Winter comes with unique challenges for our skin. The low humidity and indoor heat combine to create challenges where skin care is concerned. Nutrition aimed at giving us healthy skin can make a difference in these cool, arid conditions.
1-Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which help to maintain skin health. They help keep the skin thicker, more supple and moisturized. Omega-3’s also decrease inflammation which can cause redness and acne. There is some evidence that they also help protect the skin from UV light and help with psoriasis.
Fish is also a source of good protein which helps increase the strength and integrity of the skin. The zinc in fish helps with production of new skin cells and overall skin health.
2-Avocados are also a source of healthy fat that is essential to keep skin flexible and moisturized. This fat is also thought to help with protection from UV light which can cause wrinkles and other forms of sun damage. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E which helps protect the skin from oxidative damage.
Vitamin E is believed to be more effective when combined with vitamin C. One avocado contains about 20% of the RDI for vitamin E and 34% of the RDI for vitamin C.
3-Walnuts are a good source of essential fatty acids which your body cannot make itself. They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 is thought to produce inflammation, since the ratio of these fats in walnuts is good, walnuts are thought to fight the inflammatory response. Walnuts also contain significant zinc and small amounts of vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium.
4-Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and selenium, zinc and protein. Nuts and seeds are good sources of good-for-your-skin nutrition.
5-Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene which acts as a natural sunblock. This is not to say that you can leave off the chemical sunblock but beta-carotene definitely helps it do it’s job. This may help prevent wrinkles, cell death and sunburn. The beta-carotene also gives your skin a warm glow which adds to a healthy skin appearance.
6-Red and yellow bell peppers have huge amounts of vitamin A and are a great source of vitamin C which creates collagen in the skin to help it stay firm and strong. This can help decrease wrinkles and dry skin as we age.
7-Broccoli is a good source of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene and sulforaphane. Sulphoraphane is a powerful protector from the sun. Winter sun can be intense when it is reflected off of snow and we tend to use less protection in the cold so nutrition that assists in protection is an excellent idea for Winter months.
8-Tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids and vitamin C along with lutein and lycopene. Lutein and lycopene also help to protect your skin from the sun. Pair carotenoid foods with a fat like olive oil to boost absorption of carotenoids.
9-Soy contains isoflavones which have been shown to improve skin elasticity and moisture and help protect from the sun. Since soy has estrogen-like properties it’s better suited to women’s needs.
10-Dark cocoa has been shown to decrease scaliness and roughness of the skin after 6-12 weeks of consumption. While we don’t advocate eating chocolate with sugar in it, we have chocolate recipes that do not contain sugar. Just search “chocolate” on our Home Page to find many healthy dessert recipes containing “The food of the gods.”
11-Green tea has been shown to decrease roughness and improve skin thickness and elasticity. A cup of hot tea on a cold Winter day can do more than warm you.
Use a serum for more supple skin on your face and neck and moisturize with a rich body moisturizer immediately after bathing and again 12 hours later. This will help to keep your skin soft and supple through the dry Winter months. Never go to bed with make-up on your face because it’s drying and promotes wrinkles. The already dry Winter air will compound this effect so take it off, Ladies!
You are not destined to rough, red scaly Winter skin. With a little foresight and planning you can emerge in the Spring soft and supple.