The Best Foods For Dry Skin, According To Ayurvedic Medicine Experts
Have you ever heard the turn of phrase, "Your eyes are the window to your soul"? As cheesy as it sounds, aesthetics can give you away, in ways you’d least expect them to. Take your skin, for example. When your complexion is supple and blemish-free, it’s a telling sign you’ve probably found the right moisturizer, and that you usually clock in a good night’s rest. Flaky cheeks and uneven pigmentation, however, can represent things like change of season, a reaction to cosmetic products, and even a poor diet. Implementing the best foods for dry skin into your diet on a regular basis should be a top priority, regardless of whether or not your chin feels rough from one day to the next, because beauty stems from the inside out. In other words, when you feel good, you look good, and that's literally reflected in your skin.
In Ayurvedic traditions, food is not only fuel for your body; it's medicinal, as well as cosmetic. What you should eat circles back to what's known as your "prakruti," or "nature." According to The Chopra Center, your prakruti is made up of "doshas," which are said to be three substances present in the human body derived by the five elements (earth, wind, fire, water, void) named Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
Pitta deals with fire and water, and Kapha deals with water and earth, but Vata, derived from space and air, is what has a hand in the way your skin looks when it's completely dehydrated. See, Vata is said to reflect space and air elements, and is often described as cold and dry, which is what comes through most often in fall and winter months — you know, when your skin starts to dry TF out because there's little to no moisture in the air. So in order to salvage dry skin, Ayurvedic experts suggest adding these five foods into your daily diet.
Drink Warm, Hydrating Beverages
Vata is recognized as cool and dry, so in order to combat those effects on your skin, you have to fuel your body with foods and liquids that are warm and hydrating. Nadya Andreeva, a certified wellness coach specializing in digestive heath and Ayurveda, told MindBodyGreen that a good way to do this is by drinking cups of herbal tea:
Making some spicy tea with fresh ginger and lemon will wake you up in the afternoon and keep your digestion healthy, which is important for glowing skin.
Stock Up On Soup And Stew
I know myself, and sometimes, I'm just not much of a drinker when it comes to my water intake (which is why I committed to drinking 64 ounces of water a day for a whole week one time to see how it felt). This is a huge mistake in terms of skin health, though (and, you know, health in general), because the more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your skin will be.
So, what's the solution? Well, if you're not gulping down bottles on bottles of water on the reg, consider supplementing drinks for soups and stews. Debbi Burnes, founder and creator of Sumbody skincare, tells Elite Daily that people will generally change their eating habits seasonally, and especially in the wintertime when skin is more susceptible to drier conditions. So eating "soups and stews, and anything of that nature," she says, really helps keep hydration levels on the up and up.
Any Food High In Essential Fatty Acids
According to clinical Ayurvedic specialist Cheryl Silberman, founder/director of Kanyakumari Ayurveda Education & Retreat Center in Milwaukee, dry skin responds well to diets that are high in healthy fats (think nuts, chia seeds, avocados, even dark chocolate). She told Yoga Journal that adding ghee (which is a clarified butter that kind of has a nutty, almost-caramel-like taste) to meals can really help, so stop by your local food store to pick up a jar, or get experimental in the kitchen and make a batch yourself.
According to Burnes, essential fatty acids are important, too, as they improve skin's hydration and visibly clear up your complexion. She tells Elite Daily that making foods like chia seeds, walnuts, and salmon your grocery-list staples will help combat that chapped texture.
Add Anti-Inflammatory Spices To Recipes Whenever You Can
In case you haven't noticed, warmth is a recurring theme when it comes to nursing chapped skin. In addition to beverages and meals that are warm by nature, Burnes recommends adding spices and herbs to meals whenever that extra heat will work with the rest of your dish.
"Things like cayenne pepper, ginger, and turmeric are all anti-inflammatory, and amazing for your skin when used internally," she tells Elite Daily.
Experiment With Bee Pollen
Here's a fun fact about dry skin you may not already know: Acne isn't exclusive to oily skin. Now, you might be thinking, "Well, acne is the product of an excessive amount of oil in the skin, so what are you talking about, Julia?" And hey, you're not wrong. But, according to LIVESTRONG, when your skin is dry, it's unable to maintain cell turnover, resulting in a lot of dead cells clogging up your pores, which is what can lead to breakouts.
Should this be the case for you, Burnes tells Elite Daily that bee pollen is "exceptional for acne," because "it has all the amino acids in the building blocks of your skin." What's more, Dr. A Mohamad Saleem, BAMS, who specializes in Ayurvedic treatments, told the health outlet Practo that a drizzle of raw honey is also great for pimples or acne scarring. Simply apply, let the sticky stuff set for five to 10 minutes or so, and rinse thoroughly.