Don’t wait until the snow hits the ground. Redness, flaking and cracking of the skin can be common during the winter months when temperatures outside are so cold and the indoor air so dry. Start prepping your skin before the itching and drying starts, so you can have soft, glowing skin all season long.
Healthy skin isn’t just about creams and potions… although the right one for your skin is important. What you put in your body, and the environment you are in, also plays a role in hydrating your skin.
Tips to Help Soothe, Heal and Moisturize Your Skin
1. Eat foods rich in healthy fats – Foods such as salmon, avocado, walnuts, flaxseed, coconut and olive oil provide nourishing oils to help moisturize your skin from the inside out. Research has also shown that healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, can help fight wrinkle formation and photodamage, as well as provide support for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
2. Increase your water intake – Drinking plenty of water and eating foods containing a high water content (fruits and vegetables, such as apples, plums, blueberries, melons, eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, etc.) can help to moisturize skin. Soups and herbal teas count, too! Water plays many important roles in the body, such as providing detoxification support, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and moistening tissues. Remember that when you drink alcohol or caffeine, you will need to drink extra water in order to stay hydrated. Read here about why water is so important.
3. Supplement – Antioxidants (such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, beta carotene, grape seed extract, etc.), B vitamins, probiotics, fish oil and borage seed oil are some key nutrients that promote healthy skin. Many of these can be found in a daily multivitamin. For more specific skin-related supplements, click here. Remember to consult with a health care practitioner before taking any new supplement, to ensure there aren’t any potential contraindications or interactions with something you may already be taking.
4. Choose a nourishing moisturizer – Lightly towel dry after showering, and immediately apply body lotion to your skin. This helps to lock in moisture. Try to keep hot showers short (or lower the water temperature), as taking long hot showers can remove oils from the skin. Choose lotions that contain nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E, jojoba, lavender and chamomile. Some of my favorite brands include Derma E, Dr. Hauschka, Annmarie Borlind, and Virtue Skinfood. Read labels carefully to avoid products that contain unhealthy ingredients, such as petroleum jelly and parabens. Don’t forget to moisturize your lips and hands!
5. Use a humidifier – Humidifiers add moisture to the air and can benefit itchy skin and chapped lips, as well as provide relief to irritated sinuses. There are warm mist and cool mist humidifiers available. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. However, regardless of which you choose, remember to clean it often – otherwise mold and bacteria can grow.
6. Wear sunscreen – Sunscreen shouldn’t be just for summer days. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the sun’s reflective power is higher on the snow (80%) than on the sand (17%), so sun protection is extra important during the snowy months. Apply a product that includes a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher to your face, neck, and any other skin that may be exposed when you’re outside. The Environmental Working Group posts the best and safest sunscreens to use.
You can always check with Village Green Apothecary’s knowledgeable staff to help you make the right choice for your skin health. To learn more, visit us online or in-store at Village Green Apothecary.
Photo from here, with thanks.