Getting up and braving the cold every morning during the winter is a difficult aspect of living in the North. Even if you can get yourself psychologically used to it, chances are your skin probably won’t. The cold and dry air can deplete the skin of its natural moisture and cause damage, so providing the skin with natural support during the winter months is especially important. If you find yourself struggling with dry and damaged skin during the winter, there are a number of nutritional factors and topical treatments that can help.
Dietary Skin Support
The food that you provide the body is essential to how it functions. Just like how healthy foods are needed to maintain proper cardiovascular function, nutrition is also important for healthy skin. Not consuming processed foods, gluten or sugar can go a long way into maintaining well moisturized skin. Cutting these foods from the diet can actually also improve the complexion in just a few weeks. In addition to helping the skin, these dietary changes can also be beneficial for the rest of the body, especially for the cardiovascular system and weight control.
After cutting these foods out, adding omega 3 fatty acids to the diet is the next step. Products, like Fundamental Omega 3 or Metagenics Omegagenics EPA-DHA 720, quickly provide the body with therapeutic amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s help to keep the skin cells strong and functioning properly, and they support proper levels of skin fats and moisture. These fatty acids can also be helpful for irritated skin. It helps to fight inflammation on the surface of the skin, and omega 3s may help to fight the development of age lines.
Eating plenty of fresh vegetables can also be helpful for the skin. Vegetables can provide important nutrients, like Vitamin A and carotenoids. Vitamin A can help to improve the strength of the skin, and research has shown that carotenoids can improve the appearance of the skin. Fermented vegetables can also be beneficial for the skin. Fermented foods provide the body with probiotics. Probiotics support the gut’s microflora, which can actually be very beneficial for the skin. For those that don’t like fermented foods, there is Fundamental Probiotic or OneBode Flo. These probiotic supplements provide a wide range of beneficial cultures, and they may help to address a number of factors that lead to poor skin health, like reduced collagen production, dryness, or acne.
Consuming antioxidants can also be helpful to the skin during this time, and one of the best is astaxantin. Taking supplements, like Pure Encapsulations Astaxanthin or DC Labs Astaxanthin, can support healthy skin cells and help to protect the skin from the sun. This is especially helpful during the winter, when most people don’t use sun screen. Research suggests that astaxanthin protects the skin’s collagen from UV rays, and it may help to limit freckles, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Topical Skin Support
Of course, topical support for the skin also plays a key role during the winter months. Much like the food that you provide the body, you also want to give the skin natural nutrients from healthy sources. Everything put on the skin is absorbed into the body, so soaps and moisturizers that use chemicals and synthetic ingredients should be avoided. Using chemical free soaps can also help to promote healthy skin during the winter. Soaps that aren’t chemical free tend to dry out the skin and put the skin at risk before even stepping outdoors. Taking showers that trend toward the colder side can also help, and applying a natural moisturizer immediately after a shower may lock moisture into the skin.
Instead of using moisturizers with chemicals, use an organic face cream and natural skin creams. There are actually products within most homes that can help the skin. Using products in your kitchen, like olive oil or coconut oil, can help to lock in moisture and protect the skin from dryness. To apply olive oil, just put a few drops on a cotton ball and dab the skin. This can help to fight the itch that can develop in the winter, and it also supplies the skin with antioxidants. Coconut oil is also rich in antioxidants. It supplies the skin with lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid, and these acids can help to fight the growth of fungus on the skin.
Palm oil, shea butter, and aloe vera can also be beneficial for the skin, but you should make sure that these are chemical free.
If you step outside and feel the cold air damaging your skin, you should make changes to your diet and skin care routine. Eating healthy foods and consuming plenty of omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics and providing topical skin support can help to improve the health of the skin during the cold months of winter. Some common kitchen items, like olive oil, can provide support to the skin without introducing it to any harmful chemicals or synthetic ingredients.
Check our our article about Dry Skin HERE!