type of deal and we have barely been able to hack it all down. It was good for us on this front — a reminder about food choices.

  8. I’m really excited about this 3 Day Diet! I saw Dr. Perricone on Dr. Oz, and I was so impressed with everything he said! Definitely worth a try!!I’ve been looking forward to trying his skincare products..

  9. I have done the 3 Day Nutritional Facelift before with great result. However the last time I attempted it i found I could not keep up with the amount of food it suggest you eat. It was literally to much. Perhaps my years of Master Cleansing, which I used to do twice a year, now only once a year because it shrinks my stomach so that I have a pretty small appetite. Does anyone know if I cut my intake by half if that will work or if I should do that for 6 days to get the desired result. Thanks for your informed response.

  10. I will be 40 next month and receive lots of complements on my youthful appearance. However, because of my allergies, I often have puffiness under my eyes. I have tried nearly every eye cream available over the counter, both inexpensive and expensive to no avail. I have followed the 3-day diet with great success and plan to follow the 28 day diet described in the Perricone Prescription. Would love to test anything to help completely decongest/unpuff my eye area!

  11. I’m 47 years old and an Asian. I’ve just finished the 3-day diet and it was just amazing! I lost 6 lbs in 3 days, and my skin is so radiant. I wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened to me. I also used all the supplements that Dr. Perricone recommended including his Super Anti Oxidant, which is a really great product. Because of my experience with the 3-day diet, I’m now going to continue with the 28-day diet contained in the Perricone Prescription. It isn’t hard to comply with the diet at all and I like the ease of preparation. Thanks Dr. Perricone!

  12. I am 60and feel terrible about my DEEP wrinkles! Started getting face peels 10 years ago and have been consistent with them. Can’t afford most of these products and that makes me sad. Is there was one product that would give me the most benefit for reducing deep wrinkles? I could budget and add more as I progress. Don’t like salmon but am going to try diet. When I lived in Alaska, we would stuff a whole salmon with oranges and lemons and grill. I could eat it then so trying with lemon juice sounds ok. Can we use tuna?

  13. Hi. I have been reading about “The Perricone Difference” for quite sometime. I have had a tremendous amount of stress over the last 5 years. The death of my father, broken engagement, financial problems due to lack of work(recession), you name it. I was looking in the mirror a few weeks ago and wow, I did not recognize that person… so drawn and tired looking. I am going to the grocey store this evening and getting what I need for the 3-day facelift. I also watched Dr. Oz this past week and Dr, Perricone reccommended the use of DMAE over anything else. I have been looking into products that contain DMAE, I am looking forward to looking and feeling better 3 days from now!

  14. Hi. I’m an esthetician in So. Cal. doing a redo on skincare, etc. I read Dr. Perricone’s book long ago. I’m so glad he’s an m.d. into nutrition. That’s my background. I’m starting the 3 day food program – I’m excited. I would love to be a tester. I’m eager to get results so I can share with clients and friends. (:

  15. would love to be a tester – i have lots of food allergies and would love to see an improvement in my skin. It is extremely reactive to foods and gets me down. only thing i cant try on your 3 day diet is oats as im alergic alsomelon/cantalope. Probably be the best facial i’ll ever get. Im extremely sensitive to foods and its very true in my case that you are what you eat (out of 15 foods tested im allergic to 8 including wheat/oats/peanuts/lentil/pear/barley/strawberries and melon!!

  16. At the advise of my cousin who is a dermatologist, I started the 3 day diet on an off for six weeks before my wedding. I stayed away from sugar and white carbs. Needless to say, not only did I look ten years younger, but my wedding dress fit like it was custom made for me. The overall effect was my face was radiant and smooth and body fat was reduced dramatically!

  17. I followed this program to clear up my skin and I ended up losing weight as well. It’s a fabulous program to follow.

  18. This diet is so simple and delicious. I already eat very healthy, and had very nice skin, but it is even better with this diet!

  19. OK, starting this diet this week. Count me in as a tester for the skin line as well. Just bought the $75 package of RX at Sephora last night.

  20. What about me.? I have an allergy to fish and seafood. Is there any substitute?


  21. count me in as a tester! Thanks!!

  22. Great start to eating correctly, to looking awesome, and feeling wonderful. Doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you are not healthy, then you are poor. I would rather have less money and the best health, because then I am rich. Take care of your health, and it will take care of you. You can enjoy what life has to offer, if you feel good, on the inside and the outside.

  23. The food is so delicious! And I look great! I don’t eat gluten anyway, so I love how he doesn’t have wheat in most of his recipes.

  24. I buy all my salmon, frozen organic fruits, nuts, oils, from vital have eaten a lot of salmon, anti inflammatory foods, have followed the diet exact several times but my skin still sags as much ever before…I feel great, but I look older than what I am…. some of us are lucky and some are not… however the fact that I feel great is a consolation… just wonder why my face has no pick me up, after eatingf all the wild salmon, and greens………everything good.;.. dont get it

  25. I have been using Dr. Perricone’s products for the skin and LOVE them, I am Nutritionist and can’t tell you how much I agree with his Diet! I am doing an overhaul on my own diet and seeing amazing results! Thank you Dr. Perricone!

  26. May I have steamed brown rice on the 3 day diet?

  27. I’ve been battling with rosasea and breakouts for years. I’m ready for a great complexion again.

  28. I love this food plan! It worked for me before. I just turned 50 and want to get in the best shape I can. Need to lower my cholesterol. I LOVE the structure of knowing what to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks. I am not hungry at all. Very satisfying. I don’t mind preparing my meals. I am very organized. I repeat the menus every 14 days. Once a week for one meal only, I totally go off the plan and have a glass of wine, some type of carb with dinner and dessert. Then I get right back on. This “treat” helps keep me on track. I don’t feel guilty and it keeps me from binging. But really after the first 3 days, you don’t crave carbs anymore. LOVE IT! I feel great!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!

  29. Hello,

    My name is Terry and I am 52 years old. I have been blessed with a peaches and cream complexion most of my life. Recently, the stress of the last 4 years has been showing in my face…….wrinkles, drawing, blothcy complexion. I am going to try the 3 day diet, and I am anxious to see what kind of results I get. Can you suggest anything for me.

    Thank You So Much,



  31. This diet does not look like a diet at all; it looks very appetizing and filling actually. After turning the wonderful 3-0 I decided I need to incorporate more anti-aging antioxidants into my diet. I consume wild salmon, wild blueberries and essential fatty acids into my diet often, but I have never used Dr. Perricone’s products–even after seeing them on QVC. I thought that is for older people with fine lines and wrinkles…I know better now; I have no fine lines or wrinkles and I would like to stay that way for a very long time. Great blog post and I look forward to reading more.

  32. I have read many reviews online about Dr. Perricone’s recommended diets and books. What I would like to know is if they reduce wrinkles and help sagging skin. I read alot of excited comments, but have not read any with proven results. I have been a vegetarian for 30 years and always thought I ate a healthy diet. After a stressful circumstance a year ago, I had weight loss (from a small frame) and deep wrinkles appeared in my face. I just want to know what I can do to reverse this.


  33. Hi,

    I just wondering what I can subsitute for oatmeal as I’m a celiac. I usually have quinoa is that ok?

  34. I have done this diet and it works!! The last time was 10 years ago for my class reunion and I looked great.

    It is now 10 years later and my reunion is next week. I am starting the diet this weekend and Im sure I will look great again.

    Im lucky…I love salmon

  35. I actually have tried this diet for 3 days before, and while it gets a bit tedious, it makes you feel great! Only sustained healthy eating and exercise will get you long-lasting results, but this is a nice little pick me up.

  36. It’s been 3 years and an additional 35 pounds from inactivity on my already overweight 5’4″ frame since an auto accident. I need to deal with this serious issue – my mother has type 2 diabetes and that’s something I don’t want to be an heir to. I’ve researched MANY weight loss options and I believe Dr. Perricone’s plan will work for me. I’m grocery shopping next week for all the delicious foods!!

  37. Would love this as a Navy wife my life is under constant unknowns and stress so then i turn to unhealthy food. This would really give me the tools and in turn my family to correct habits

    sultansmom at gmail dot com

  38. I am 60 yrs old & for the last couple of yrs the skin on my forearms is so thin that if I barely rub against something, the skin just peels off very deeply leaving these unsightly scars on my arms. Help! What can I do? Will your special diet help? What products should I try?

  39. Hi Daria,

    A substitution should be fine as sardines are packed with many of the same nutrients and essential fatty acids.

    As you said, definitely opt for unsalted, as the immense amount of added salt in canned foods can detract from the overall effects of the 3 day diet.

    Also, there are many brands of canned wild salmon that are quite good.

  40. Can one substitute canned sardines without salt for salmon on the 3 day diet?

  41. beauty occurs from the inside out. there’s no other way for this to happen.

  42. [...] how do you start the Dr Perricone 3 Day Diet? It starts with filling up your shopping cart [...]

  43. Veronica,
    I have a feeling that you might not like fatty fish (like salmon) because they taste “fishy” to you. However, Tilapia is not an appropriate substitute for the salmon in this regimen as it is not a fatty fish and does not contain the substances that Dr Perricone recommends above that occur naturally in wild salmon.

    But, if eating the tilapia means you’ll stick to his diet and cut out refined carbs and other pro-inflammatory foods, then you should see some results regardless.

  44. [...] Want to learn more about the Perricone 3 day diet? [...]

  45. I picked up a copy of the Perricone Prescription this past weekend. I started Day 1 of the 3 Day Diet yesterday. Had to substitute tilapia for the salmon (just can’t get myself to eat salmon for some reason). I am a carb junkie, but I did just fine without my bread and pasta. I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a long time – didn’t pull the covers back over my head for a change. My face looked about the same, but I am a little slimmer. I will track each day.

  46. I’m going to try it… I’m trying to substitute foods as few times as possible. I wonder what the benefits of tofu can be for the complexion. I know soy is supposed to be great for an aging body. I’m excited. I’m on the bandwagon!

  47. [...] To prevent this cycle, avoid pro-inflammatory foods and build your diet around anti-inflammatory foods. [...]

  48. I have been using Perricone Products for a number of years. I also have his books which I try to follow as closely as possible. Amazing how much information is in these books – so many simple, easy to follow plans & menu ideas. Priceless!

  49. I’m twenty four years off age and sagging under eye lids and bags underneath my eyes and i have uneven skin tone round my nose and it makes me look older than i am i would like to try out a few products to see any results at all.

  50. This sounds delicious. The sample menu sounds great!

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