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7 Hydrating foods that can moisturize dry, flaky skin

There are many causes of dry skin. Environmental factors such as weather and lifestyle choices can contribute to the skin’s lack of hydration. Topical moisturizers exist to address this problem, but sometimes, they are not enough to provide the moisture your skin needs. This may be because you lack moisture internally, and these topical moisturizers only hydrate the outermost layers of the skin. Fortunately, there are many foods that you can add to your diet to help moisturize your dry, flaky skin. These include:

  1. Fatty fish – Fatty fish like wild salmon and sardines contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that substantially increase skin hydration. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can rehydrate dry skin and reduce pruritus or severe itching. When eating fatty fish, make sure to eat the skin too because it contains carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients can improve skin tone and hydration. To achieve smooth, supple skin, eat at least three servings of wild-caught fatty fish each week.
  2. Nuts and seeds – Nuts are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that help with dry skin. For example, Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium, which increases glutathione levels. This powerful antioxidant can improve the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by dry, flaky skin. Other nuts and seeds, such as flaxseed and walnuts, provide good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that keep the skin hydrated. You can eat nuts and seeds as snacks or add them to salads or smoothies.
  3. Oysters – Eating oysters at least once a week can help moisturize your skin because oysters are rich in minerals that are essential for skin health. One of these minerals is copper, which promotes the production of collagen that increases skin elasticity. Collagen makes the skin resistant to microscopic tears and wrinkles.
  4. Avocados – In addition to healthy fats, avocados also contain vitamins C and E. Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen. On the other hand, vitamin E deficiency can result in dry skin according to a review published in Dermato-Endocrinology. Adding avocados to salads or smoothies will ensure that you get a good amount of vitamin C and E and your skin stays hydrated.
  5. Sweet potatoes – To help increase the firmness of your skin, add a side of mashed or roasted sweet potatoes to your dinner. These starchy vegetables contain carotenoids, a group of antioxidants that strengthens the skin barrier to protect skin from environmental damage. Keeping the skin barrier strong helps prevent the cold, dry winter air from damaging the skin.
  6. Bone broth – Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen. Therefore, eating bone broth can improve the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. Collagen supplements also greatly improve skin hydration and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. (Related: EXCLUSIVE: Organic bone broth products found to be clear of all agricultural chemicals; lab tests confirm why organic really is better.)
  7. Kale – This leafy green vegetable is packed with lutein and carotenoids that provide ample hydration and prevent collagen breakdown. You can eat kale with salmon for a double dose of skin-hydrating antioxidants and fatty acids.

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Aside from lacking moisture internally, the harmful chemicals in your perfume and make-up can give you dry skin. Your soap may also be too harsh, or the water you use for bathing may contain too much lead, magnesium, and zinc. These things can deplete your skin of moisture, so be sure to make up for it by eating skin-hydrating foods. Visit to learn more about them.

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