While it feels like fall just started, the temperature is already dropping. It’s getting much colder and windier and this impacts our skin. While we don’t have much skin exposured during the colder months, the dry air negatively affects our skin. You might be noticing your skin is a little dry, maybe dull. Maybe the skin on your hands is already cracking? If you’ve been moisturizing your skin and it still isn’t coping with the cold temperatures, there is more you can do to ensure your skin stays healthy and soft.
While it’s important to be applying moisturizer to your skin, don’t forget about moisturizing from the inside-out. That might sound a little unusual to you but hear me out. By consuming healthy fats, we’re helping our skin from the inside out. Fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, omega 3s from fish, evening primrose oil and GLA oil are excellent oils for skin. They will help keep your skin hydrated, glowing, plump and clear. You can incorporate the food based fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, ghee, and coconut oil) into your diet via smoothies, salad dressings and meals. The supplemental fats (evening primrose and GLA) can be purchased at your local health food store and taken in the morning or before bed.
Water is also essential for beautiful skin. Keeping your body hydrated will keep your skin hydrated. If water is boring to you, try adding fruits and/or herbs like watermelon, lemon, strawberries, cucumber, ginger or mint to add a fresh twist.
Ditch Your Face Cream and Use an Oil
What you’re applying to your skin will also determine if it’s dry or not. Products with astringent properties typically dry out your skin* but can be very beneficial when combined with an oil. It may sound counter-intuitive to use an oil to moisturize your face (especially if you already have oily skin) but our skin naturally has an oily layer on it called sebum. This means our body naturally makes oils so it makes sense to use something we naturally produce. One cause of oily skin can actually be over-use of cleansers which dries your skin out, causing the sebaceous glands to go into overdrive and produce more oil. If the sebaceous glands remain hydrated, the oil production should level out.
When you use an oil, you can use just a little for a light application or tailor it and use several pumps for a richer, thicker application. When we use an oil, we actually hydrate around our sebaceous glands which helps naturally adjust our skins pH and gives our skin a deeper hydration than a cream. Typically, creams sit topically on the skin and are not well absorbed.
I moisturize my skin in both the morning and evening. In addition, after a shower, I take the opportunity to moisturize the rest of my body, not just my face. At night I especially love using an oil. My choices include the antioxidant-rich and anti-aging Argan oil which I’ll add 1-2 drops of Lavender essential oil to once it’s in the palm of my hand or Blue Tansy Oil from Acure. I also love using rosehip oil which is a great oil for supporting the elasticity of your skin. When shopping for a skin oil, look for a cold-pressed, certified organic oil that is packaged in glass; ideally an amber or dark coloured glass. St. Francis Herb Farm and Skin Essence Organics make wonderful skin oils. Read my post here about how to select clean beauty products.
*there are several natural essential oils (lavender, rosemary, citrus) with astringent properties that can be every beneficial for your skin especially if combined with a hydrating oil
Supplement for a Healthy Glow
Supplements can also help make a difference. Collagen and antioxidants will keep your skin youthful and glowing. Collagen is really important if you’re over 25 as around this time, our body’s production of collagen starts to decline by 1% per year. Collagen is an important protein that supports the skins elasticity and structure. It also helps keep your skin looking plump and youthful. Aura™ Nutrition has a wonderful marine collagen. It’s sourced from Canadian waters and is made from wild caught, deep water Atlantic white fish. Mixes easily into a coffee, an elixir or your smoothie. (It’s linked above to browse and shop)
In addition, probiotics can help support your skin health especially if acne is of a concern. Check out this post on probiotics to learn more.
Take Care Long-Term
A final note I will make is about sunscreen. Sunscreen is necessary to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun and shouldn’t only be used in summer. Look for physical sunscreens with Zinc Oxide rather than chemical sunscreens as physical suncreens create a barrier on the skin and reflect the UV rays. Chemical suncreens on the other hand, absorb the rays in a chemical reaction and dissipate them as heat. The Environmental Working group has an exceptional list each year of the best natural and clean sunscreens. Here’s the link to see how clean your sunscreen really is. It also offers alternative choices for your family so only the safest products are going on your skin. Using suncreen will help protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun which will also help your skin to continue to look healthy and youthful.
A Quick Summary
- Hydrate by drinking water and consuming healthy fats
- Swap your cream for an oil
- Supplement with collagen for beautiful skin
- Take long term care by using sunscreen