By Linda Vezzoli / Nutritional Therapist
As winter approaches, many of us suffer with dry skin due to the cold winter air as well as spending more time in dry, heated rooms. This can manifest as dry hands and face or chapped lips. The good news is that there are some steps we can take to prevent our skin from drying out over the winter months to have glowing skin all year round.
Here are my top tips for supple winter skin:
- Hydrate: This tip is helpful all year round, but especially during the winter months when we might feel less inclined to drink a lot of water with the colder weather. You can increase your liquid intake by including non-decaffeinated hot drinks such as herbal teas (hibiscus, comfrey leaf and calendula are lovely herbs for skin) or including more soups into your diet. Reducing caffeine and alcohol can also help with keeping your skin moist as both are quite dehydrating to the body.
- Consume a Healthy diet: Adding anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables to your diet can help the formation of free radicals which contribute to premature ageing. Vitamin c is essential for collagen formation and can be found in foods such as broccoli, peppers, kiwis and citrus fruits. Vitamin C is also a key nutrient for skin health and can be found in orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, as well as animal products such as liver. Drinking or using bone broth for soups is another way of adding extra collagen rich foods to your diet.
- Increase your healthy fat consumption: especially ones containing omega 3 fatty acids such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring), nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.
- Invest in a humidifier: to add moisture to your home or office and keep skin from drying out due to central heating.
- Avoid hot baths or showers: or shorten the length of time your skin is exposed to hot water. A good rule of thumb to see if your water is too hot is to check if your skin turns red. Try using lukewarm water to wash yourself and using gloves if washing dishes with hot water. - Avoid heavily scented cosmetics and creams as these can often irate and dry out the skin further. Opt for more natural creams such as pure shea butter (fantastic for dry hands and chapped lips) or creams containing plantain and calendula.
- Consider supplementation:Some of my favourites supplements for skin health are:
- Klamath Blue Green Algae contains beta carotene and fatty acids which are known to promote skin health
- Premier Research Vitamin C for encouraging health collagen formation
- Premier Research DHA Omega 3 to increase your body’s levels of omega 3
- Alphaguard Antioxidant complex - contains many effective antioxidant nutrients and complexes, including Vitamin C, Grape Seed Extract, Curcumin Extract, Quercetin, Bilberry Extract, Vitamin E, Alpha lipoic acid, Green tea extract, N-Acetyl cysteine, Zinc, Leutein, Beta-carotene, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin and Selenium.