Don’t hide away this winter: Our top tips for healthy skin
Your skin is your largest organ, and it needs extra care, especially during winter. As the temperature drops, the wind picks up and our heaters are switched to full power the battle for healthy skin begins. One of the biggest problems in winter is the dry air which removes moisture from the skin, leaving it looking and feeling dehydrated. Follow our top five tips for glowing, healthy winter skin.
1. Stay hydrated
In colder temperatures, we often don’t drink as much water and although we may drink more tea and coffee; these can have a diuretic effect meaning that we lose more water from our bodies. We also often crave comforting, warming foods like starchy root vegetables that heat us up from the inside out and contain less water than the cooling foods like salads that we eat in summer. Staying hydrated is essential for good health including our skin to help purify, detoxify, and promote the removal of toxins.
Many of us spend time tending to the skin on our face, but what about the rest of our body? Dry skin brushing is an age-old technique where firm brush bristles exfoliate the skin, and the pressure helps to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage. By brushing towards the heart where the lymphatic system drains, (starting at the feet and hands and brushing towards the chest) circulation to the skin increases and encourages elimination of metabolic waste, detoxifying the body naturally. Dry skin brushing removes dead skin cells, encourages cell renewal, and can also help with ingrown hairs, cellulite and clogged pores. Brush dry skin before you shower and make sure you moisturise afterwards.
3. Turn down the heat
Soaking in a hot bath or standing in a hot shower after being out in the cold feels great, but the intense heat can break down the lipid barriers within the skin and lead to a loss of moisture. Keep baths and showers as brief as possible and reduce the heat to avoid stripping moisture from the skin; warm water is better than hot. Soaps, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners can further strip our bodies of natural oils and moisture. Make the switch to natural based skincare products that avoid using synthetic fragrances and preservatives that may irritate your skin and apply moisturiser after your shower or bath while your skin is still slightly damp to help increase moisture levels.
4. Moisturise on the inside and outside
Chapped lips are an early sign of dehydration and a common reaction to the colder weather. If your lips feel dry, take this as an early warning sign that your body needs more moisture. Try natural lip balms like Coconut oil which works as a great moisturizer. When cold, it is solid enough to use as a lip balm and when warmed between the palms, it can be used to moisturise the whole body. Refined tallow (beef fat) skin moisturisers are wonderful for “feeding” the skin from the outside in.
Healthy fats will provide the skin with the moisture it needs to stay soft and hydrated from the inside out. If you are suffering from flaky, dry skin, or cracked cuticles, you may need a boost of essential fatty acids or vitamin A in your diet. Fish oils and animal fats that contain vitamins A and D3 are helpful to include in the diet, particularly for dry skin. The skin loves healthy fats as they help maintain the moisture barrier and prevent the skin from drying out.
5. Support your Immune System
An impaired immune system is commonly reflected in our skin from constantly blowing our noses to dry/cracked lips and cold sores to name a few. Winter ills and chills such as a runny nose can cause physical stress on our skin. Vitamin C not only supports the immune system, but it also helps to combat free radicals which can damage and age the skin and it supports the production of collagen to strengthen the skin. Again, animal fats contain vitamins A and D3 – essential for immune function. Other key natural ingredients that support our immune system include Olive Leaf, Astragalus, Echinacea, and Pre and Probiotics.
Diet, lifestyle, and seasonal changes can harm our skin; however, it doesn’t need to be that way. Taking care of your skin, on the outside and on the inside, is the key to healthy, beautiful skin this winter.