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Moisturize Your Dry Skin This Winter Season With These 9 Foods

Itchy, dry skin this winter? Adding these foods to your diet and replenish your skin's natural moisture.

Hedy Phillips CNET Contributor
Hedy Phillips is a freelance lifestyle writer based in New York. While she's not writing on topics like living on a budget and tips for city dwelling, she can usually be found at a concert or sightseeing in a new city. Over the past 10 years, her bylines have appeared in a number of publications, including POPSUGAR, Hunker, and more.
Hedy Phillips
Medically Reviewed
Reviewed by: Amelia Ti Medical Reviewer
Amelia Ti is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) based in NYC. She completed her Bachelor's in Nutrition & Dietetics at NYU and Master's in Applied Nutrition at Russell Sage College. Amelia's evidence-based knowledge and passion for the field allow her to translate nutrition research and innovation to the public.
Expertise Nutrition | Dietetics | Diabetes Care | Nutrition Innovation Credentials
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
  • New York University, BS in Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Russell Sage College, MS in Applied Nutrition
4 min read
Dry hands scratching dry, flaky skin
Getty Images/Maria Fuchs/Image Source

The holidays are here, but so is the cold weather. You notice that -- seemingly overnight -- all of your moisture has been zapped out of your skin. Suddenly your hands are dry, your lips are dry and your nose is dry. Maybe you're slathering moisturizer all over your skin but are still itching. You can actually hydrate your body from the inside out, and you should do exactly that this winter.

While drinking plenty of water is one way to keep your body hydrated -- and, in turn, your skin -- you can also decrease your skin's dryness with the right diet. A diet loaded with skin-enriching vitamins and minerals can help take care of your skin during the rough winter months. 

Want more tips this winter? See the best natural sleep aids for insomnia, how to set up your new TV and Get your TV ready for holiday binge-watching.

Are you missing essential vitamins for your skin?

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Studies have linked vitamins and nutrients to the overall quality of your skin, which is why it's important to make sure you're including vital nutrients in your diet every day. Vitamin supplements are a great way to fill in the gaps of your diet, especially if you aren't getting enough vitamin A, C, D, E, zinc or copper in what you eat. Each of these vitamins has a hand in hydrating your skin, protecting your skin barrier, boosting collagen protection and giving you a healthy glow. Ahead, we'll get into how each of these vitamins works and in which foods you'll find them.

Foods for dry skin

Salmon, sweet potatoes and spinach dinner

Salmon, sweet potatoes and spinach are packed with nutrients that aid in dry skin.

Getty Images/OksanaKiian/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Eating certain foods can benefit your skin in positive ways, including bringing more hydration. Next time you're hungry, reach for one of these foods to give your skin a moisturizing boost.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are more than just a favorite holiday side dish. These orange potatoes are also rich in vitamins A and C, which is great for your skin. While vitamin A can protect your skin from sun damage, it can also keep it from getting too dry. However, keep in mind that too much vitamin A can also cause dry skin and cracked lips. Vitamin C, on the other hand, can help boost collagen in your skin. That collagen keeps your skin full and bouncy, as well as hydrated and healthy. 


You'll find lots of vitamin C in oranges -- which you already know. In the colder months of the year (or really all year round), start your day with an orange or a glass of real orange juice. This will give you a boost of vitamin C first thing in the morning. Oranges also have potassium for hydration.


Reach for leafy green spinach to make a salad, to eat as a side dish, or to cook into a warm soup, because among other benefits, it can help your skin. Spinach is packed with vitamins C and K, as well as potassium. Vitamin C will help with collagen production. Potassium is also a great nutrient to watch out for, because it helps keep your whole body hydrated -- including your skin. 

Red peppers 

Red peppers pack a lot of nutritional value, so throw them into your salads, soups and pastas this winter to give your skin a moisturizing boost. Red peppers are a good source of vitamins A and C, both of which help with collagen production, skin hydration and overall skin health. Red peppers also have vitamin K, which also boosts collagen, and vitamin E, which can help reduce any inflammation caused by damage and dryness. 


Salmon is full of protein, making it a great food to eat as a main course -- surrounded by these other healthy side dishes! What salmon is also known for is its amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are oils that help keep your skin's oil production in check, as well as keep it hydrated. Omega-3s can also help with any breakouts you might be experiencing. Salmon is a source of these oils that you might typically find in a fish oil pill, so if you're already taking those, a piece of salmon can help supplement that intake. You'll also find a good amount of vitamin D in salmon, which can help with inflammation and dryness.

Sunflower seeds 

One quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains almost half of the recommended daily value of vitamin E for an adult. You'll get a lot of the anti-inflammatory goodness from it. This helpful vitamin naturally occurs in the oil of your skin that helps keep its barrier protected and hydrated. By eating foods with more Vitamin E, you're only doing yourself a favor. Sunflower seeds also contain copper, an antioxidant that protects skin from harmful UV light. Copper also aids in collagen production that improves skin's elasticity. 


Almonds are another source of vitamin E, helping your skin barrier trap moisture inside so your skin stays hydrated. Aside from helping keep your skin moisturized, almonds are a great source of protein and fiber, making them a healthy snack that'll help you overall.

Raw oysters 

Oysters are high in protein and low in carbs and fat, which means they're a good food to eat on a healthy diet. They're rich in zinc, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit your skin by helping repair any damage caused by dryness. Oysters also contain high amounts of copper, which serves as an antioxidant and aid in collagen production.

Beef liver

Beef liver, like sweet potatoes, is high in vitamin A. This essential vitamin helps prevent damage from powerful UV light and helps chronically itchy skin, such as from psoriasis, by encouraging moisture retention. It may even help prevent skin cancer and acne. Beef liver may not be appetizing to most, but just three ounces of beef liver contain about 731% of your daily value of vitamin A

Tips for surviving the winter season don't end here. Check out using a dietary supplement to fall asleep and how to quickly pair your new AirPods, iPhone and Mac at the same time

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.