The Dry Skin Diet
If you have dry skin, you can end up spending a lot of money on good-quality moisturizers and products to treat it topically. Did you know that a few changes to your diet can help alleviate dry, itchy, and scaly skin? The dry skin diet can work for you.
Fatty Acids Keep Your Skin Plumped
Fat – it’s a no-no in some of our diets, but it really shouldn’t be. One of the most vital parts of our skin’s natural barrier is lipids, including free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides. This means that skin without enough fat resembles a mass of poorly arranged protein blocks that don’t quite have enough glue to hold it together. Water can escape easily, which means that your skin will become easily dehydrated.
You need fatty acids in your diet to create the ‘glue’ that holds everything together under your skin surface. These are the omega-3s found in oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, eggs, grass-fed beef, and flaxseed oils. Evening primrose oil and borage seed oil are excellent sources of Omega 6 fatty acids.
Several studies have pointed to the benefits of fatty acids in the diet; in one study of 50 people with atopic dermatitis, 96 percent of study participants given an evening primrose oil supplement reported minor itching and dryness after five months.
Vitamins and Minerals that Soothe Dry Skin
Vitamins and minerals are essential for most of our bodily functions and repairs; skin is no exception.
Vitamin C is needed for collagen production – it produces an enzyme that causes collagen to form. Other trace elements like zinc and copper help make the collagen denser and work together with vitamin C. Vitamin C with elements like zinc and copper will keep your skin hydrated. You can get them from a good multivitamin or look for foods containing vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Foods rich in vitamin C are bell peppers, oranges, and tomatoes. Seafood, pumpkin seeds, and spinach are excellent sources of zinc. While beef liver, lentils, and almonds can give you enough copper that is good for your skin.
Caffeine, Water, and Alcohol
It’s improbable that drinking the occasional coffee will dehydrate you, but caffeine can constrict your small blood vessels. This means less of the good stuff is getting through to your skin.
Alcohol is also a diuretic and is well known to be a dehydrator, but as with caffeine, you’d have to be drinking a lot more of it than a couple of glasses of wine or beer with dinner to feel or see the effects.
There’s also a myth that drinking lots of water are the key to well-hydrated skin. Although it sounds obvious, it’s not the case at all. Water that we take in is processed internally, and we’d need to be highly dehydrated to notice the effects on our skin. The skin’s outer layer is an important area for skincare. We need to supplement this area with the right hydrating and moisture-retaining foods.
If you’re already eating a balanced diet, not cutting out all the fat, and eating a good range of fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods, you shouldn’t need to use a multivitamin or supplement to improve your skin condition. Up your vitamin-rich foods, include some oily fish and fats, and make sure that you enjoy a varied diet, and your dry skin will thank you for it.
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