For me, winter used to be extremely harsh for my skin. By the time it got cold enough for me to need to rely on wool coats and thick scarves, my skin was already suffering the effects of the brutal weather: dry, flaky, peeling skin with a harsh, rough sandpaper-like texture, and windburn. My legs would end up looking scaly, dry, and tight, like my skin was too small to keep in my insides. However, overtime, as I learned more about healthy eating and natural remedies, my skin began to improve during the winter. Let me share some of my favorite and most effective solutions.
First, you need to nourish your body with high quality fuel from the inside out. It simply makes sense. You don’t give your car junky gas so why should you give your body poor fuel and then expect it to perform optimally? Your skin is your largest organ and often a barometer of your inner state of wellness. Feed your skin with deeply-hued fruits and veggies, especially those rich in vitamin A like sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and leafy greens. Eat plenty of healthy fats from olive oil, coconut, and other nuts and seeds so your body can produce enough of its own natural oils to keep your skin supple and strong. Stop eating sugar, the worst quality fuel available because of its lack of nutrition. In fact, sugar dampens the immune system and robs your body of minerals. That’s the last thing you want during cold season! Try taking a multi-vitamin if you feel you are coming up short in regards to your diet. In addition, you might want to supplement with vitamin C and MSM for especially natural healthy skin.
Secondly, and this might be difficult, but stop taking excruciatingly hot showers. Yes, they might feel good on a cold morning but they extract the moisture from your skin and will only make your dry skin situation first. If you need a warm up in the morning, drink hot tea or coffee sweetened with stevia and soymilk. Have a warming breakfast like bean stew, oatmeal with peanut butter, or a spicy omelet. Take cool or lukewarm showers and keep a thick, cozy robe and mug of warm tea waiting for you when you get out. Better yet, start brewing your coffee before you get in the shower and by the time its done, all you have to do is slip on your robe and go pour a hot cup.
Thirdly, you need to learn to use natural moisturizers that don’t counteract their own effects. Most lotions you buy at the store have chemicals in them that actually dry your skin out over time. This is so that you keep using more and more of the product to maintain moist skin. Instead opt for natural products that build lasting moisture and reinforce the integrity of your skin like coconut oil, palm oil, pure cocoa or shea butter, or even olive oil. Before bed, try slathering your body in your favorite oil and then put on a robe as you relax with a good book while the oil seeps into your skin.
Dry skin during the winter can be a major pain but it really isn’t a hard condition to remedy if you know how to make a few simple holistic changes in your lifestyle.