The weather’s getting colder, the air is getting dryer and the sweaters are getting thicker. Whether you’re commuting to work or school, the harsh winter weather is inevitable and can take an extreme toll on your face. And unless you’re walking around with a ski mask on, your skin is susceptible to the frigid climate that causes inflammation, redness and dryness, among many other common symptoms.
We can moisturize and apply a few extra face masks each week, but instead of working from the outside in, consider working from the inside out. It’s no secret that our skin is closely connected to our eating habits, which means it’s important to load up on a few key nutrients to combat the cold.
With that being said, prepare to say goodbye to dull, dry skin when you embrace these key foods that are not only in season, but also perfect for your complexion.
Aside from requiring you to pop in an extra piece of gum, garlic aids in removing bacteria from your gastrointestinal system. According to Holly Harding, founder of O’o Hawaii and Integrative Health Coach,“Garlic is an antifungal and can help to get rid of candida and a host of bacteria in the gut. As we now know, if our gut is healthy, so is our skin.”
Garlic is also full of vitamin C, which can aid in collagen production that ultimately reduces fine likes and wrinkles. Danielle Baum, owner of Angel Skin and licensed aesthetician, says, “Vitamin C is great for your skin. It’s packed with antioxidants, which protect and repair your skin from free radical damage and sun damage. Vitamin C is also a great brightening agent that contributes to evening out the skin tone as well.”
Harding says, “These hearty greens include a host of vitamins including A (a powerful antioxidant), C, calcium, iron and folic acid.” Antioxidants are extremely useful because they protect your skin from free radicals that ultimately come from pollution, cigarette smoke and other chemicals your skin is frequently exposed to.
Studies also show that calcium aids in cell turnover, a key factor in keeping your skin looking supple and youthful. Cell turnover slows down with age, but chowing down on some choi sum or calcium-rich foods can help boost the process.
Folic acid alleviates dryness and improves moisture retention, which is extremely essential during the winter season. Baum says, “Folic acid pairs well with other antioxidants to rid the body of toxins, which essentially helps reduce acne.”
Wrapping asparagus in bacon is probably not the route you want to take when attempting to improve your skin’s complexion this winter. However, according to Harding, “Six spears of asparagus contain 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. In addition to its powerful antioxidant properties, vitamin A also reduces the production of sebum from the pores and helps prevent acne and helps to destroy free radicals.”
Carrots are rich in vitamin C, and as noted earlier, it helps boost collagen production and evens out your skin tone. It’s routinely recommended as a way to help clear up acne and allow your skin to become less dull—need any more convincing?
“High in vitamin A and zinc, the two vitamins in combination help bring hydration to the skin and zinc in essence boost vitamin A’s ability to do its job,” says Harding. Studies show that zinc has a favorable effect on rosacea, a skin disorder that can flare up or be triggered by cold weather, and acne.
Aside from promoting digestion, improving your immune system and lowering blood sugar levels, studies show that onions have great anti-inflammatory components. Redness is almost inevitable during the dry winter months, but onions can help combat this side effect because of the quercetin, an anti-inflammatory, found in this winter vegetable. Other foods that contain quercetin include broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
You can steam, roast, bake or boil beetroots, the super-pigmented root crop that has an extremely unique taste. Beetroots also contain flavanoids like quercetin that according to studies, combat inflammation. Containing a significant amount of vitamin C, beets are another winter vegetable that helps alleviate dryness and promote collagen production.
Keep these extremely nutritious veggies in mind next time you’re grocery shopping!