To combat skin dehydration, there is no need for creams or visits to the dermatologist. It is enough to start with something more basic but that acts from within the body: the right diet.
Only those who suffer from cold damage to the skin know how uncomfortable it can be. Tightness, dryness, itching, cracking… The explanation for these symptoms lies in the fact that, once the skin is weakened by the cold, much of the water it contains on its surface evaporates and this leaves it very sensitive and the parts exposed to the air end up being victims of dryness.
Many products are available to alleviate this problem: cocoa for the lips, moisturizing creams for hands and face, etc., but not everyone really knows how these products work: what they do is deposit a film on the skin, preventing the natural loss of water, and this necessarily means that they act only on the surface.
On the other hand, it is possible to correct the level of hydration and skin health from the inside and, therefore, in a permanent and natural way. The right foods are therefore the greatest secret for skin that retains its radiance and softness. In other words: to have healthy skin on the inside that shows on the outside.
Drinking more water
Of course, we start with the body’s main source of hydration. But in reality, water is much more than that: it also cleanses the body of toxins and even helps the skin to get the nutrients it needs.
As for how much to consume daily, opinions differ. No rule seems to apply to everyone, but it is indeed something very personal and depends on different factors: weight, height, climate in which you live, lifestyle, whether or not you breastfeed (in women who have recently become mothers) or even the diseases you may suffer from, among other conditions.
If you really want an average, know that an adult evacuates about 2.5 liters of fluid daily (that is, about 1 and ½ liters through urine and perspiration, as well as 1 liter consumed by the metabolism itself).
Furthermore, only 20% of our water needs come from food. This means that, by necessity, we should consume about 2 liters of water per day (including herbal teas and other beverages).
Some people will tell you that salt can help you drink more and will recommend that you add it to your dishes. I tell you to avoid it, as it is a great enemy of the skin.
If you want strong flavors that will help you drink a little more, go for spices, which will also add antioxidant value to your dishes.
Go for the best fruits and vegetables
It is also nothing new that vegetables offer many benefits, even for the skin. In addition to being rich in water, certain fruits and vegetables have a high vitamin C content, which is essential for the vitality of the body and the skin barrier.
And not only that: this nutrient also promotes the production of collagen fibers in the dermis (the intermediate layer of the skin, located between the epidermis and the hypodermis), improving its tone. In other words: it helps it stay young.
Beyond the famous citrus fruits, in which there is actually less vitamin C than commonly believed, you will find large amounts in fruits such as camu-camu, rose hip, acerola, blackcurrant, kiwi or grapes, as well as in vegetables such as red bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach…
Prioritizing good fats
Contrary to what many continue to advocate today, not all fats should be prohibited.
In fact, the epidermis is composed of keratinocytes, cells linked together by lipids. And the truth is that the latter play a key role in the hydration of our skin, since they are responsible for retaining the water contained in these keratinocytes. In this way, they nourish the skin and effectively protect it from dehydration and external aggressions.
So, how to promote the consumption of good fats? Which foods to bet on?
– 2 or 3 times a week stock up on omega 3 and 6 fatty acids by eating fatty fish (preferably small-sized, such as anchovies, mackerel, sardines, herring…; but also tuna, salmon, etc.) and betting on rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil or some dried fruit (such as walnuts or almonds).
You should know that in this group cod liver oil is an absolute champion in terms of richness of nutrients and properties. But there are also other foods that will benefit you, such as eggs and red meat (the latter, in any case, should not be abused). And of course, extra virgin olive oil is always a good ally.
The idea is to maintain a proper balance between omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (specifically, around a ratio of 1:3). The latter are essential for proper hydration of the body, although we rarely lack them. Quite the contrary: there is often an excess of them, even though this makes them oxidants.
– Frequently consume oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews… always unroasted and unsalted). These fruits contain another vitamin that, together with vitamin C, is very valuable for our skin: vitamin E.
This, besides participating in the hydration of the epidermis, helps to fight against skin aging thanks to its important antioxidant properties.
In addition to many nuts, it can be found in notable quantities in certain vegetable oils such as olive oil (extra virgin) or rapeseed oil, as well as in other foods such as spinach, avocado or dried apricots, to name just a few.
– Give yourself a “reasonable treat”! If you enjoy it, at the odd breakfast you can still allow yourself a dab of butter on toast.
Even if I must advise you not to abuse bread, as it also often contains salt, do not forget that this food is made up of 33%! of water.