Winter certainly changes the landscape, even down to the landscape of our skin. Cold weather, biting winds, and dry heat from furnaces can leave skin lacking its usual luster. Don’t write irritated skin off as just another chilling reality of winter, with the proper nutrition and winter skin care you can have skin as healthy and soft as a summer breeze, regardless of the weather.
For many of us, winter skin can be more than just red rosy cheeks but also dryness of the hands, face, and feet. Winter skin issues can range from the moderate tight, dry, flakey feeling to more severe symptoms like cracking and splitting of skin or eczema – where the skin actually becomes inflamed. It’s not just the chilly weather that has this drying effect, but also the heaters we have on indoors, regardless of what type of heat you have. Thankfully, there are some simple nutrition tips that can combat old man winter’s attack on skin:
1. Eliminate Allergens
Many reactions to a food allergy or intolerance aren’t only digestive – but can also show up on your skin. If you’re suffering with severe skin conditions or eczema, it may be helpful to eliminate common food allergens like gluten, wheat, dairy, and soy for a while to see if symptoms improve.
2. Drink Water
While it may seem obvious to start with water, proper hydration is the first place to start breathing some life back into dry skin. Although the general recommendation for water intake is about 32 ounces a day, this amount varies from person to person – especially if you are active. The best way to determine your hydration status is to look at your urine: clear or light yellow means you are getting enough water, dark yellow means you are lacking. If you find you don’t like water when it’s cold out keep it room temperature or sip on herbal tea throughout the day.
3. Eat Omega-3’s
An essential fatty acid deficiency is a common cause of dry skin, so be sure to get a daily dose through chia, flax, hemp, or pumpkin seeds.
4. eat foods high in vitamin A
Stock up veggies like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, kale, and spinach for their rich vitamin A content. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radicals in addition to playing a role in the synthesis of new skin cells. Eating foods high in vitamin A can be more fun when they’re added into recipes like this sweet potato smoothie.
5. Eat foods high in Vitamin b6
A deficiency in vitamin B6 can show through dry skin and cracked corners of the mouth, as B6 is needed to keep skin healthy. This bold B vitamin can be found in foods like avocado, banana, broccoli, bok choy, sweet potato, and grapes. Recipes like a homemade banana ice cream make getting extra vitamin B6 easy as a quick dessert.
6. Eat foods high in Niacin
A niacin (also known as vitamin B3) deficiency can contribute to eczema, or itchy, dry, red skin. Nuts provide a good source of niacin- especially pine nuts, macadamia, almonds, crimini & shiitake mushrooms, and asparagus. Mushroom pate is our favorite way to boost our niacin intake for the day.
7. Eat foods high in vitamin c
Once again, citrus fruits provide a serious source of skin assisting vitamin C which is found in skin cells and also provides skin-protecting antioxidants. Add a few of these foods to your daily diet: Lemons, oranges, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, and bell peppers. This red pepper orange tropical smoothie has both oranges and red bell pepper to start your day with a vitamin C and protein boost.
What’s your best winter skincare tip?