It seems that no matter how many layers we put on our body during the winter months, our skin always feels the bitter bite of the cold. When the temperature starts to drop, the humidity level decreases leaving the skin feeling dehydrated. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has three simple tips to keep your skin hydrated during the cold, dry winter months.
Avoid Hot Showers or Baths
A hot shower or bath certainly gives us a break from the cold outside. However, it doesn’t do any favours for our skin. The hot water can actually dry out the natural oils. The longer you stay in the shower, the more these oils deplete. Make sure your shower or bath water isn’t too hot.
Use Naturally Hydrating Products
Always use naturally hydrating products. Make sure they’re free of BHA, BHT, phthalates, parabens, siloxanes, and sodium laureth sulphate. We tend to only look for skin products in drugstores and at the cosmetic counter. But you can also look in your pantry and in health food stores to find excellent natural moisturizers. Coconut oil, for example, acts as an emollient, providing a softening and soothing effect. I highly recommend Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil you can use it for cooking as well as skin care.
Another option is grapeseed oil, an effective, lightweight moisturizer. It contains vitamins, minerals, protein, GLA (an omega-6 fatty acid that is found mostly in plant-based oils), and vitamin E. All of these nutrients benefit your skin. When we think of improving the condition of our skin, various creams, moisturizers, soaps, and cosmetics come to mind. But it’s worth remembering that beauty truly does radiate from the inside out.
A Nutritious Diet
A nutritious diet which includes healthy fats and colourful vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits is essential to maintaining hydrated, healthy skin. Healthy fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flax seeds, can help skin retain its elasticity.
Antioxidants like vitamin A, found in yellow, orange and red vegetables, are ideal for this purpose. Furthermore, vitamin A deficiency can actually cause the skin to become dry and rough. It may seem like common sense, but it’s true that your skin’s hydration is linked to your body’s hydration. Try to make sure you are drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day.
More information on this topic, which includes a list of health food stores in your community, is easily found using the “find-a-retailer” tool online at chfa.ca.
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