As the weather changes, so does our skin, mainly due to the drop in humidity. Keeping our skin healthy, nourished and glowing when the weather is not on our side is possible, if we know what to do.
What dries us out? Cold air, wind, central heat, relaxing in front of a fire place, a super hot shower or bath – mostly because of soap and extended time in water. Hot drinks like coffee and hot chocolate contain caffeine, and “caffeine can dry your skin from the inside,” Banks says. And if you’re drinking a hot toddy, be aware that alcohol is a diuretic and has a dehydrating effect on your body, too. Instead, aim to add moisture to your skin from the inside as well as the outside. “It’s important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated,” Banks says. “For each cup of caffeine or glass of wine you drink, make sure you drink at least one glass of water.” Even better, replace your coffee or hot chocolate with a mug of chamomile or another herbal tea, which doesn’t contain caffeine.
Take note of the condition of your cheeks and eyes as well. Because of the thinness of the skin around the eyes, an increase in fine lines is much more likely to happen in a dry or cold environment.
Understanding that the skin is an organ of the body, like your liver or any other, is the first step to caring for it properly. Your body maintains optimum functioning when nutrient levels are maintained from pure whole foods. Your skin’s health is no different. It needs actual nutrients from original sources to not only function at its peak, but to look youthful and dewy in the process.
So our first line of defense against winter skin is to drink loads of water. A close second is in the produce department of your local market. Focus on foods that contain Vitamin’s C and E, both powerful antioxidents, lowering risk of cancers and supporting collagen production, keeping skin plump and supple. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant trace mineral that is responsible for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. Vitamin A is critical for skin repair and maintenance. If you suffer from flaky or dry skin, it could be a sign you’re deficient in vitamin A. Omega-3’s, essential fatty acids (EFAs), offer healing benefits in various inflammatory conditions such as eczema and acne. Omega-3s also manage overexposure of cortisol levels, which in turn helps keep skin supple and guard against wrinkle formation. Zinc is an important trace mineral that helps repair damaged tissue and heals wounds. Another important use for zinc includes protecting skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. These vitamins and minerals are essential to your skins health, however loading up on supplements will not offer you the same extensive benefits that consuming real whole foods that contain them will.
So what does this list look like on a shopping list? Citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bell peppers, guava, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, brazil nuts, walnuts, wheat germ, onion, whole grains, brown rice, avocados, asparagus, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, spinach, oatmeal, olives, flaxseeds, chia seeds, peaches, kale, spinach, sweet potato, cantaloupe, pecans, pumpkin seeds, ginger, legumes and mushrooms. This looks like a wonderful start to the weeks meals regardless of our skins potential benefit!
When we begin feeling the effects of winter, like dry, itchy skin, fine rashes, dehydration, fine age lines, we often respond by grabbing a well-known commercial brand of lotion that claims to be extra-strength and we get instant temporary relief and go on about our day. Dry skin isn’t improved by ordinary moisturizers because perfumes, and chemicals that are used to make it creamy or “seal in moisture” not only disrupt your skins natural defenses but they are also drying.
The vast majority of what is available today is loaded with chemicals that are known toxins to our bodies. Skin is porous and breathes, so when we apply product, it does not stay on the surface, it goes into our bodies. Synthetic colors and synthetic fragrances are just two areas of toxins that include very toxic elements among them and they are present in most every commercially available product and they go right into our blood stream.
Other very common ingredients are petroleum and mineral oil, neither of which can be metabolized but are absorbed quickly into the body. There are different grades of petroleum and mineral oil, with those used in cosmetic products being the “purest” and the most refined, yet that doesn’t keep them from harming you. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health reported: “There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1g per person.”
The researchers removed fat specimens from 142 women who were undergoing C-sections, and collected milk samples from them post-delivery. Scarily, they found that both the fat and the milk were contaminated with mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons. The authors concluded “The increase in MOSH [mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons] concentration in human fat tissue with age suggests an accumulation over time.” With skincare being the most common source of absorption into the body.
We, at Life with Moxie, suggest you avoid skincare that is loaded with chemicals because not only is it deceptive, it is not helping you and it is, in fact, harming you.
To address your winter skin properly from the outside, we still need to select products that effectively come from the produce department. We’ve known what works for thousands of years and it’s time to return to the pure beauty that results from powerful, organic and natural skin care.
Going completely purest, use organic coconut oil or jojoba oil for a moisturizer, organic raw honey for cleansing and healing, organic aloe for healing and organic brewed green tea for toner. Wanting something that’s combined for more strength and effectiveness? Look to companies like Moxie Creed that combine the above purest foundation of natural and organic elements with ingredients like CoQ10 from spinach, Ferulic from brown rice and many others such as watermelon, roobios and ginko for anti-aging protection, correcting, healing and restoring.
Remember that applying product to the delicate eye area should be done in a gentle manner, preferably using just one fingers tip, and to avoid pulling at the skin. Applying the right amount of sunscreen on your face should always be a priority as well, since it gets a lot of sun exposure in addition to the cold weather. Do not, however, apply moisturizer that contains sunscreen at night as sunscreen is not a benefit to your skin unless you are in the sun as it can actually be very harmful as it is loaded with chemicals.
Want more information about skincare? Refer back to my earlier article: Want to Look Like a Goddess? You’ve Got To Go Skin Deep.
Want more ideas and inspiration…? Follow Life with Moxie on Facebook and Instagram and check out www.LifewithMoxie.com
Have ideas you’d like to add? Need more suggestions? Let me know!
Julie Koester is CEO of Life with Moxie, a Lifestyle Revolution Company www.lifewithmoxie.com and Host of Life with Moxie Radio, Saturday’s at 1pm on 98.9 WGUF in Southwest Florida. You can reach her at Julie@lifewithmoxie.com
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