Your Skin Care Advisor: Dry Skin in Winter – Foods for Healthy, Supple Skin

This WebMD article discusses how water, vitamins and minerals can help keeping your skin healthy and hydrated this winter. Check on this article and the helpful list of foods where you can find them. Original article reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD.

Want to steer clear of dry, flaky skin this winter?

Few things are as good as WATER for keeping your skin in shape. Water keeps skin hydrated, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps cells take up nutrients and purge toxins. Improves circulation and blood flow, keeping your skin glowing. The Institute of Medicine recommends nine to 12 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

SELENIUM is a trace mineral that may help protect skin cells from free radical damage. It may also play a role in skin cancer prevention. Excellent sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, and fish such as snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Selenium is also found in cooked beef, light turkey meat, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta.

COENZIME Q10 is a powerful antioxidant made naturally in your body. However, its production decreases with aging. CoQ10 protects skin and other body cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Low levels of this antioxidant are found in many age-related illnesses. When used topically, it is reported to improve the appearance of wrinkles and the signs of aging. Rich sources of CoQ10 include fish (such as salmon and tuna), poultry, organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains.

ANTIOXIDANTS prevent or slow the damage done to cells by free radicals. This damage contributes to signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dry skin. They can be found in all kinds of foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables such as berries, tomatoes, apricots, beets, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, peppers, and beans.

Grab an orange, a carrot, or a slice of cantaloupe, these fruits and vegetables are loaded with VITAMIN A. Applying vitamin A to the skin appears to improve signs of aging, such as wrinkles. Topical and oral forms of vitamin A are common prescription treatments for acne and other skin conditions, including wrinkles. Other sources of vitamin A include leafy greens, eggs, and low-fat dairy.

VITAMIN C helps protect skin from the sun. It also helps undo damage done by free radicals, which destroy skin-firming fibers such as collagen and elastin. Excellent sources include red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts.

VITAMIN E is another antioxidant that may help shield your skin from damage done by the sun. It is anti-inflammatory and immunity enhancer. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens in small amounts.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS such as omega-3s and omega-6s help produce your skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping dry skin and blemishes at bay. Good sources of EFA’s include olive and canola oils, flax, walnuts, and coldwater fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Some oils pack more than essential fatty acids. Good-quality oils like extra virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed oil are more simply processed than many commercial oils, and so they may help retain more skin-boosting nutrients. These oils may also help lubricate skin and keep it looking and feeling healthy.

GREEN TEA may be the closest thing to a magic elixir that nature can offer for your skin. Green tea helps to stop inflammation, slow DNA damage, and can help prevent the sun from burning your skin. You can find green tea in an abundance of cosmetics, but why not go straight to the source for a green tea boost: your tea pot.