There are plenty of skincare products out there which will help give your skin a hydrating boost.
But before you go splashing the cash, you should take stock of what you’re putting into your body first. Buying products containing hyaluronic acid and retinoids may help your skin’s condition, but some tweaks to your diet could make all the difference too. Dr. Sophie Shotter has given us her recommendations.
Get your seven a day
Dr. Sophie advises having a balanced diet and going for seven portions of fruit and veg a day, rather than five, to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need for skin health.
“I recommend choosing fruit and vegetables of many different colours and varieties,” she adds. “But vegetables today aren’t the same quality as vegetables 50 years ago – farming has changed and fields are not rested in the way they used to be, meaning that nutrient content tends to be poorer. So, I would always supplement with a good quality multivitamin.”
Eat those sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes deserve a mention on their own because they are high in fibre and packed full of nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and vitamins B3, B5, and B6. However, it is mostly glorified for its rich supply of vitamin A – a single sweet potato offers over double the daily value for vitamin A, which plays a big role in cell and tissue growth. Not getting enough vitamin A can lead to weakened skin and issues such as dryness.
Have more healthy fats
Omega 3 and 6, found in fish oils as well as avocados and nuts, will provide essential fatty acids for healthy cell membranes, which help create a strong skin barrier to hold moisture in the skin and keep out unwanted substances. If you have particularly dry skin, Dr. Sophie recommends taking an Omega 3 supplement.
Take a collagen supplement
In addition to multivitamins and Omega 3 supplements, DR. Sophie recommends checking out a collagen one too.
“Collagen is a large protein, which when taken as a drink or a powder would be broken up by the digestive system and the resulting amino acids (are) used by the body for lots of different reasons,” Dr. Sophie explains. “A good collagen supplement for the skin should consist of fragments of broken up collagen which are absorbed undisturbed through the gut lining. These fragments trick your body into thinking it is injured and stimulates healing mechanisms which is another way of switching on your fibroblast cells.” These cells are crucial to hydrated skin.
Drinking plenty of water
This might be stating the obvious but drinking two to three litres of water throughout the day is the most effective way to achieve internal hydration. Yet, Dr. Sophie considers it “the icing on the cake” in relation to her other recommendations.