Simple ways to Keep Your Skin Healthy in Winter
It seems that no matter how many layers we put on during the winter months, our skin always feels the bitter bite of the cold. When the temperature starts to drop, the humidity level decreases as well, leaving our skin feeling parched. If you know your skin has a tendency to dry out in the winter, I hope my simple tips will help you keep your skin hydrated and healthy during this cold, dry season.
A hot shower may seem like a good idea to combat the cold, but it doesn’t do your skin any favours. Hot water can dry out the natural oils in your skin, and the longer you stay in the shower, the more these oils deplete. Try showering in lukewarm water instead – you don’t have to be cold, but don’t scorch your skin either! Also, I always use naturally hydrating products that are free of BHA and BHT, phthalates, parabens, siloxanes and sodium laureth sulphate to keep my skin and my family’s healthy and smooth. It may sound like a mouthful, but these products are easy to find at your local CHFA Member health food store.
Explore natural moisturizers
We tend to only look for skin products in drug stores and at the cosmetic counter. But have you ever thought to look in your pantry and in health food stores to find excellent natural moisturizers? The ultra-versatile coconut oil, for example, has become a popular natural alternative among beauty experts. Coconut oil acts as an emollient, meaning that it provides a softening and soothing effect wherever it is applied.
Another option I recommend is grape seed oil, which is an effective and lightweight moisturizer. It contains vitamins, minerals, protein, GLA (an omega-6 fatty acid that is found mostly in plant-based oils), and vitamin E — all nutrients that help your skin look and feel flawless.
Add some colour to your diet
When we think of improving the condition of our skin, tubs of creams, moisturizers, soaps and cosmetics come to mind. However, it’s worth remembering that beauty truly does radiate from the inside out. Nothing will get your skin looking its best better than a nutritious diet.
Healthy fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseeds, can help your skin maintain its elasticity. Antioxidants like vitamin A, which are found in yellow, orange and red vegetables are ideal for this purpose. Furthermore, a vitamin A deficiency can actually cause skin to become dry and rough. Include healthy fats and colourful, vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits in your meals; all of these are essential to maintaining hydrated, healthy skin (not to mention the good they’ll do for the rest of your body).
Michelle W. Book is the in-house Holistic Nutritionist and spokesperson for the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), an organization dedicated to educating Canadians about the benefits of natural health and organic products. As a busy professional with a young family, Michelle strives to spread the message that small changes in our everyday lives can have significant, positive effects on our health.