Winter is notorious for dry skin as our skin is driest when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. Also, to keep warm, we rely upon central heating and taking long hot showers, which may reduce humidity even more and wreak havoc on our skin. To help you breeze through Winter with silky, moist skin here are my dietary go-to’s to stop tight, flaky, dry skin in its tracks!
Leafy Greens, natural yoghurt, tofu and broccoli
What do all of these foods have in common? If your first thought, was calcium, you are correct! Adequate calcium is critical for maintaining skin moisture as calcium influences skin barrier function, which regulates water flux and retention. Vitamin D may also assist alongside calcium in a healthy functioning skin barrier and keeping skin hydration in check.
Add it in:
- Serve warming soup, porridge or curry with a dollop of natural yoghurt
- Toss leafy greens through roasted vegetables for a hearty salad
- Puree broccoli into a soup or serve stir-fried with almonds and tamari/soy as a quick side
- Add crumbled tofu to stir-fry’s or start the day with scrambled tofu in replace of eggs
Salmon, chia seeds, walnuts and flaxseed oil
The above are common sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 helps to dampen down the effects of skin damage. Omega-3 as a component of cell membranes, which surrounds all cells in the body, plays a crucial role in regulating nutrients in and waste out of cells. As you can imagine, this function, assists with overall skin appearance.
Add it in:
- Swap regular oat porridge for chia seed porridge
- Drizzle salads and steamed vegetables with flaxseed oil and a spoonful of crushed walnuts
- Bake salmon and flake through warm salads, pasta or stir-fry
We all know an adequate supply of nutrients is needed for optimal health, skin health included! Research suggests a mix of certain skin nutrients including vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid and beta-carotene may increase skin hydration and the overall appearance of skin. When thinking skin health and vegetable juice, some of my favourite combinations are:
- celery, carrot, beetroot, ginger and lemon
- kale, carrot, orange and ginger
- spinach, cucumber, apple, mint and lime
Water, it goes without saying! The skin is approximately 70% water which contributes to skin plumpness, elasticity and resiliency. It may not always be appealing to drink water in Winter but try adding sliced strawberries, lemons and limes for a fresh kick or sip on herbal tea such as peppermint or ginger. Every little bit counts, even the soup you sipped at lunch!
De Spirt, S, Sies, H, Tronnier, H & Heinrich, U 2011, ‘An Encapsulated Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Increases Skin Microcirculation in Healthy Women,’ Skin Pharmacol Physiology, Vol. 25, No.1, pp. 2-8.
Gaudinat, M et al 2007, ‘Skin barrier function improved by hydroxyapatite and calcium pantetheine sulfonate combination,’ American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 27.
Proksch, E, Brandner, J & Jensen, J 2008, ‘The Skin: an indispensable barrier,’ Experimental Dermatology, Vol. 17, pp. 1063-1072.
Rawlings, A & Harding, C 2004, ‘Moisturization and skin barrier function,’ Dermatologic Therapy, Vol. 17, pp. 43-48.