Dry skin may be a common condition but it can still be uncomfortable and irritating to deal with if you have it. Dry skin happens when your skin doesn’t have enough moisture and it presents as flaking, scaling or cracking skin. Dry skin has a variety of causes and factors but if you have severely dry skin it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor as sometimes it can be associated with medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, allergies, or kidney disease. If you’re dealing with dry skin and topical skin care treatments aren’t working, try looking into supplementation to assist in keeping your skin at its optimal health and moisture levels.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin can have varying and multiple causes and can affect any part of your body.
●Climate - Areas with cold winters and low humidity create the perfect environment for dry skin. A sudden change in environment, temperature, or season can also trigger dry skin.
●Age – As we age our skin becomes more vulnerable to dry skin due to the thinning of the skin that occurs meaning it has a hard time retaining moisture.
●Nutrition and Lifestyle – No-fat diets can deprive the skin of the essential fatty acids meaning that less water can be retained in the skin. While eating sugary foods breaks down collagen and elastin in our skin causing dullness, while excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption can cause dehydration. Other micronutrient deficiencies can also contribute to dry skin.
Best Vitamins for Dry Skin
Try some of these vitamin supplements to help combat and improve your dry skin symptoms.
Vitamin E has been used for a variety of issues of the skin, from wound healing and more. Vitamin E’s anti-inflammatory and free-radical fighting may help in preventing dry skin. In a study performed in 2015, oral vitamin E supplements helped improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis or eczema, a skin condition characterised by itchy, dry, red skin. Further, topical vitamin E provides a protecting layer on the skin which has also been noted to assist those with dry skin.
Fish oil contains omega 3s, DHAs and EPAs which are known for their abilities to assist our skin and body. It may help in increasing hydration and improving the skin barrier to help maintain hydration. In a study performed on rats, the group on fish oil noted a 30% increase in hydration of the skin compared to the control group after 60 days.
Keratinocytes are the cells that make up the outer layer of our skin called the epidermis and are the only cells that can convert vitamin D in our body. What this means is that vitamin D plays a vital role in the maintenance of our skin. Some studies have suggested that vitamin D plays a role in inflammatory skin conditions like dry skin, with others connecting dry skin to low levels of vitamin D.
Collagen is the main structural protein of our connective tissues in our body, including our skin. Collagen has a variety of benefits for our skin with studies showing that supplementation may increase skin hydration, improve skin texture, as well as decrease wrinkle depth.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen production and is a natural antioxidant. Our skin contains high amounts of vitamin C so it’s no surprise that getting enough of it is crucial to our skin’s health. Some studies have had success in showing how vitamin C supplementation may increase our skin’s hydration levels by increasing our skin barrier function which reduces water loss.
Additional Tips for Preventing or Soothing Dry Skin
● Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
●Don’t take scalding hot showers or baths and limit your time in them, especially in the winter.
●Apply moisturiser immediately after getting out of a bath or shower. Quickly pat dry and moisturise.
●Use fragrance-free mild soaps and cleansers on your skin.
●Eat a balanced diet rich in healthy fats.