Experiencing dry skin can certainly be frustrating and uncomfortable, thanks to the itchiness and flaking that can occur as a result. And during the winter months, when the air becomes drier and colder, dry skin can become a problem for many.
There are many solutions people rely on that offer some help in the dry skin department, including applying moisturizer to the skin, using a home humidifier, and avoiding extremely hot baths and showers. But what we put on our bodies can also affect our skin, especially during the colder months. Our dietary choices can have a profound effect on how our bodies retain moisture, at least according to some medical journals.
If you have dry skin, here are five eating and drinking habits that could be causing or exacerbating your condition.
The concept is quite simple to understand: if your body isn’t adequately hydrated, your skin can appear dry as a result. Dehydration can be related to dry skin, essentially because the body does not have enough fluid.
“It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. This is not only important for your cells to function at optimal levels, but it is also important for skin hydration,” she shares. Dr Sarah Allendermatologist and founder of Skin Clique.
It is recommended to eat approximately 8 ounces of fish each week. Fish, particularly cold-water oily fish, contain DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, or a variety of “healthy fats” that may support factors such as cardiovascular, eye, and mental health.
And although more well-designed human clinical trials are needed, some data suggests that the skin barrier may be affected by these omega-3 fatty acids, with suppressive effects on scratching behavior induced by dry skin.
Drinking a glass of wine or a mug of beer once in a while is likely not to have much of an effect on the integrity of the skin. But drinking too much alcohol can have dehydrating effects on the body, which can influence a person’s risk of experiencing dry skin.
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, try a mocktail for a nice non-alcoholic drink.
Egg yolk is a nutritional powerhouse, as it contains a host of key nutrients, including vitamin D. Some data suggests that low vitamin D levels may be related to skin hydration status, which highlights how eating foods with vitamin D can be so beneficial. A recent scientific advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA) indicates that “healthy individuals may include up to one whole egg or its equivalent per day” as part of a heart-healthy dietary pattern.
Not a fan of egg yolks? You can also get vitamin D in your diet by eating salmon, mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light, and 100% fortified orange juice.
Collagen is a hot ingredient in supplements, snacks, and even drinks to support skin health. And while some claims surrounding this addition may be questionable, the link between collagen intake and dry skin may actually hold some truth. Studies using collagen tripeptide showed a noticeable improvement in skin elasticity and hydration, suggesting that this addition may help those with dry skin. While this remedy won’t work for everyone, and data is still sparse, trying it carries very little risk and may help.
Allen added that if a person has “a well-balanced diet, they don’t need collagen supplements. Beef, chicken with skin, and broth (chicken, pork, and beef) are great sources of collagen and are perfect for winter!