With the changing in seasons and weather often came changes in our skin — and not in a good way. Now that the cold is approaching, many of us will find ourselves with dry, flaky skin. You can lather on all the expensive creams and lotions you want, but luckily you can also take the natural (and cheaper) route by eating foods that help to moisturize your skin.
Relieving dry skin from the inside out may not be the first thing we think about when planning our meals, but just like the rest of our bodies, our skin needs certain nutrients to help heal and repair itself and keep itself in optimal condition. Healthy foods can not only keep you hydrated, but they can work on a cellular level to keep your skin smooth and supple.
"You are what you eat," says skincare expert Dr. Arleen Lamba over email. "If you eat foods high in salt content or preservatives, you will notice not only that your skin is puffy, but that it also is dry. Some good ingredients to look for are omega-3 fatty acids, silica rich foods, and of course foods that are antioxidant rich."
Next time you're skin is feeling a little less than ideal, try eating the following seven foods that will help nourish your skin and keep it healthy and moisturized.
Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and trout contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help retain moisture and strengthen your skin's barrier, says Lamba. Symptoms of omega-3 deficiencies include dry skin, so load up on fish and other omega-3-rich foods such as flax seed to keep your skin hydrated.
Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has long been touted as a skincare savior. Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative cell damage, and like omega-3 fatty acids, protects the skin barrier from external damage such as UV rays.
Like nuts, avocado is rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants. The fruit is also rich in monounsaturated fats, which not only keeps skin moist, but prevents skin from aging and reduces inflammation.
4. Sweet Potato
These beta-carotene-rich root vegetables contain an abundance of vitamin A, one of the most important nutrients for preventing dry skin. These antioxidants help repair tissue damage and prevent premature aging.
Oysters are one of the foods that contain the highest level of zinc, which helps repair skin by creating collagen. Other foods high in zinc include beef, beans, and wheat germ.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to your skin. This heart-healthy oil can help protect your skin from UV rays and protect from skin conditions such as dryness and eczema.
"Silica found in water-rich vegetables such as cucumbers can help increase moisture leading to increased skin elasticity," says Dr. Lamba. Cucumbers also contain vitamin A and vitamin C, helping to soothe skin and fight damage.
Who needs an expensive skincare line when you have food, right?