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Nutritional gems for dry skin

Q: My skin always feels quite dry at this time of the year. Are there any nutrients that might help?

A: With the cold weather outside and the centrally-heated warm air inside, it’s quite normal for your skin to be feeling a little dry.

Thankfully there are plenty of nutrients that can help. One of the first that springs to mind is hyaluronic acid. It’s often found in skin creams and moisturisers, but it can also be taken orally as well.

A naturally occurring substance, hyaluronic acid binds with water to hydrate skin, in effect moisturising skin from within. Without sufficient moisture skin becomes dry and loses elasticity, causing wrinkles to develop.

Although the body produces its own hyaluronic acid, this supply declines with age. An oral supplement can help to combat this loss.

Collagen can also help. It’s no stranger to the beauty world, and for good reason: it makes up approximately 75% of the dermis, the layer beneath the skin’s surface, giving skin strength and the smooth, plump appearance we associate with young, healthy skin.

Essential fatty acids, found in fish oil and plant oils, can potentially do our skin a world of good too, especially if you are prone to dryness.

Finally, drinking plenty of water will help to keep your skin hydrated, so try to drink between 1.5 to 2 litres a day.