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The 7 best (and worst) foods for your skin

We spend a lot of time thinking about what we can put on our skin to protect it during the dry, harsh winter, but half of our cold weather defense is an inside job. What we eat has as much to do with the health of our skin as the products we vigilantly apply to it.

There are foods that can help your skin heal itself and those that will make things worse. You have to find a good balance to keep your skin happy all season long. Let’s go over foods for your skin that can kick those winter blues.

a woman wearing a yellow sweater with beautiful skin.

What foods are bad for your skin?

Alcohol

We know — winter means mulled wine, hot toddies and more. But alcohol dries your skin out. If you have eczema or rosacea, your already sensitive skin will become even more irritated as your alcohol intake increases. You don’t have to have a dry season, but limit and watch your alcohol intake in the winter.

Sugary snacks

From Halloween on, it’s all downhill when it comes to sweets. But sugar is horrible for your skin. It breaks down collagen, which is what keeps your skin plump and firm, making it look saggy and dull. Sugar also clogs your pores, so skip that second (or third or fourth) piece of candy if you notice more breakouts than usual.

Carbs

Carbs do your skin wrong in a similar way sugar does by going after your collagen. To keep the wrinkles away and your skin firm, switch to whole grains.

Salty snacks

What do you do when you need to melt and dry out the ice in your driveway? You throw salt on it. Though that’s not the salt that is covering your fries, it’s the same concept. The salt sucks the moisture out of your cells, which leads to dry, rough skin.

Vitamin A supplements

A lot of people take vitamin A to control their acne. But too much can give rise to side effects like brittle hair and dry skin. If you eat a diet full of foods that contain vitamin A, there’s no need to take an additional supplement.

Dairy products

As a kid, you were told to drink your milk for healthy bones. For adults, milk is an enemy of your skin. Many adults find they are sensitive to dairy items, which can also worsen conditions like eczema and acne because it’s pro-inflammatory.

Coffee

We know you really, really don’t want to hear this one. But drinking enormous amounts of coffee affects the flow of fluids to the skin. Drinking coffee first thing without food makes it even worse. You will have to decide if your caffeine fix is worth the dry skin.

A women in a wintery scene wearing a hooded sweater with glowing skin.

What to eat for glowing skin?

Tea

Instead of that morning coffee or nightly glass of wine, try tea instead. Staying hydrated in the winter is just as important as in the summer — maybe more. If you aren’t the best at drinking your eight to 10 glasses of water a day, add tea to the rotation. Herbal tea is also a great anti-inflammatory and will flush those toxins out of your skin.

Oatmeal

Not only will oatmeal help you control the inevitable winter weight gain, but it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals that will keep your skin glowing. Full of antioxidants and fiber, oatmeal will help heal dry skin and other skin issues like eczema.

Avocados

Whether you like it sliced on toast or made into delicious guacamole, avocados should always be in your home. They are rich in vitamins C, E, and A, which help your skin stay hydrated. They also increase blood flow, which is important for your skin to get that glow back.

Carrots

This superfood should be eaten all year round, but to help battle pigmentation and discoloration from acne and wrinkles, carrots should be your go-to snack in the winter. Antioxidants and the right amount of vitamin A will keep your skin looking radiant.

Almonds

Almonds are the ultimate winter snack to help your skin win the battle against aging. Antioxidants and vitamin E protect your skin against the sun and dryness from the frosty winter air. You can top your salads with them or garnish your favorite soup with a few. The best part is that it only takes five a day for healthier skin.

Bone broth

Winter is the season of soup and stew. Instead of using vegetable or chicken broth for your base, use bone broth. It contains elevated levels of collagen, which your skin needs to keep that bouncy elasticity. Keep the cold and the wrinkles away with bone broth this winter.

Dark chocolate

Staying away from candy during the holidays might be hard, but knowing you can indulge in dark chocolate makes it all better. Dark chocolate contains flavonols that protect your skin against the sun by fighting cell damage and improving your blood flow.

A variety of citrusy fruits.

Which fruit is best for the skin?

Oranges

The vitamin C in oranges will give you a bright glow and even out pigmentation. Vitamin C and calcium from oranges will also fight colds all winter long.

Papaya

Papaya will take care of your constipation problems. If you are backed up with toxins in your body, your skin will not be at its best no matter what you try. The minerals and vitamins in papaya make it a great fruit for face masks and an instant moisturizer.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates keep your skin safe from the sun and even skin tone. The ellagic acid found in them combats aging and tightens up pores.

Your skincare routine for the winter isn’t only about serums and creams. What you put into your body is just as important as what you put on your skin. To have healthy, soft, and bright skin that the winter weather can’t dull, rotate these foods and fruits into your diet.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

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