If you’re someone who has dry skin, you know how difficult it can be to keep your skin hydrated, especially during the cold winter months. While serums and creams can certainly help, they can only do so much. Nourishment and moisture come from within, and it starts with your diet.
Throughout the years, many studies have been done on nutrition and skin health. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of evidence to show that there is in fact a connection between the foods we eat and our skin. Depending on your skin type, there may be certain foods you can incorporate into your diet to target specific concerns, whether it’s oiliness, dryness, sensitivity, or even acne.
For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on foods that are ideal for those with dry skin. Drinking water is critical, but these eight foods can help to take your hydration to the next level:
We’ve all seen the pictures of women at the spa with two slices of cucumber covering their eyes. Cucumber is known to calm and soothe the skin when applied topically, but it can also provide benefits when consumed.
Cucumbers are mostly made up of water, and they also contain key electrolytes and ascorbic acid, which helps with water retention. This combination can help to prevent dehydration, whether it’s post-workout or on a hot summer day.
Additionally, cucumbers contain antioxidants, which fight off harmful free radicals that can damage the skin and result in wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation. When eating this vegetable, always try to leave the skin on—it’s packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
Avocados can benefit all skin types, but especially those with dry skin. High in poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids, this fruit aids in keeping the skin hydrated, firm, and plump. It’s also been shown to calm red, irritated skin.
One of the main culprits of aging skin is sun exposure, and avocados help to protect the skin from sun damage (although they do not replace sunscreen). They’re also full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals and help to maintain skin’s moisture levels and elasticity.
Similar to avocado, flaxseeds are another great source of healthy fats.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3s, which help to keep skin smooth and hydrated. Omega-3s improve skin barrier function by sealing in moisture and protecting it from irritants. Omega-3s may even help to soothe conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis.
Now, you might be wondering, “How do I include flaxseeds in my diet?” These tiny seeds can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, homemade protein bars, or even baked goods such as cookies, breads, and muffins. If you’re looking for something on the savory side, try flaxseed crackers or even mixing the seeds into salad dressing.
Nuts are incredibly nutritious, and walnuts specifically can be great for those with dry skin. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s and antioxidants, which help to nourish the skin and protect it from free radicals. The magnesium and arginine (an amino acid) found in walnuts may even help to decrease inflammation.
Walnuts are also a great source of protein, which is one of the building blocks of skin tissue. In addition to maintaining healthy skin, protein helps to keep blood sugars stable and avoid sugar crashes, which some studies have linked to acne.
There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding coconut oil and whether or not it should be applied to the skin topically. Some sources say it’s a great hydrator, and others warn that it can clog pores.
While applying coconut oil to the skin is up for debate, consuming coconut oil can offer great health benefits. Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids (starting to see a theme here?), which help to keep the skin nourished.
Additionally, MCTs, which are found in coconut oil, can help to control blood sugar. As mentioned, blood sugar spikes have been linked to skin complications such as acne.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and offer a variety of nutrients, including selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and antioxidants. This superfood contains a little bit of everything, making it a great choice for a well-rounded breakfast.
One of the key nutrients found in eggs is choline, which many people do not get enough of in their diet. Choline is used to build cell membranes. It is often sold in the form of supplements, as it is thought to help maintain elasticity and suppleness in the skin.
Perhaps the most unique food on this list, sea buckthorn is a plant that produces small orange berries. Oil is often extracted from the plant’s berries, seeds, and leaves and is used for a variety of different purposes.
Sea buckthorn berries are full of skin-loving nutrients, including calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, biotin, and phosphorus. They also provide four omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9.
So what are the benefits of these little orange berries? Sea buckthorn has been linked to improved digestion, lower inflammation, boosted immunity, and even heart health. When applied directly to the skin, sea buckthorn oil may protect against sun damage and support skin regeneration.
These berries have a very tart taste, so you most likely wouldn’t want to eat them on their own. However, there are plenty of recipes out there for sea buckthorn juices, smoothies, teas, and even salad dressing.
If you’re looking for something sweet to nourish your skin, look no further than sweet potato. This vegetable is high in antioxidants like beta carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A has been shown to build collagen, help repair tissue damage, and retain the skin’s moisture. All of these functions are amazingly beneficial for those with dry skin. Whether it’s mashed sweet potatoes, healthy sweet potato fries, or homemade sweet potato chips, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this nutritious vegetable.
Some people naturally have dry skin, while others suffer from it seasonally or due to other factors, such as skin conditions or sensitivities to certain ingredients. In addition to the foods we eat, there are a number of ways to treat dry skin with these skin care products for dry skin:
At the end of the day, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and following a good skincare routine are two great ways to keep your skin moisturized and glowing. Remember, the secret to healthy skin is consistency. Following these steps most likely won’t cure dry skin overnight, but over time, you’ll begin to see results.