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Sure, the Freshman 15 is always on every college student’s mind when he or she starts school, but health concerns for college students aren’t all weight-related. Skin care issues can be just as worrisome.

When you spot a pimple or notice that your skin is dry, you probably immediately start thinking about which products to purchase to remedy the situation—and fast! However, health experts suggest that changes in your nutrition are just as effective as over-the-counter products and will provide you with more long-term health benefits. In fact, these common skin care issues can be treated by increasing your intake of certain foods.

Here are 6 common skin care issues and the best nutrients to help tackle them.

Dry Skin –hands, elbows & knees

College Skin Care Salmon

Image via cookingwithsugar.com

Have you ever had dry hands, elbows or knees, especially during the winter? Dry skin can be irritating, but before reaching for the skin cream, increase your intake of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are great for helping dry skin and include sea food like trout, salmon, tuna.

Dark Circles – for you ‘all-nighters’

Staying up late in the library or at your dorm room studying for finals always results in a tired you the next morning. And if you stay up late numerous times a week, you will start to acquire dark circles under your eyes from sleep exhaustion. There are various creams to help reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, but experts suggest trying specific types of nutrition first. Dark circles are often caused by lack of sleep, sinus issues, and eye strain. It’s not just a myth that carrots are good for your eyes; they are rich in iron and vitamin A. They also help maintain proper tissue function, which reduces dark circles.

Acne – yikes!

College Skin Care Blueberries

Image via Flickr by La Grande Farmers’ Market

Having facial pimples and acne can be embarrassing and even make you feel self-conscious in group projects or even public speaking classes. As a solution, the best foods for acne-treatment include fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which are high in nutrients and vitamins that help nourish the skin. Go for choices like blueberries, raspberries, spinach, brussels sprouts, carrots, kiwi and other fresh fruits and veggies. Your skin will thank you!

Signs of Aging – oh my!

Even young college students can start showing common signs of aging—yes, even you! These signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of elasticity, are typically due to free radicals within the cells of the body. To neutralize free radicals, consume plenty of antioxidants and resveratrol. You can find these in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables, and in other sources like coffee. Some foods that speed up the signs of aging include red meat, saturated fats and sugar. However, in order to avoid the Freshman 15, it’s best to avoid those saturated fats and sugars as much as possible.

Uneven Skin Tone – that make-up can’t cover up

College Skin Care Walnuts

Image via Flickr by Pauline Mak

An uneven skin tone can happen to both men and women where your skin appears darker or lighter in certain areas than others. For me, this typically happens on my face. But if you want to naturally treat an uneven skin tone, there are a few different steps you can take. Protect your skin from the sun at all times, and eat foods that provide nutrients and oxygen to your skin to nourish it, helping to promote an even skin tone. This includes antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Choose foods like walnuts, fish, eggs and vegetables.

All Skin Issues – water is your best solution!

College Skin Care Water

Image via Flickr by Lazlo-Photo

Most students aren’t getting the amount of water they need each day, and increasing it can help moisturize your skin. All skin issues, from acne to eczema, can be improved by drinking plenty of water each day. Water is responsible for transporting nutrients to the skin, flushing the body of toxins, and providing your skin with the correct amount of moisture. Even if you’re indulging in the healthy foods mentioned above, you will not be maximizing their effects if you’re not getting enough water (so drink up!).

By making healthy food choices in college, you can ensure that your skin will stay healthy and looking great.

What are other skin care issues that nutrients can remedy?


Featured photo credit: stuartpilbrow via photopin cc