Winter plays havoc on your skin under the best of circumstances–but with the extreme cold much of North America is dealing with, things are even worse. Nasty winter weather can mean dry skin, tight skin, irritated skin, windburned skin…the list is long and depressing.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect and heal your skin this winter–and getting the right balance of nutrients is one of the weapons in your skin’s winter arsenal. Eat right, including lots of produce from across the rainbow, enjoy healthy seafood regularly, drink lots of water, moisturize, and pay attention to these five key skin nutrients.
You are probably not surprised to hear that this antioxidant vitamin is important for skin health–after all, skin creams have contained vitamin E for decades. The fat-soluble vitamin could also have anti-inflammatory properties for the skin, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Add vitamin E-rich foods like nuts and olives to your diet to help your skin stay soft.
Among their other health benefits, these essential fatty acids are good for your skin as well. Load up on omega-3 enriched eggs, wild salmon, and walnuts to get more of these healthy fats in your diet. Omega 3s keep the top layer of your skin strong and healthy, dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank told WebMD. And the EPA found in these fatty acids help regulate oil production, which prevents acne and boosts hydration, Health reports.
While vitamin A has the skin-boosting reputation, it’s antioxidant vitamin A that is the real hero. If you’re dealing with dry and flaky skin it might not be because of the cold–that’s a symptom of vitamin A deficiency. Creams with the vitamins can also improve acne, according to research from the American Academy of Dermatology. Sweet potatoes and carrots are vitamin A superstars.
Some research has shown that that vitamin K can improve the appearance of dark circles and bruises, or fade skin discolourations. It may also have a role in reducing broken capillaries and redness from rosacea, Paula’s Choice reports. This vitamin is found in dark leafy greens, which is just one more reason to add them to your diet.
Let’s hear it for the antioxidants–vitamin C is another one, and it can help zap the free radicals that damage your body, skin included. This vitamin is also involved in collagen synthesis, the Linus Pauling Institute says, and may help prevent and treat damage related to UV rays. Citrus fruits are a great source, of course, but bell peppers are another dietary option for getting in your vitamin C.
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