Rub your hands together -do they feel soft and silky? What about your elbows? Heels?
Winter has been long and harsh this year and for some of us, our skin is starting to show it. This week on the blog, I'll take you through my best tips for keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized during winter weather.
First things first, we have to start on the inside. You can pile layers upon layers of lotions and creams on top of your skin, but if you're not drinking enough water and or eating the nutrients your skin needs, you will feel like sandpaper!
Tip #1 - Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water daily, more if you are caffeining!
Most of us remember to drink water in the summer when we're hot and sweaty, but we forget to reach for our water bottles when we're feeling cold. Your skin needs water. Think about what happens to a plump grape when we take the water out of it. To avoid turning into a human raisin, keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal tea. Also, please remember that caffeinated drinks are diuretics, meaning that they flush water out. So, if winter blahs have you reaching for caffeinated highs, you need to drink an extra glass of water for each caffeinated cup.
Tip #2 - Eat healthy fats- avocado, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, raw seeds (and their oils and butters) and cold-water fish.
Foods that contain healthy fats help to nourish our skin cells. Healthy fats also help us to burn stored fat, so don't skimp on them for fear of gaining 'winter weight'! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc which is important for skin health and a strong immune system.
Tip #3 - Eat a variety of brightly coloured fresh fruits and vegetables.
Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory, hydrating and full of antioxidants. Eat these foods to remove puffiness, redness and prevent wrinkles. Choose dark green for alkalinizing minerals, bright orange for beta carotene and dark purple and blue for antioxidants.
During harsh, winter months, we also have to adjust how we treat our skin on the outside - a few changes in your skincare routine can make a huge difference in moving from sandpaper to silk!
Tip #4 - Avoid stripping your skin's natural oils and add extra moisture.
The idea that we have to lather our whole bodies with soap to be 'clean' is one of the biggest skin myths out there. When we use soap, we strip away our skin's natural oil. A much better method is to use oil as a cleanser. Oils emulsify around dirt, effectively cleansing our skin, while adding extra moisture.
The best bathing routine for the body:
- Take short, warm showers or baths (hot water is tempting when it's cold, but is too harsh for skin).
- Use a gentle, natural soap only on feet, armpits and privates. If you're adventurous enough to make your own, I can teach you how!
- Gently use a towel to pat dry, letting some water from the shower absorb into skin.
- While skin is damp, rub oil into your skin. I like coconut, grapeseed and sweet almond. Feel free to add a few drops of essential oil, (lavender and rose are great for skin repair).
- Use a blend of butters and oils for drier and tougher skin (like elbows, hands and feet). Here's a link to my body butter recipe if you'd like to make your own.
- An oil treatment also does wonders for the scalp! Just rub it into your scalp before you go to bed and stick a towel on your head for a simple, overnight treatment. I like using coconut oil for this.
The best routine for washing the face:
- Wet your face with warm water.
- Use a wet washcloth with a drizzle of oil to wash and exfoliate the skin. Rub in gentle circles. Then use running water and the washcloth to gently wash and wipe extra oil away.
- Use a facial toner to remove excess oil and cleanse the skin. Toners will remove redness and inflammation and add an extra step of hydration. Here's a link to a video for making your own.
- Finally, use oil to moisturize. I like a blend of sweet almond, argan, grapeseed and rosehip.
Winter can be rough, but your skin doesn't need to be! Try these simple tips for softer, healthier skin.