With fall upon us, now’s a good time to review your skin care routine to make sure you are armed and ready for the onslaught of winter. Though the weather outside will sometimes be frightening, with these quick and simple tips you can maintain a healthy glow from the inside out no matter what the change of seasons may bring:
- Stay Hydrated. Drinking fluids is one of the keys to flushing out toxins that can lead to unsightly skin eruptions. It’s also one of the best ways to retain moisture and maintain the elasticity of your skin. Stick to distilled or purified water and herbal teas. Avoid or limit consumption of carbonated drinks, drinks with caffeine or sugar, and high-sodium soups, as these can hinder the benefits of the hydrating fluids you consume. And don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink something, because by that point you are already dehydrated!
- Consume Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). These nutrients (sometimes referred to as the “good fats”) play an essential role in the health of your skin, hair, and nails –all of which can turn brittle from exposure to the elements. EFAs help your body form healthy cell membranes that can hold more water inside their cells. The more water your cells can hold, the more hydrated your skin is. A tablespoon a day of quality flaxseed oil can work miracles. If you don’t care for the taste of it alone then combine it with lemon juice and a little olive oil to make a dressing for your salad or veggies. Also, eat more almonds, walnuts, avocados, wild Alaskan or Pacific salmon, and other coldwater fish or consider a fish oil supplement.
- Eat More Antioxidants. Antioxidants consumed through food and supplements play an important role in skin health by neutralizing the free radicals generated by damage from UV rays. A good antioxidant-rich nutrition plan can halt or even reverse the skin aging process! Eat more tomatoes or tomato sauce for the lycopene; eggs for lutein (which is found in the yolk), blueberries, strawberries and foods rich in vitamin C. You can also supplement with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), which neutralizes free radicals in the body, helps remove heavy metals, and promotes healthy cell function.
- Increase Circulation and Blood Flow to Your Skin. Get a massage, facial, or do 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise a day to increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to your skin. If you don’t have the time or budget to go to a spa, give yourself a mini aromatherapy facial by adding 2 drops each of Rosemary, Lavender, and Geranium essential oils (EOs) to a bowl of steaming hot water. Hold your head directly over the bowl and place a towel over both to hold in the steam. Finish by gently massaging your face with our Soothe or Divine Certified Organic Moisturizing Body Oil. Both contain skin balancing essential oils of Lavender and Geranium in a base of certified organic Jojoba oil –the oil that’s closest in composition to your own natural sebum.
You can also add a couple of drops of Rosemary essential oil to a tablespoon of our Revitalize body oil for an invigorating leg and foot massage to help increase circulation.
- Use a Humidifier Indoors. Mitigate the drying effect on your skin of too much indoor heating. Add a drop or two of Rosemary, Peppermint or Eucalyptus EO to the water to keep sinuses clear and stimulate your circulation.
- Avoid Conventional Soaps and Body Washes. These products contain detergents and synthetic ingredients that strip the natural oils from your skin –leaving it dry and prone to cracking which can lead to infection. Our Gentle Cleansing Body Wash is a great alternative –made with highly moisturizing and protective organic coconut, olive, and jojoba oils, it has rich cleansing lather that rinses clean without drying your skin. Combine it with a little bit of our lotion or your favorite moisturizer to create a gentle creamy cleanser, massage onto your face in a circular motion, then rinse with a washcloth soaked in tepid water.
- Use Body Oils vs. Lotions. In late fall and winter months when dry skin is acute, use body oils as your primary moisturizer instead of lotion to improve hydration. Since lotions are made of mostly water, harsh winter conditions will evaporate the water from your skin before it can do the job. Body oils on the other hand contain no water so they are the purest form of moisturizer. For best results, apply to skin while still wet (i.e. immediately after you shower) to enhance absorption.
I recommend applying our Certified Organic Moisturizing Body Oil to your skin and face while in the shower because your pores are wide open, facilitating absorption. Massaging it onto your skin will also increase circulation. By the time you finish your shower the oil will be completely absorbed into the dermis and subcutaneous fatty layers of the skin, giving it the deep moisture it needs to stay supple and hydrated.