photo: violetstudio.net/design: eunice chun

Yes we’ve shared our thoughts on products that help our skin topically. But did you realize how much of what we eat + drink really affects our skin? We always suspected it, but it’s actually very true. And luckily, Amy Nadine and Lauren’s dermatologist here in LA, Dr. Jessica Wu, who just published a whole book on it, Feed Your Face, was willing to share tips for our readers! Because what we put in our mouths directly impacts our skin positively (hydrating, soothing) and negatively (blemishes, rashes). In the following months we’ll get her input on what foods cause/help acne and other skin irritations. But today we’ve asked her for foods that help us battle winter dryness + lizard skin. Take it away, Dr. Wu!

If you are dry and itchy all over and leave a trail of flaky skin when you take off your jeans, you have a condition called “winter itch” which is caused by a combination of cold temperatures and dry indoor heat, which suck the moisture out of your skin.  Using lotion helps, but to keep your skin feeling soft, you’ve got to fight dryness from the inside and out.  Here’s how:

Have a Drink. You might not be as thirsty when it’s cold outside, but in fact, your skin loses up to 25% more moisture in the winter than in the summer! Get your fluids by drinking water, juice, soup, and caffeine-free tea and coffee.

Try hemp. Hemp seed oil is pressed from the seeds of nondrug varieties of cannabis, which means it doesn’t contain THC, the hallucinogen found in marijuana.  It’s packed, however, with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Studies have shown that dietary hemp seed oil may improve hydration and reduce itching and dryness. Try it on salads (in
place of olive oil) or mixed into hummus and smoothies.

Go fish. Oily fish like salmon and trout are rich in a type of fatty acid called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which has been shown to help relieve dryness and itching. If you’re a vegetarian, you can substitute algae oil supplements for the fish.