Nourish your skin

At this time of year, our skin is more exposed to cold and windy weather, central heating and hot showers. So you might find that your skin has become more dry and irritable and you are more likely to suffer from skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Here are some pointers on what you can do for good skin health:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables - aim for at least three portions a day and vary what you have. Vegetables that are in season include: beetroot, broccoli, squash, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, radish, rocket, runner beans, shallots, spinach, swede, tomatoes, turnips, watercress and lettuce.

  • Include plenty of good fats in your diet such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil and two portions of oily fish a week (salmon, sardines and mackerel).

  • Drink plenty of fluids - it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that water is good for your skin! Think about alternating between tea/coffee and a glass of water. You might prefer warm rather than cold water this time of year. There are loads of herbal teas available now that can help you drink more. Green tea is great for all round good health.

  • Specific nutrients are needed for healthy skin such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, B vitamins and selenium. A good starting point is to eat a varied diet containing a wide range of different foods. This will help you to increase your intake of these nutrients. Write down what you have to eat for a week and use this to see how varied your diet is and what else you could include.

As well as the pointers above, there are often underlying causes of skin problems such as poor gut health, hormonal imbalances (especially insulin), inflammation and stress. These are all big topics in themselves and need to be considered.

As nutritional therapists, we don’t consider dietary factors in isolation, so here are some lifestyle factors that can improve skin health too:

  • Doing some exercise on a regular basis (this doesn’t necessarily mean the gym, it is actually better for our mental well-being to have a walk or bike ride on a lovely crisp autumn day).

  • Sufficient rest and sleep - something else that nutrition can impact on.

  • Identifying any major causes of stress in your life and having coping/managing techniques for them.

  • Using a good quality, paraben free moisturizer on your body and face on a daily basis.

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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