15 Dec 2020
Top Tips to Combat Dry Skin this Winter
15 Dec 2020
It is no doubt that the cold and dry weather leads to cold, dry skin. Dry skin is a common thing people experience come the colder months. This is because the humidity levels outside drop, and when the air is cold and dry the water in our skin tends to evaporate more quickly.
So you might be wondering…is there anything I can do about this?
The answer is YES!
Here are my top 8 tips to help combat dry skin this winter:
1) Avoid hot showers, especially when the cold weather makes them feel extra tempting. Hot showers are a double whammy because they dry out the skin AND make it harder for skin to retain the little moisture that remains. Keep shower temperatures moderate instead. Bonus points for trying alternating warm and cold showers, which are great for skin health!
2) Hydrate from the inside out. Make sure you are getting 2L of water every day at least! Remember, caffeine-free herbal teas count towards your water intake and are extra comforting during the cold, winter months.
3) Place a humidifier in your home. Gas and electric heat sources strip the surrounding air of moisture, leading to and worsening already dry skin. However, using a humidifier can offset the drying properties of home heating.
4) Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption. Both substances are diuretics, which increase urination and contribute to dehydration. Although not ideal, if you cannot give up your daily coffee, drink an extra cup of water for each cup of coffee you consume. Similarly, always have a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage.
5) Load up on healthy fats! Our skin has a “lipid layer”, which protects it from moisture loss and prevents dry skin. This lipid layer needs essential fatty acids to maintain itself, which we obtain from our diet. Foods to prioritize include olives & olive oil, avocados & avocado oil, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring), walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp hearts.
6) Consider taking a well formulated fish oil supplement. A quality fish oil product will have the correct ratio of EPA to DHA, a total Omega 3 dose in the therapeutic range, use well-sourced fish and be third party tested for purity. Speak to your naturopath for guidance on how to choose a fish oil supplement and for personal recommendations.
7) Avoid harsh cleansers and soaps. Anything that strips the skin of its natural oils can weaken and damage your skin’s lipid layer. Steer clear of surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate in your personal care products. It’s also important to be mindful of product pH, since non-pH balanced cleansers can further weaken your skin’s protective barrier. My favourite cleanser for facial skin is the Marie Veronique Pure + Essential Oil-Free Oil Cleanser (a little goes a long way!) and my favourite body cleanser is the Oneka Shower Gel.
8) Reduce inflammation! Inflammation damages the protective layers of our skin and promotes dry, red, itchy, inflamed skin. To fight inflammation, load up on anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, green leafy vegetables, turmeric, ginger, red/yellow/orange vegetables and all the healthy fats listed above.
If you’re curious to learn more about how a naturopathic doctor can help you with dry skin, or any skin alignments for that matter, feel free to book a complementary 15 meet and greet with me at Natural Choice Medical Clinic in Guelph.
Dr. Kim Vance, ND
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