5 Tips for Healthier Winter Skin

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

To keep your skin hydrated and supple, make sure you're eating fish, flaxseed, and more to get your essential fatty acids.I don’t know about you, but if I’m not careful my skin looks and feels like sandpaper in the winter, dry and cracked. Fortunately, there are secrets for keeping your skin soft and healthy, all winter long.

1. Protect your skin with antioxidants, which guard against free radical damage. Take a good multi-nutrient with antioxidants, and eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries and raspberries.

2. Make sure you’re getting enough essential fatty acids (EFAs) in your diet. They’re crucial for maintaining skin hydration and suppleness. A simple test for determining if you’re getting enough EFAs is to feel your skin. If it’s soft, smooth, and velvety, you’re probably getting enough EFAs. If not, try to consume more wild cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel (but not king mackerel), nuts such as almonds and walnuts, and flaxseed. I also recommend that you supplement with 1–3 grams daily of high-quality fish oil.

3. Decrease the amount of caffeine and alcohol in your diet. Both of these substances can have a dehydrating effect on your skin.

4. Drink eight glasses of pure, clean water a day—which hydrates your skin from the inside.

5. Steer clear of sugar. Teenagers aren’t the only ones whose skin can show the effects of a sugary diet. Excess sugar in the diet is believed to stick to collagen, making skin less flexible and resilient.

Finally, don’t forget the tips that mom used to tell you—like wearing gloves to protect your hands from the cold, and drying them fully after washing. Those simple steps really help.

Now it’s your turn: How do you protect your skin in the winter?

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