Skin problems abound during winter. Dry, cold air, blistering winds, and a constant barrage of indoor heaters are bound to dry out the skin and intensify conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Don’t despair just yet, however. There are some simple ways to protect the skin from winter ravages and rejuvenate it in time for spring.
Watch What You Eat
Your diet has an enormous impact on your skin. Many of the ‘winter comfort foods’ we enjoy are not the best choices for skin health. Here’s a few ways to adapt your diet to start feeling better from the inside-out:
- Drink more water. It may sound a bit obvious, but many people turn to alternative beverages like coffee, cocoa, tea, or alcohol in the winter to feel warmer. While there’s nothing wrong with a nice cup of tea, try to keep hydrated each day to keep both body and skin hydrated.
- Eat foods that are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants. Fish, avocados, nuts, leafy greens, and a colorful palette of vegetables are all excellent choices to make skin happy.
- Avoid alcohol and other toxins. Highly processed foods and alcohol are both full of toxins – not a good recipe for the skin. When you do choose to partake, increase water intake accordingly to flush out some of the toxins you’re consuming.
Watch What You Put On
Certain types of clothing, fragrances, and products can all exacerbate dry, itchy, or irritated skin. If your skin doesn’t feel in tip-top condition, there are a few things you should avoid contact with:
- Wool and polyester: Both fabrics can make dry skin feel itchy and flaky. Opt for 100% cotton instead. Wool is a natural fiber so may be fine, but if it irritates your skin too much, ensure it is not in direct contact with the skin but is worn externally.
- Scented soap: Whether it be your bodywash or your clothing detergent, avoid soaps with added fragrance.
- Any artificial fragrance: Perfume, cologne, or any other product containing artificial fragrances can make skin problems worse.
Soothe and Rejuvenate
There are countless products you can buy that are supposed to moisturize the skin, but not all of them are helpful if your skin is already dry or irritated. Make sure any store-bought products are all-natural; some solutions might even be sitting in your pantry right now. Here are a few ideas:
- Add oatmeal, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar to a cool bath for a whole-body skin treatment.
- Milk and/or honey may also be applied directly to affected areas or used as a soothing soak.
- Look for products containing the following all-natural oils: Coconut, Olive, Sesame, Almond, Agrimony, Basil, Bay leaf, Calendula, Chamomile, Chickweed, Clove, Geranium, Jewelweed, Lavender, Nettle, Peppermint, Rosemary, or Thyme.
- Basil, mint, or thyme: Any of these herbs may be boiled in water, steeped, and left to cool to create a soothing soak for the skin. Dip a cloth into the mixture and allow to soak into the affected areas.
- Look for products containing Aloe vera, beeswax, or glycerin. Any of these can nourish the skin and help to seal in moisture.
One last tip – run your heater as seldom as possible on warmer days, since heaters have a bad habit of sapping all the moisture out of the air.
According to Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, there are still a few more weeks of winter to go. Taking the above precautions will help you to leave behind unhappy winter skin in time for warmer spring weather.
Read more about all-natural remedies on the Living Clean blog:
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