Tis' The Season For Vibrant, Hydrated Skin!
As much as I love these chillier months, I do not love the dry, itchy skin that often comes along with it. No fun. Here are some simple tips to help keep your skin super vibrant all winter long...Moisturize.Find a moisturizer that's oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. Seek out moisturizers that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine aka "humectants" - these attract moisture to your skin. And just because it's the winter, does not mean that you should stop using SPF. Winter sun can damage and dry out your skin so don't forget to apply regularly.
Hydrate. Drink water!!! Also, hook up a humidifier in your bedroom and let it run while you sleep to assist in dispensing a more even amount of moisture in the air and on your skin.
Cool down. Instead of blasting the heat in your place, cover up with a cozy blanket or sweater. The dry air is no bueno for your skin...it just sucks the moisture out of everything. And I love me a hot shower or bath, but the high heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture. A Warm water shower or a lukewarm bath is the way to go.
Eat. You are what you eat...so eat hydrating foods! Vitamins C & E help to lock in moisture and are found in avocados and olive oil. Herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and rainbow trout are all amazing for your skin ~ they contain omega-3 fats which help protect your skin, reduce inflammation and strengthen skin cells. Yellow and orange veggies (like sweet potatoes) contain beta carotene, vitamins A & C and antioxidents. Spinach is loaded with vitamins A, B & E, phytochemicals and folates ~ all which help hydrate skin to the max. Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and E, monounsaturated fats and minerals, and a plethora of antioxidants which hydrate skin, promote its elasticity, help regenerate cells, and protect against pollutants and free radicals. Water-dense fruits (like apples) contain high levels of vitamins A & C that replenish nutrients in skin, promote collagen production, and help keep your skin vibrant and firm.
Exfoliate. When in the tub or shower, use Epsom salts, oatmeal or baking soda to help relieve itchy, dry skin. By using exfoliants you get the dead skin off -- and this helps your moisturizers to soak in and actually work better. And get yourself a body rag...they work wonders! Salux makes a great (and super cheap) nylon one that you can keep in the shower...you can thank me later.
Lastly, I want share with you a handout that we received from The Institute For Integrative Nutrition on Body Scrubbing. This is a simple technique that will leave your skin tres vibrant -- and is a nice ritual at that! Read on...
Body scrubbing can be done before or after your bath or shower, or anytime during the day. All you need is a sink with hot water and a medium-sized cotton washcloth.
For the maximum effect, scrub your body twice a day: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Scrub for two minutes to 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have. The process of the hot towel scrub has a deeper physical, mental and emotional effect when done at the sink as opposed to in the shower.
- Turn on the hot water and fill the sink.
- Hold the towel at both ends and place in the hot water.
- Wring out the towel.
- While the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to scrub the skin gently.
- Do one section of the body at a time: for example, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up the arms to the shoulders, neck and face, then down to the chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.
- Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink or until each part becomes warm.
- Reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink of hot water after scrubbing each section, or as soon as the towel starts to cool.
- Reduces muscle tension.
- Reenergizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night.
- Opens the pores to release stored toxins.
- Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge.
- Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs.
- Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin.
- Calms the mind.
- Promotes circulation.
- Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing underarms and groin.
- Easy massage and deep self-care.
- Can be a sacred moment in your day, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender.
- Creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, and especially for a person with body image problems.
- Spreads energy through the chakras.