Got The Dry Skin Blues?

For many people, just coming out of a long winter and heading into spring brings more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks. Reduced humidity in our homes combined with the colder temperatures of winter wreaks havoc on our skin. For some people, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling: They get skin so dry it results in flaking, cracking, even eczema.

 

I avoid any product containing petrolatum or mineral oils due to their carcinogenic potential. Mineral oil is also comedogenic, meaning it blocks your pores and your skin’s natural respiration process, which can lead to blackheads and pimples. It’s important to remember that your skin is the largest organ of your body, and nearly everything you put on it is readily absorbed. Therefore, NOT slathering anything on your skin that you wouldn’t consider eating is a great way to think about it. I firmly believe you need to approach topical skin care as you approach your diet, and only feed your skin the best ingredients from nature, forgoing toxic chemicals at all costs.

 

Previous research has shown that women absorb an estimated five pounds of chemicals a year just from the makeup they use!

 

The following are two effective remedies against dry, itchy winter skin:

•Getting sufficient amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet, and

•Using coconut oil to moisturize your skin

 

And of course we can’t forget about drinking water to stay hydrated!!

 

Omega 3’s – Your skin is an outer reflection of your insides, so your diet is a potent ally against most skin problems. When it comes to dry, flaky skin, animal-based omega-3 fat, such as fish oil, can play a very important role. Besides drinking plenty of water, it may be one of the best ways to hydrate your skin from the inside out. In fact, one reliable way to evaluate your omega-3 status is to take a close look at your hands. If they’re smooth and soft, you’re probably getting enough omega-3 fat in your diet. If they’re not, or if other areas of your skin are dry, flaking or cracked, there is a good chance you need to increase your omega-3 intake.

 

Fermented Vegetables – Many don’t realize this, but the health and quality of your skin is strongly linked to the health of your gut. Fermented vegetables are ideal for promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Signals from these gut microorganisms are sent throughout your body—they even interact with organisms in your skin. Researchers are now looking into how these interactions can help with a wide variety of skin conditions, including dryness and poor collagen production. Normalizing your gut microflora has been shown to help against skin irritations and chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

 

Avoiding sugars – Avoiding sucrose, fructose, most grains, and processed foods: This is perhaps the most important step you can take to improve your overall skin health regardless of the season. If you eliminate all sugars, and processed foods  from your diet for a few weeks there you would likely notice rapid improvement in your complexion.

 

Coconut Oil – For all its internal health benefits, pure coconut oil is also a wonderful all-natural “anti-aging” moisturizer when applied topically. When absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple. It also helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother. Besides that, coconut oil also has potent antimicrobial activity. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid; your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, also has antimicrobial activity. Slather it on, it’s good for you.

 

A 4-Step Shower Routine for Tackling Dry Skin – Removing excess skin flaking can help reveal more glowing skin underneath. The following routine can help you accomplish that without harsh chemicals:

1. Dry brush your skin prior to getting in the shower by using a dry body brush. This will help get rid of loose flaky skin. Always brush toward your heart area.

2. Avoid using soap or use the least amount possible as that will tend to worsen your dry skin.  Instead, apply a natural body scrub to exfoliate your skin. Be sure to choose one that contains oils to moisturize.

3. Hot showers can worsen dry skin, so if you are feeling brave, take the coldest shower you can tolerate.

4. After your shower, apply a heavy natural body butter or natural moisturizing oil (not mineral oil or baby oil) to help seal in moisture. As mentioned earlier, organic coconut oil is an ideal choice.

 

Last but not least-

 

Stay Hydrated!!  Most people remember to stay hydrated during the summer, as the heat makes you sweat and develop a thirst. But reduced humidity and cold weather tends to suck the moisture right out of your skin, so you still need to make sure you’re staying well hydrated, even though you’re not sweating. As mentioned earlier, optimizing your omega-3 level is one of the best ways to moisturize your skin from the inside out. But you also need to drink clean pure water and lots of it.

 

In Good Health

Kim-Haba Manager

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