Skin Health is linked to diet and chemicals

Dry skin usually means a loss of integrity. You need good fats and protective nutrients.

The condition of your external skin can reflect internal health conditions, therefore don’t ignore dry, bumpy, itchy or pimply skin. Consider this – nicotine patches and hormonal patches on the skin deliver their substances through the skin to the bloodstream and we rub lotions on our skin not always knowing what is in them. 

Dry skins means you have lost the water-proof barrier on the skin.

If you see dry skin – think ‘Good Fats’ & ‘A DECK’ (protective nutrients A, D, E, C and K). The fat-soluble nutrients A, D, E and K push their way into the fatty walls of all cells throughout the body. By comparison, the water-soluble nutrient Vitamin C, floats around in the fluid inside and outside the cell wall protecting as it meets free radicals.

 We replace the outer layer of our skin every month therefore it will take at least a month to restore integrity. You could supplement these nutrients for 1 month to help rebuild integrity and/or eat the following foods;

Good fats : Omega 3 from your oily fish and flax oil and olive oil/rapeseed oil

Vit A: organic with skin-on orange and yellow fruits ‘n veggies

Vit D:  20 minutes of sunshine on bare skin outside of the times 12noon to 3pm, in the Summer months, Winter sun holidays and supplement Oct-May in Ireland

Vit E:  olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil – apply these topically on the skin and include in foods

Vit K: green veggies – broccoli, kale, all greens

Vit C: peppers, berries, kiwi, chilli, fresh herbs all fruits and veggies


If dry skin becomes inflamed, natural agents can sooth skin

If dry skin becomes inflamed, natural anti-inflammatory products include:

aloe vera, olive oil, essential oils including thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood in carrier oils with grape seed and jojoba, argan oil, witch hazel (low in alcohol), white willow bark extract –  

A good health shop or herbalist can advise you on a good mix.  These can be applied topically.

Review your diet. It takes 12 weeks at least to alter the composition of fats in cell walls.  

You can alter the fatty composition of your skin cell walls by:

  • reducing your intake of animal fats and dairy if the intake is too high (cow, lamb, pig as meat, sausages etc)
  • eliminating fried food, especially deep-fried, completely (crisps, chips, breaded fish etc)
  • increasing your intake of healthy fats – nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax oil, nut butters, seed & nut oils in salad dressings and juices 
  • hydrating your skin and body with clean water, fruit and vegetables
  • You can supplement omega 3 oils if you don’t eat fish. Krill oil is low dose but has good absorbency.
  • If skin is slightly infected, essential oils such as oregano mixed into a carrier oil like almond oil can help to kill off bacteria, both internally and externally.
  • Sugar is also implicated in skin flare-ups.  Vegetables and fruits are your best source of natural sugars with all others avoided to help clear up skin. However enjoy your favourite treat once a week in moderation.

The skin absorbs what you put on it

Some chemicals can upset the balance of hormones in the human body, especially the female body and especially females with diagnosed imbalances such as endometriosis, fibrocystic breast, fibroids, infertility, PCOS, miscarriage, bad PMS and hormonal cancers.   Look at the ingredients on your moisturiser, shampoo, fake tan etc. If you start reading up on these ingredients it may frighten you (it did me during my study for my degree) so I advise just gradually changing over to chemical-free or low-chemical products for all your house cleaning products,  body care products and make-up. 

If you want to know more about the chemicals in homes, cars, cosmetics etc– this a good page to view –

Some  brand names –

I have dramatically reduced my chemical load by taking these simple steps and changing my diet. I was diagnosed medically with endometriosis at 33yrs, fibrocystic breast disease at 40yrs and could not get pregnant. I had and have hormonal imbalance. I am taking preventative measures to try to prevent hormonal cancers by maintaining a healthy weight, staying fit and reducing my toxic load. It takes time to fully adjust to the changes so take it slowly and don’t let it stress you.

Joan Moloney is a Nutritional Therapist with an interest in all things that impact human health.  Email me any queries.


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