Dry, flaky, and cracked skin can be really painful. If you have extremely dry skin, you know what I am talking about. In fact, your skin can look dull and malnourished not only during winters but also in summers. Many factors, such as your genes, age, and lifestyle, can lead to dry skin. But, there’s one solution to take care of all these factors from within. Food. Yes, when you eat the right foods, you can heal dry skin. Find out which foods will help hydrate and moisturize your skin and make it glowing and flawless in no time. Let’s begin!
When it comes to treating dry skin, the first and the most important factor is water. Water helps to rehydrate your cells, maintain homeostasis, prevent aging, and keep all your cells active and functioning. Not drinking enough water can result in cutaneous water loss, leading to many skin problems, including dry and flaky skin. Drink at least 3 liters of water (or more if you workout regularly) per day to help your cells maintain their volume and shape (1).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Water
- If you constantly forget to drink water, set reminders on your phone or paste post-it notes in every corner of your house or at your workstation.
- You can also add sliced fruits, herbs, and spices to your water to make it look and taste more interesting.
A single cup of pureed avocado contains 23 mg vitamin C, 4.8 mg vitamin E, 336 IU vitamin A, 48.3 vitamin K, 253 mg omega-3 fatty acids, and 183 mcg folate (2). All the nutrients mentioned above help repair the skin tissues, rehydrate the skin cells, decrease the roughness of the skin and make it supple, and reduce wrinkles.
How To Treat Dry Skin With Avocado
- You can consume avocado by making avocado sauce, adding avocado to your salad, making avocado smoothie and guacamole, etc.
- You can also apply it externally. Prepare a mask by mashing one-fourth of an avocado and adding yogurt and honey to it. Keep it on for 20 minutes and then wipe it off with a soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water.
Bananas are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, and dietary fiber. They have anti-wrinkle properties and help moisturize the skin. The dietary fiber helps flush out the toxins, thereby rejuvenating your skin cells. Consuming bananas regularly can give your skin the glow and smoothness that it badly needs (3).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Avocado
- Consume at least one banana (and not more than two bananas) per day. You can have it as a snack or make banana smoothies, pancakes, muffins, cakes, or add it to your breakfast cereal.
- You can make a banana face pack by mashing half a banana with one teaspoon of honey and one tablespoon of yogurt. Apply it on your face evenly. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
4. Aloe Vera
This green and fleshy plant has a myriad of health benefits. Treating dry skin or, for that matter, any skin problem is one of them. Aloe vera gel contains lipids, water, vitamins A, C, E, B12, and choline, minerals, such as zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium, selenium, chromium, and calcium, amino acids, glycosides, anthraquinones, and glucomannans. Aloe vera has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps rehydrate, moisturize, and soften your skin. It promotes collagen synthesis, slows down skin aging, and protects the skin from UV radiation (4).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Aloe Vera
- You can consume aloe vera juice that is sold in pharmacies. Do not consume aloe vera gel or homemade aloe vera juice as it may contain fatal toxins.
- Mash the aloe vera gel and apply it on your skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wipe it away with a clean, soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years to treat many skin and hair problems. In fact, its unique medium-chain fatty acids also make it a good oil for consumption for reducing weight and treating diabetes type 2. Coconut oil contains a good amount of vitamins E and K, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats, and proteins. It also has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It provides the skin with adequate amounts of fat, an integral part of cells, and moisturizes the skin, thereby making it soft and shiny (5).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Coconut Oil
- Buy cooking coconut oil from a nearby supermarket and use two to three tablespoons of it in your food preparations. You can also make your salad dressing with coconut oil instead of olive oil. Have bulletproof coffee to give your body that extra dose of coconut oil.
- Apply organic coconut oil on your skin and leave it on for an hour (if you are in a hurry) or overnight. Take a warm shower and wash it off with a mild shower gel or soap.
Cold water fish, such as cod, salmon, tuna, and herring, can be highly beneficial for your health. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also maintain the recommended omega-3 – omega-6 fatty acids ratio (1:1). Consuming these fish will help reduce inflammation, flush out toxins, and lock moisture in your skin. This makes your skin look more nourished, soft, and glowing. Moreover, these fish are also a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that help keep your cells proactive, leading to better functioning, which helps slow down aging and protects the skin from flaking and cracking (6).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Fish
- Buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon, freshly-caught tuna, cod, or herring from the local fish market. You can also buy these fish from the supermarket, but make sure they are fresh. To treat dry skin, you should eat the fish with the skin as the fat layer below the skin is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can grill, bake, poach, or make curry with the fish.
- You can also consume fish oil capsules. Talk to your doctor about the dosage.
Cucumbers are excellent for treating dry skin. One cucumber contains 287 g water, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fiber (7). The high water content of cucumber makes it one of the best foods to treat dry skin. Moreover, cucumber is also a great source of silica, an important component of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones. This makes the skin healthy (8).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Cucumber
- Thinly slice the cucumbers, sprinkle some salt, and consume them. Or, you can add cucumber to your salad, sandwich, or detox water, or make cucumber soup and cucumber juice.
- Peel the cucumber and finely grate it. Add a teaspoon each of honey and aloe vera gel and mix well. Apply this mask and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wipe the mask off with a clean and soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water.
Flaxseed is (as I like to call it) really a small wonder. Just a single tablespoon of flaxseeds can help treat constipation, aid weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, protect you from cancer, and, of course, treat all your skin problems. Flaxseeds are rich in essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), lignans, phytoestrogen, proteins, and dietary fiber. Flaxseeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help flush out the toxins and reduce skin irritation. These tiny seeds help improve circulation, which is essential when you have dry skin. Your skin also gets nourishment from the omega-3 fatty acids present in the flaxseeds (9).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Flaxseeds
- Consume milled flaxseeds or flaxseed powder to facilitate their digestion and nutrient absorption. Add flaxseed powder to your morning breakfast, smoothies, juices, salads, etc.
- Add a teaspoon of yogurt to a tablespoon of flaxseed powder and mix well. Apply this mask on your skin and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
9. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is packed with vitamin A, folate, and minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and iron (10). Chamomile tea has many anti-inflammatory compounds, such as alpha-bisabolol and chamazulene, which help soothe dry and itchy skin. It also has antioxidant properties that help reduce the toxic load from the body, thereby allowing the cells to function properly. The water present in chamomile tea also helps in hydrating the skin (11) (12).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Chamomile Tea
- Have a cup of chamomile tea instead of coffee. You can also make chamomile ice tea or experiment by adding lemon, ginger, or honey to change the flavor.
- Lightly pat the chamomile tea bags on your skin or make a chamomile tea bath by adding chamomile tea, honey, and coconut oil to your bath water and bathing in that.
10. Olive Oil
The ancient Egyptians used olive oil as one of the ingredients in their cosmetics. The fatty acids present in olive oil help maintain the integrity of the outer layer of the skin and heal wounds, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, protect the skin from photodamage, prevent scar formation, and hydrate the skin (13). So, olive oil can help nourish and soften your skin after just a few applications. The best part is it is not as sticky as coconut oil, neither does it have a strong smell.
How To Treat Dry Skin With Olive Oil
- Make your salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil and use it to cook all your meals.
- Apply olive oil topically. You can also mix two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of milk, and one tablespoon of honey and apply the mixture on your skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pine nuts, pistachios, cashew, hazelnut, etc., are loaded with essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3s and omega-6s, proteins, vitamin E and B-group vitamins, magnesium, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber (14). These nutrients help maintain cell turgidity and integrity, improve circulation, and hydrate the cells, thereby making your skin soft, supple, and glowing.
How To Treat Dry Skin With Nuts
- Soak the nuts overnight. Have a handful of nuts in the morning with your breakfast. You can also add nuts to your breakfast smoothie, salad, stir-fries, milk, etc.
- Take four to six overnight soaked almonds, remove their skin, and use a blender to make almond paste. Add two tablespoons of milk and mix well. Apply this mask on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wipe it away with a clean and soft cloth dipped in lukewarm water.
12. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A, B6, B3, B2, and B1, pantothenic acid, biotin, copper, potassium, phosphorus, dietary fiber, and carotenoids. The carotenoids present in sweet potatoes are antioxidants and help stimulate the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Anthocyanin, another pigment found in sweet potatoes, is anti-inflammatory in nature. So, by consuming sweet potatoes, you will be able to soothe your skin and get rid of toxins. Moreover, sweet potatoes have also been found to heal painful cracked skin (15).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Sweet Potato
- Have delicious grilled, baked, sauteed, and mashed sweet potatoes.
- Grate a sweet potato and squeeze the juice out. Mix a teaspoon of honey in it. Dab the mixture on your skin and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
13. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, chard, collard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, etc., are rich sources of vitamins A, B, C, and K, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and folic acid, and dietary fiber. They are also antioxidative and anti-inflammatory in nature. The nutrients present in these foods help to heal dry and itchy skin, improve circulation, remove toxins, and soothe the skin (16).
How To Treat Dry Skin With Dark Leafy Greens
- You can make a green smoothie with spinach or kale. Consume blanched dark leafy greens. You can also stir-fry them or have them in salads or sandwiches.
- Buy fresh dark leafy greens. If you want, you can store them in zip lock bags, but not for more than three days.
Eggs are loaded with vitamins A, D, and E, folate, choline, protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and sodium (17). If you are consuming eggs to get rid of dry and flaky skin, remember to consume the egg yolk. It contains fat-soluble vitamins that help improve the membrane integrity of the skin cells.
How To Treat Dry Skin With Eggs
- Consume one to two whole boiled or poached eggs in the morning for breakfast. You can also have scrambled eggs. Add eggs to your salad or sandwich for lunch.
- Apply egg yolk on your skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.
It’s practically impossible to eat a pomegranate without the seeds. And you need those seeds to treat your skin. Pomegranate seeds contain antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. They help improve the skin elasticity and reduce irritation, inflammation, and itching (18). Pomegranates are also rich in vitamins A and C and minerals and have good water content (19). This helps hydrate the skin cells, reduces toxins, and heals the cracks formed due to dryness.
How To Treat Dry Skin With Pomegranate
- Have half a cup of pomegranate as a snack or with your morning breakfast. You can also add pomegranate to your salad or drink pomegranate juice.
- Apply pomegranate oil with olive oil on your skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
These were the 15 foods to treat or heal dry skin. Take a look at the list below to know what else you can do to protect your skin from becoming dry and dull.
Points To Remember
- Avoid consuming alcohol as it causes dehydration.
- Always carry a good moisturizer with you. Ensure you do not apply a water-based moisturizer.
- Drink enough water.
- Take less stress.
- Get better sleep.
- See a doctor if you need to.
Follow these tips and include the dry skin fighting foods listed above to hydrate and nourish your skin. I am sure you will see a visible difference in a few days’ time. Give your skin the treatment from within that it deserves. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the box below.
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