As the temperatures drops and winter approaches, there are many things to get excited about. With winter comes snow sports, a plethora of holidays, family vacations and warm fires. The cold weather and decreased moisture, however, can also wreak havoc on skin. When trying to support healthy skin integrity, it’s important to treat from the inside out. Here are some tips on how you can keep your skin hydrated, youthful and glowing this winter.
- Dietary Fats
Don’t skimp on the healthy fats this winter. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish and are great for skin because of their hydrating and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition to eating regular servings of fish (sardines, anchovies, herring, wild caught salmon), I recommend supplementing with 1.5 grams of EPA/DHA daily. Just remember that not all fish oils are created equally. It’s important to talk to your naturopathic physician about the best fish oil supplement that has the lowest levels of environmental toxins.
- Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is your skin’s worse enemy. In order to maintain elasticity and moisture, drinking adequate amounts of water is necessary. A very generalized recommendation is to drink half your body weight in ounces a day. This means that a 140 pound woman should be drinking a minimum of 70 ounces of water a day. Please note that this quantity increases with exercise and coffee consumption.
- Ditch the Harsh Soaps
Harsh soaps with a ton of chemicals strip the natural oils from your skin. Instead of using chemical and fragrance laden soaps, opt for an all-natural, gentle soap. Also, it’s also important to slough the dead skin cells regularly to prevent flaking and dryness. I recommend making your own exfoliating scrub. My go to natural exfoliators are baking soda, sea salt, sugar and almond meal.
Protect your skin from the harsh weather when outdoors. This means bundling up with scarves, hats and gloves. Don’t forget the sunscreen either! Even in the winter, the sun can still be damaging.
With the cold weather, we tend to spend more time indoors with the heat on. Keeping the heater on throughout the winter creates a very dry environment. I recommend purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom to help keep your skin and mucus membranes hydrated.