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Foods to Reduce Dry Skin

Foods to Reduce Dry Skin

Dry skin may be due to reduced collagen via the natural process of aging. Collagen is a strong, yet flexible protein found throughout the body which provides elasticity and also helps seal moisture into the skin. As we age, our collagen naturally decreases, which can lead to a dull or wrinkled skin tone. Along with other lifestyle changes, eating a sensible and varied diet can help build and sustain collagen, defeating dry skin from within.


Vitamin C is crucial to the development of collagen, so consider trying these familiar or new food sources. Look to tropical guavas, kiwi, mango, papaya and persimmon, as well as the more familiar grapefruits, tangerines and cantaloupe. Blueberries are high in vitamins C and E, providing a double-dose of antioxidant power. While coconuts have a high percentage of fatty acids (which nourish the skin's lipid layer and counter irritation), it is more efficient to apply the oil topically.


Broccoli is a star when it comes to vitamin C, but you also can try to incorporate more sweet bell peppers, cauliflower, tomato, spinach and mustard greens. On the more unusual side, try grating shitake mushrooms, kohlrabi or jicama into your foods. Avocadoes contain both vitamin C and the emollient/antioxidant vitamin E, but should be eaten in moderation due to their high (monosaturated) fat content.

Cooking Oils

While investigating oil replacements, exercise caution. The Mayo Clinic recommends against saturated and trans fats, which can increase your cholesterol and risk of heart disease. For low-temperature cooking, look to olive oil, which contains vitamin E and monosaturated fat, a heart- and skin-healthy combination. For middle-temperature cooking, try safflower oil, which is high in vitamin E and polyunsaturated fat (including omega-3 and omega-6 vitamins, which can support skin health and counter pollutants). For high-heat cooking, stick with canola oil, which contains monounsaturated fats (which can lower your risk of heart disease) and also is a good source of omega 3s. Like olive oil, high-quality safflower oil also can be applied topically, though sparingly, to dry skin.

Condiments and Spices

Miso contains hyaluronic acid, which helps retain moisture in skin. This acid also can be found in bone products, which add appeal to homemade soup broths. However, individuals on a low-sodium diet should use miso with caution. Both garlic and onion contain sulfur, which can help to smooth the skin. Please note that direct consumption of any of these foods is not recommended, and frequent consumption of onion may lead to digestive or gastrointestinal distress in some people.

Lifestyle Factors

Drinking alcohol and coffee and smoking cigarettes can introduce heat and dryness to the skin. Try drinking more water, as the National Skin Care Institute reports hydration as crucial for flushing toxins from the skin and as important as exterior creams for replenishing moisture. You should also consider regular sunscreen application, even in the winter, to prevent the sun's drying effects.

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