Hyperpigmentation. 

These pesky discolorations, also known as melasma, appear on the face, nails, hands, or even hair, and signal increased melanin production. Aging and sun exposure are common culprits, but another possible cause is insufficient vitamin B12, which helps regulate your body’s pigment production and location.

  • The fix: Take 1,000 mcg vitamin B12 daily to restore skin’s original hue. Also eat vitamin B12–rich foods, including sardines, salmon, and yogurt. Supplementing daily with 2 mg astaxanthin, a natural carotenoid from microalgae, can also regulate melanin production.

Blemishes.

Hormones and irritating products aren’t the only culprits behind breakouts. Redness and irritation may be signals that toxins have overloaded your organs or that your digestion is off-kilter.

  • The fix: Avoid sugars, refined carbs, red meat, and overly processed foods, which tax the liver and attack your skin’s collagen by attaching to it and forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that make collagen more fragile and are inflammatory-response triggers. Instead, choose detoxifying green tea, green-food smoothies, and enzyme-rich papaya and pineapple, which “help clean up areas of inflammation when eaten between meals and not with other foods,” says Alan Dattner, MD. Focus your detox even more by supplementing with curcumin, fiber, and chlorella.

Severely dry skin. 

While climate and season play a part, another common reason for perpetually dry, flaky, uncomfortable skin is fatty acid deficiency, which is a difficult imbalance to restore,  requiring time and proper nutrients, according to Alan Dattner, MD, a New York–based holistic dermatologist, founder of holisticdermatology.com, and <i>Delicious Living</i> advisory board member. “Getting the right oils into your body can take months because they go into all of the cells,” he says.

  • The fix: Drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses daily) and eat fluid-dense fruits, vegetables, and beans to support the liquids in your skin cells. Then loadup on enough cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, and fish oil supplements to obtain 3,000 mg fish oil daily. [Indicate how much you get from eating fish itself; e.g., how many milligrams in 8 ounces of salmon.] In addition to helping cells retain moisture to keep skin looking supple, omega-3s quell inflammation that leads to acne and other skin irritation.