If you are living in a cold climate and not a tropical one, chances are as winter continues to bombard us with cold temperatures and brutal winds, your skin may be looking like a peeling boa constrictor right about now…itchy and scale-y and like sandpaper. I’m a hardy Minnesotan who has already experienced below zero weather this season, patches of my skin are definitely looking like that. Yuck!
A great bar0meter for how healthy a person is can be how their skin looks.
Taking caring of your skin is not only an inside task, i.e. what you are taking internally influences how your skin looks–but also an outside duty– what you are putting on your skin externally impacts your skin’s condition as well. Skin appearance is clearly correlated to a great extent to the nutritional value of the foods you are ingesting.
From the internal perspective, in the winter months, it is important to increase your intake of Omega 3’s. From the inside out we can make our skin less dry. If we increase our animal fats by eating good butter, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and by eating more fish such as salmon and tuna, and by taking a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement. The results? You will be well on your way to covering the internal part of keeping your skin moisturized.
Did you know excessive washing of your hands can cause dried skin and cracking? Natural oils are removed with frequent washing. The result is that your chance of getting sick increases because the cracks provide another avenue for exposure to bacteria.
What about moisturizers and lotions? What should we be looking for or avoiding?
Sodium lauryl sulfate which is a common ingredient even in lotions available at natural food stores. Why is it bad? It is used primarily to cleans garage floors and is extremely toxic if used continually. Parabens are also bad and have been linked to cancer. There are a slew of other chemicals present in virtually all mainstream body and facial moisturizers and lotions.
Remember anything you put on your skin goes right into your bloodstream. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient on your moisturizer bottle, you most likely best not be putting it on your skin.
What is great to put on your skin? My theory is that if you can eat it, then you know it is probably fantastic on your skin, too.
Coconut oil is fabulous for your skin. The main drawbacks are that it is extremely oily and can get on your clothes. Look for body butters that have coconut oil in them.
Jojoba butter, shea butter, aloe vera, palm oil are all great.
There are more and more body butters on the market that contain all of these ingredients. They work wonderfully well.
My favorite is Burt’s Bees Body Butter which has shea and mango butter as well as honey for a great smell and rich and thick moisturizing qualities that stay on your skin all day long keeping it super moist.
Stay well oiled this winter on the inside and out and you will keep on glowing with radiant health. Oh yes!