(NaturalNews) Brrr...winter weather can wreak havoc on skin, so it's usually during this season that people's skin weighs heavily on their minds. But what people eat and drink can affect the health and nature of skin year-round. While "you are what you eat" might not be exactly true, it's certainly a fact that what people eat does affect their health and the way they feel.
A person's skin is the largest organ on his body, and that's why a little discomfort is usually noticeable right away. Dry, itchy skin or skin that's developed a rash or -- worse -- a disorder (such as eczema or psoriasis) can make someone uncomfortable if not downright miserable.
Americans have been conditioned to believe that skin can only be cared for on the outside, making them believe that expensive lotions, creams, and medications are the only way to protect and care for skin. But what goes in the body does more to protect and nourish the skin than what's slathered on top. Skin protects the rest of the body, so it is resistant to what is put on it and what's ingested really does matter.
So what can a person do if she wants her skin to be soft and healthy? Here are some things one should do for her skin, approaching it from the inside:
Water: It probably seems obvious, considering that almost three-quarters of one's body is made of water, but many people dismiss the importance of water in the diet. Water should be ingested on its own -- not in other beverages with unhealthy additives -- and in healthy quantities. It's true -- at least eight glasses of water each day, filtered, will do wonders for skin, hydrating (and moisturizing) and cleansing toxins.
Antioxidants: These nutrients are constantly touted and with good reason: antioxidants do much to fight the aging process. The best way to get these nutrients into skin is not through a cream but from eating what's in the garden, foods like tomatoes, carrots, red and orange bell peppers, and red onions. Eating the colors of the rainbow is the easiest way to make sure one is getting plenty of antioxidants.
Oils: Oils such as oregano oil, extra virgin olive oil, and virgin coconut oil are thought to be beneficial in protecting skin from infection, promoting healthy blood flow, and moisturizing and repairing skin.
Avoid harmful substances: Too much caffeine, sugar, and chemicals (whether from medications, food additives, or cigarette smoke) can wreak havoc on one's skin.
While lotions and creams might smell good and feel good temporarily, for long-term healthy, soft skin, nothing beats what people put in their mouths.
Cindy Jones-Shoeman is the author of Last Sunset and a Feature Writer for Academic Writing at Suite101. Some of Cindy's interests include environmental issues, vegetarian and sustainable lifestyles, music, and reading.