What Is the Connection between Diet and Dry Skin?

Karize Uy

The connection between diet and dry skin may be seen as a “cause and effect.” What a person eats and does not eat can be reflected in his physical appearance, especially on the skin. A vitamin-deficient and unhealthy diet is one of the causes of dry skin. The appearance of the skin tends to be flaky, patchy, or even accompanied by red blotches; itchiness can also occur for those with sensitive skin. Dryness of the skin can have long-term repercussions, such as premature wrinkles and bacterial infection.

Drinking lots of water can alleviate dry skin.
Drinking lots of water can alleviate dry skin.

Concerning solid foods, there really are no specific foods that give a person dry and dull skin. The connection between diet and dry skin, in this case, is about what a person does not eat more than what he eats. Many people are advised not to eat too much fat, and they end up not eating any fat at all. Totally eliminating fat from one’s diet can result in dry skin, as the skin does need some fat. Proteins such as fish contain healthy fats called omega-6 and omega-3. These fats help replenish lost moisture in the skin, as well as help bind the existing moisture in the skin to prevent further moisture loss.

People with dry skin may notice an improvement if they eat more vitamin-rich foods.
People with dry skin may notice an improvement if they eat more vitamin-rich foods.

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When it comes to diet and dry skin, solid foods are not the only factor, but also liquids as well. There are several beverages that can deplete the body of moisture, thus giving a person dry skin. Alcoholic beverages are examples of these. People tend to urinate out the water in their body when they are drinking alcohol, and beverages such as beer, brandy, and bourbon cannot replace the moisture content that water has. This results in dry skin.

Foods like fish that contain healthy fats help replenish the skin's moisture.
Foods like fish that contain healthy fats help replenish the skin's moisture.

Another dehydrating beverage that one should drink in moderation is coffee. Similar to alcohol, coffee is a diuretic that triggers a person to urinate more often. Should a person have his “caffeine fix” in the morning, or have his “nightcap” before sleeping, he should drink one or two glasses of water to make up for the water loss. Doctors and nutritionists also recommend drinking eight to ten glasses of water everyday to increase skin moisture and elasticity.

The battle against an unbalanced diet and dry skin can be remedied by including several vitamins in one’s meals. Such vitamins include vitamin A, which is important for proper skin regeneration and renewal, and vitamin B helps break down essential oils and fats needed to moisturize the skin. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that reduces skin dryness. For people who have a limited food selection, nutritional supplements should be taken for healthy skin.

A deficiency in Vitamin A may lead to itchy, dry skin.
A deficiency in Vitamin A may lead to itchy, dry skin.

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