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Dry Skin and Your Health

Updated on March 19, 2009

5 Targets for Beautiful Skin

Skin, soft and supple to the touch. Don't we all want it? Millions of dollars are spent annually on dry skin care products. Yet for 8.4 million Americans, it seems unattainable and they seek the help of a physician. If you have dry skin frequently than I encourage you to look at why. It is important to treat the problem and not only the symptom. The condition of your skin is a reflection of what is happening internally. Healthy skin, is well nourished skin. Topical creams are temporal and don't have a lasting effect. Let's focus on obtaining healthy skin from the inside out.

How important is skin to our well-being?

Skin is the body's largest organ. It acts as a barrier between the body and millions of foreign substances in our environment. It also teams up with your kidneys and bowels to excrete toxins. Maintaining the health of your skin will automatically improve your overall health.

What You Need:

1. Antioxidants - Visualize antioxidants like warriors against disease. Protecting us from free radicals that would otherwise create cancer, infections, and other disorders in our bodies.

Vitamin A and Carotenoids - Essential for new cell growth, development and maintaining moisture. Best sources : Green leafy vegetables, potatoes, fish liver oil, beef liver, chicken liver, yellow and orange vegetables. Some herb sources are kelp, borage leaves, alfalfa, hops, lemongrass, paprika, sage.

Vitamin C- Functions by neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage and age your skin. Additionally, Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of collagen aiding in the strength and elasticity of the skin. Best sources : Orange juice, oranges, green pepper (raw), grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli (raw), cantaloupe, potato and tomato (raw). Some herb sources are alfalfa, chickweed, fennel seed, hops, kelp, peppermint, parsley, rose hips, and yarrow.

2. Omega 3-Fatty Acids: The amazing Omega-3 works on a molecular level preventing and treating many health problems including skin disorders. It is found in every membrane of every cell in our bodies! The body cannot make fatty acids so it has to come from our diet.

Best Sources: Canola, fish, flax seed, eggs,soybeans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Stop right here. Vitamin supplements are very popular right now. I must warn you that overdosing on Vitamin A can be extremely toxic and dangerous to your health. Never take supplements unless it has been approved by a medical doctor or registered dietitian. Food sources give you a much better fighting chance at better health. It provides fiber (improving the digestive system) and satiety so you are less likely to over eat.


 Purified or distilled water is best for drinking
Purified or distilled water is best for drinking

3. Water, lots of water! The most extreme example is that if you don't drink water you die. Water plays a critical role in the physiology of the body. If there is a lack of water the body goes into survival mode. Brain, liver and kidneys get their portion and the rest of the body suffers. Not drinking water will result in poor nourishment and an increase of toxins; thus, promoting poor health and dry skin.

"I hate drinking plain water". Your not alone. The following is a list of acceptable hydrating beverages:

  • Herbal teas
  • Skim milk
  • Flavored water
  • Juice
  • Smoothies
  • Soy based beverages
  • Ice water with lemon or lime juice added for flavor
  • Vitamin water
  • Sports drinks

"What about soda, coffee and tea?"

Am I hitting home yet? The Big Gulp, Starbucks, and that wonderful Earl Grey (with a twist of lemon) are part of our daily lives. You don't have to boycott the soda isle at the grocery store or offer your coffee pot at the next rummage sale, just moderate. Balance is the key here.

Small changes tend to have more staying power:

  • Decrease your intake of caffeinated drinks by half.
  • Use smaller cups or mugs
  • Try alternating hydrating and caffeinated beverages throughout the day
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal.

4. Exercise for your skin.

It can be assumed that exercise benefits the whole body. But what many people don't realize is that staying active benefits your skin. Getting that body moving around increases circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin cells. This helps the skin produce collagen and support fibers that keep wrinkles at bay. Another benefit is that well nurished skin excretes toxins more efficiently.

How much do I need to exercise?

The answer would vary depending on your age, health and fitness level. There are some guidelines to follow if your just getting started.

  • See a physician first; have a physical if it has been more than a year since your last one.
  • Once you get the green light, start!
  • Plan to exercise. Choose times and days for exercise and fit it in your weekly schedule.
  • Choose activities that fit with your lifestyle. Try new ways of getting your body moving. Change the location if possible to keep it interesting.
  • Start slow, 20 minutes three times a week. Increasing the length and frequency as the weeks go by.

5. The fried foods blues

Doesn't fried food taste good? There is a whole world of fried foods available at every market and eatery. Make a hardy effort to reduce them in your diet or cut them out all together. Fried foods change the chemical make-up in your skin. Increasing free radicals which breakdown the elastin in your skin. This causes your skin to age faster.

Focus on complete health and your skin will glow. Implementing nourishing foods into your diet, being active and staying hydrated can be done with simple modifications. Cut back on unhealthy habits and adding some good ones in its place.


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    • profile image

      TheSablirab 8 years ago

      Nice Hub! Great facts. Certainly try my best to incorperate as many healthy bits into my life!

    • Jim Farguson profile image

      Jim Farguson 8 years ago

      i've had dermatitis for years and i can say taking vitamin c, lots of sleep, and meditation help more than anything...

      also, avoiding sugar and caffeine.

      good hub...

    • kristenkiya profile image

      kristenkiya 8 years ago from India

      I too have the same problem of dry skin....

    • Sonoma Gemstones profile image

      Sonoma Gemstones 8 years ago from Northern CA Grape Growing & Wine Producing Region

      Hi Tomato, I really enjoyed your hub...good information. I have to force myself to drink water. I prefer hot drinks like tea over cold drinks...seems to go down faster and easier. Increased exercise is another topic altogether, but I'm working on it! Thanks for checking out my hub and joining as a fan. Keep up the great work! Fran

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      good information a d helpful hub

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Hi Ashley! I had the same challenge - Coffee mugs sure have increased in size- some hold 4 or 5 cups! Yikes. So glad you enjoyed reading!

    • AshleyVictoria profile image

      AshleyVictoria 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great hub! It took me years to lower my coffee intake! Smaller mugs is great advice!

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      mulberry1 - Agreed, everything mentioned helps prevent cancers and heart disease too. Yahoo!

      Iphigenia- So glad the article was helpful. That was my intention in writing it. :-)

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      Hi there - this article was timely for me - at 51 I have noticed that my skin is becoming drier. I have always drunk a lot of water and I have been trying to increase my omega 3 intake mainly with flax seeds and nuts. I'm a vegetarioan - but after reading this artcile you have helped me make a decision that I have been pondering - to eat fish/large prawns (my doctor says both are good for omega 3) once a week. Thanks for joining my fan club - I'm delighted to reciprotcate !

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 8 years ago

      Isn't it nice that what's good for your skin is good for the rest of you as well! Nice hub.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      joarline - There are so many extentions of research on this subject. Food value is an important one. Thank you for your input!

    • joarline profile image

      joarline 8 years ago from Skull Valley, Az.

      Great article! Please go further - check out irradiation and GMO as changing the food value on all our resources except those grown at home.

      Everything we are comes from what we eat - or not!


    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Hi syviasapprentice- I am glad you enjoyed reading it!

    • sylviasapprentice profile image

      sylviasapprentice 8 years ago from New York, USA

      I absolutely love this! Great hub!

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Patricia- top three foods is hard for me to pick. Variety is so important. I am going to fudge the answer and say that the three best are the three you enjoy eating. (refer to 1. and 2.) Thank you for reading.

      BirteEdwards- Hello, I truely appriciate your input on my Hub.

      Earth Angel- I am glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts. The science of nutrition has always facinated me.

      Best Regards, The Real Tomato

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 8 years ago

      Wonderful Hub Real Tomato!!

      Thank you sooooooooo much for addressing how to get beautiful skin from the inside out!! Of all the care I take on the outside, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc. nothing comes close to being as beneficial as the fruits and vegetables I eat as well as supplements!!

      Congratulations on your HubNugget!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

    • BirteEdwards profile image

      BirteEdwards 8 years ago

      Excellent Hub. The information was great, but so was your set up and language.

      Easy to understand and follow.

    • Patricia Costanzo profile image

      Patricia Costanzo 8 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain

      Real Tomato-

      Great Hub, and so on my mind lately. Not sure if its being in my forties or what, but my skin just aint what it used to be! So besides water, what would be your top 3 foods for you skin?

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Londongirl- thank you!

      billnad- Drinking water first thing is excellent, plus allowing it to hydrate you before you eat...good forethought. Pre-hydration is so important especially for athletes. But I have never thought of your method, great tip! (one to remember)

    • billnad profile image

      billnad 8 years ago

      Thanks for all the great info. Most of thediet books on the market have less real content than this hub. They key to your health has to be what you are doing to it and putting in it.

      One thing that I find helps my day start amazingly well is that I have a liter of water first thing in the morning before I even get in the shower and then I don't eat for an hour and let the water fully hydrate me.

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      I did as well - liked this hub a lot.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      Sheenarobins- Thank you for reading and for the vote!

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      And so I voted for you! :) wink ;)

    • sheenarobins profile image

      sheenarobins 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Oh, just what I needed. I found you on hubnugget and must admit that this interest me more than any other. I love to my skin but I wish it's not dry. I might be voting on this. I will have to check the others to be fair. heheheh

      thank you. love the info! Great hub!

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      kappa022- thank you! And thanks for taking the time to read it.

    • kappa022 profile image

      kappa022 8 years ago from Florida

      Excellent tips for attaining and maintaining healthy skin. Very informative hub, nicely done!

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      K@ri- Thanks for your comment. I am sure there is a little genetics thrown in for good measure too. : )

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      Very good Hub. As a nurse, I have actually seen the truth of what you say. I have met people in thier 60's with beautiful skin...they always put it down to water & diet.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      earnestshub- thank you for reading. I read one of your hubs and have some questions about backlinks. I'll catch you later.

      Yippie! Thanks for the info ripplemaker. I appriciate the link too.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Real Tomato, congratulations! This hub is part of the list of hubnuggets for this week. Do visit Shirley Anderson's hub to check it out:

      Be sure to vote and let your friends vote too. And I'm so glad I am a water drinker! LOL

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Very informative. I need to drink less coffee and drink a lot more water.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

      Excellent advice! It's so important to realize that food choices effect every last bit of your health. Great hub! :)

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      Shea butter is lovely stuff - I buy a big block of it for £5 (about $8?) and it lasts for ages, although I use it all over my skin and also on the ends of my hair.

      Isaac was nearly 2 in that photo, and is now 3, still keeping me on my toes, though (-: It's scary when he copies what I say - I wouldn't let him jump off the sofa today, and he said, "Mummy is naughty. Isaac very cross." I had to really struggle not to laugh....

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 8 years ago

      marisue- I appriciate your comment. It inspired me too! I prefer hot beverages and I simply have to make myself drink water. Let's go drink somemore-"Cheers"

      LondonGirl- I hear shea butter is luxurious, I haven't tried it myself. I am always hand washing dishes so I need lotion for my hands eveyday.  Btw I love your son in the pic, about 1yr? I love that age, I'll bet he keeps you busy!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      I also read this earlier and couldn't comment - it's a great hub, and I completely agree with you.

      However healthy I am, my skin is always on the dry side, and shea butter is great.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

      Very good information hear! I will refer to this again and again! =)) I'm off to drink more water..and eat a carrot. You've inspired me!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      I read this earlier - and couldn't post a comment. Thanks for becoming a fan - and for this wonderfully 'balanced' guide to health. People so often advocate extreme measures which are so impractical - loved this hub - and I'm a great tomato fan too - nothing like the real thing :)