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Foods for Healthy, Supple Skin

How Water Benefits Your Skin

Few things are as good as water for keeping your skin in shape. Water keeps skin hydrated, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It helps cells take up nutrients and purge toxins. And water improves circulation and blood flow, keeping your skin glowing.

The Institute of Medicine recommends nine to 12 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Selenium for Your Skin

Selenium is a trace mineral that may help protect skin cells from free radical damage. It may also play a role in skin cancer prevention.

Excellent sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, and fish such as snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Selenium is also found in cooked beef, light turkey meat, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta.

CoQ10: Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant made naturally in your body. However, its production decreases with aging. CoQ10 protects skin and other body cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It's also involved in energy production and basic functioning of cells. Low levels of this antioxidant are found in many age-related illnesses. When used topically, it is reported to improve the appearance of wrinkles and the signs of aging.

Rich sources of CoQ10 include fish (such as salmon and tuna), poultry, organ meats (such as liver), and whole grains.

Antioxidants for Healthy Cells

Antioxidants prevent or slow the damage done to cells by free radicals. This damage contributes to signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dry skin.

Antioxidants can be found in all kinds of foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables such as berries, tomatoes, apricots, beets, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, peppers, and beans.

Vitamin A for Skin Repair

Want to steer clear of dry, flaky skin? Grab an orange, a carrot, or a slice of cantaloupe. These fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A. Applying vitamin A to the skin appears to improve signs of aging, such as wrinkles. Topical and oral forms of vitamin A are common prescription treatments for acne and other skin conditions, including wrinkles. Other sources of vitamin A include leafy greens, eggs, and low-fat dairy.

Vitamin C: Power Over the Sun

Vitamin C helps protect skin from the sun. It also helps undo damage done by free radicals, which destroy skin-firming fibers such as collagen and elastin.

Excellent sources of vitamin C include red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E: Booster of Skin Health

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that may help shield your skin from damage done by the sun. Vitamin E is also an anti-inflammatory and immunity enhancer.

Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens in small amounts.

Essential Fatty Acids for Your Skin

Essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s help produce your skin's natural oil barrier, keeping dry skin and blemishes at bay. EFAs are necessary fats that help leave skin smoother and younger-looking.

Good sources of essential fatty acids include olive and canola oils, flax, walnuts, and coldwater fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

Healthy Oils for Healthy Skin

Some oils pack more than essential fatty acids. Good-quality oils like extra virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed oil are more simply processed than many commercial oils, and so they may help retain more skin-boosting nutrients.

These oils may also help lubricate skin and keep it looking and feeling healthy.

Green Tea: Antioxidant Powerhouse

Green tea may be the closest thing to a magic elixir that nature can offer for your skin. Green tea helps to stop inflammation, slow DNA damage, and can help prevent the sun from burning your skin.

You can find green tea in an abundance of cosmetics, but why not go straight to the source for a green tea boost: your tea pot.

Your Skin Care Advisor: Dry Skin in Winter

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on August 05, 2011

Sources: Sources

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information: Disclaimer

© 2011 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Additional Resources

Dry Skin in the Bath

To soothe dry skin:

  1. Keep the water lukewarm, not hot.
  2. Take short baths or showers - 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Apply moisturizer right after drying off.

Dermatologists recommend heavier creams or ointments in winter, and lighter lotions in summer.

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