This winter, I’ve started to notice a change in my skin. It has become quite dry around my chin and forehead and no amount of moisturizing seems to help this! Is this a sign that I could be lacking some sort of nutrient?
This is quite a common problem in winter – you’re not alone! Skin is often the first visual indicator of an omega-3 essential fatty acid deficiency. As you are experiencing, this can give you rough, dry, problematic skin that’s prone to inflammation. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) control a large number of cellular processes that directly impact skin health. The human body can manufacture most of the fats that it needs, however, it cannot produce omega-3’s EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil, and omega-6 GLA which is found within Evening Primrose and Borage flower oil. GLA is great for skin hydration but shouldn’t be taken without a fish oil to ensure a healthy balance of omegas so perhaps look for a supplement that contains all 3 together (EPA, DHA and GLA).
Also, you might want to consider a collagen supplement. A recent clinical trial using Neocell’s collagen showed up to 52% increase in skin hydration after using 6,000 mg of type 1 and 3 per day for 12 weeks, impressive!
Of course you probably know that you need to drink plenty of water but it would be remiss of me not to mention it, and also avoid excessive temperatures (cool and heat) that tend to dry out the air. You have mentioned no amount of moisturising helps, but combined with regular exfoliation it’s a good idea to keep it up. Perhaps try a good quality natural oil specially designed for facial use to give you deeper penetration than a cream. No doubt you have dry skin on your legs and other areas of the body as well, so body brushing with a loofah mitt and rubbing in some almond oil after your shower can give some good external support for those areas too.
*Please note that the information provided above is only to educate, not to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please seek advice from your own healthcare provider before embarking on any treatment/health program.
By Michele Wilton
ND, Dip Med Herb
Michele is a Naturopath, Medical Herbalist and works as a Technical Advisor for NaturalMeds.