No Lotion Needed! 4 Nutrients That Will Moisturize Your Skin

Who says you have to spend a pretty penny on skincare to have radiant skin? With the numerous amounts of products out there from skin specific cleansing agents, anti-aging moisturizers, targeted acne treatments, to exfoliants, sometimes it can be incredibly overwhelming to find the right ones that will bring you one step closer to having perfect skin. In fact, there is a better and easier way to achieve this goal and it doesn’t require a trip to the drug or department store. As it turns out, it may simply mean paying closer attention to what you eat. When it comes to taking better care of your skin, sometimes what you put in your body can be just as important as what you slather on your face. Here are four of the best ways to moisturize your skin without picking up a moisturizing lotion or cream.

1. Omega-3s

salmon

Salmon | Source: iStock

Do you have particularly dry skin? Then the first thing you’re going to want to do is increase your intake of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They’re credited with not only increasing heart health, but also making your skin radiant and healthy looking. Found in foods like salmon, tuna, avocado, walnut, flax seeds, and more, these essential fatty acids can’t be made by the body, yet are needed to protect your skin’s outer layer. “These fatty acids are responsible for the health of the cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD and nutritionist at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, tells WebMD.

McDermott adds that omega-3s are the key to moisturized-looking skin because they’re what influences the ability of the cells to hold water. If that barrier is built up from consuming foods with omega-3s, then you’ll end up with softer, glowing, and more wrinkle free skin.

Another major benefit of adding foods to your diet that contain omega-3s is that it helps those who are suffering from the skin disease psoriasis, which causes painful inflammation, redness, and scales. A Greenland study with the Inuit populations found that those populations don’t suffer much from the condition because the fatty acid is so richly incorporated into their diets.

2. Probiotics

yogurt and fruit parfai

Yogurt parfait | Source: iStock

When you think about a healthy digestive system, you usually think of probiotics, which you then probably associate with yogurt, thanks to numerous commercials like Dannon’s Activia Yogurt that promises to regulate your digestive system. Probiotics, which are live yeasts and bacteria that are great for your digestive system, are also proven to have powerful skin benefits. “There is a well-known link between the health of your gut and the health of your skin,” Dr. Roshini Raj, gastroenterologist and co-founder of probiotic skincare line Tul, tells Byrdie.

“Increased numbers of the good bacteria in your stomach can help fight against damage caused by free radicals, allergens and other environmental factors. When ingested, probiotics line the gut and create a healthy and sealed barrier, which can prevent system-wide inflammation that might trigger acne or rosacea,” Raj adds. Other great foods to incorporate into your diet that contain probiotics include kefir, miso, and sauerkraut.

3. Vitamin A

Kale

Kale | Source: iStock

Getting the required daily dose of vitamin A is crucial to cell turnover and skin regeneration, according to The Huffington Post. In fact, retinol, which is touted as one of the best anti-aging medications and ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams and serums, is is made from vitamin A molecules. To get the same benefits of retinol without the side effects, try eating foods like sweet potatoes, eggs, and kale.

4. Zinc

Zinc is a lesser known nutrient that sometimes doesn’t get the credit it so rightfully deserves. In fact, the nutrient helps repair your skin by creating collagen. Oysters contain very high levels of zinc, while these other foods including beef, beans, wheat germ, and walnuts are also great sources. Walnuts are powerhouses of nutrition and work double time for your skin. In addition to containing zinc, they’re also chock full of  alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat, which is a huge component to the lubricating layer of your skin.

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