With a myriad of causes as to why you are suffering from dry skin, it can sometimes become overwhelming when trying to get to the route of your skin problem.
With variables such as the time of year, the products you are using, your age, genetics and even personal health choices, getting rid of lacklustre skin and maintaining a dewy and glowing complexion, can often be down to reasons you may not have even considered.
Eve Kalinik, Nutritional Therapist and ambassador of Notting Hill’s newest beauty and skincare hotspot, Young LDN, dives into the subject of dry skin and what it can say about your health:
Is it your Thyroid?
One of the main symptoms of an underactive thyroid can be dry skin. So, if you also find that you are very sensitive to the cold, losing hair and are struggling to lose weight, then it might be an idea to visit your GP for a blood test, as these problems will not go away on their own and you may need prescribed hormones. An increase of excise and mindfulness of certain diets are also natural ways to help regulate your thyroid.
Is it stress?
Other major hormonal triggers can be a result of chronic stress, which can cause the release of pro-inflammatory hormones and substances, which in turn can lead to flaky and dry skin patches, specifically for those suffering from conditions such as atopic eczema and psoriasis. The release of stress hormones, such as cortisol also disrupts the skin’s natural moisture balance which can make it more susceptible to dryness. Stress management is key to helping to balance this, so ensure that you have restorative activities regularly in your routine such as yoga, Pilates and meditation.
Is it menopause?
The other hormone to consider is oestrogen, which helps to manage moisture levels in the skin by supporting the production of hyaluronic acid. As menopause approaches, this causes a natural decline in oestrogen. You can help to mitigate this, by ensuring that you include plenty of essential fatty acids in your diet, especially omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish, such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as organic grass-fed meat and eggs, as well as plant-based sources, such as flaxseed and chia.
Is it environmental?
Simple things like the weather will leave your skin much more susceptible to dryness, which can often be more of an issue during the winter months. Moving from the outside into an overly heated office, can also create an imbalance of the skin. Try to counteract these situations by drinking plenty of water and be mindful of too many extremes change in temperature wherever you can and avoid very hot showers and baths.
Are you getting enough vitamin D?
We should also consider vitamin D when it comes to skin health, particularly those related to atopic skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, which can have stereotypically dry flaky symptoms. We predominantly get vitamin D from sunlight exposure and that can be why these conditions may see an increase during the winter months. If you live in the UK, it is a good idea to supplement your Vitamin D intake from October through to April and ensure you wear sunscreen in the sunny months.
Are you staying hydrated?
Drinking enough water is another obvious environmental factor which can affect the hydration of the skin. This can even be consumed in the form of herbal teas, or ensuring you have a water jug on your work desk or at home, which you can fill with ingredients, such as fresh lemon slices, cucumber ribbons, mint leaves or sliced ginger to make it tastier.
Is it nutritional?
Dry skin can simply be due to a lack of certain nutrients in the diet. Ensure that you have plenty of good quality fats in the form of omega 3 fatty acids, such as oily fish, organic grass-fed meat and eggs and plant-based flax and chia seeds. Also include healthy oils that you find in foods such as avocados, coconut, olives and cold pressed olive oil, as well as nuts and seeds and their respective oils and butters. Full fat natural yogurt and traditionally made cheese also provide essential fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients that are important for supporting the skin. Cultured dairy provides bacteria that are believed to be beneficial for gut health, which can often have a very close reflective link with skin. Other fermented foods that you could also look to include in your diet to keep your skin positively glowing from the inside out are kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
In addition to caring from your skin from the inside out through nutrition, ensure you invest in a good skincare regime and seek advice and regular treatments from a skin care specialist, such as the team at Young LDN to keep your skin glowing and at its very best.