The Glow Getter: Nourishing Winter Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in the body and - for better or worse - it mirrors general health.
In winter time, with more time in the dry air, along with plentiful holiday parties with alcohol, sugar and carbs, skin can take a beating.
Here are some health hacks for keeping the glow inside and out during the winter months.
Wintertime means we slather on topicals for lips, elbows, face, knees and heels. Here are some of my favorite make-at-home, all natural, chemical free potions for optimal skin health.
Avocado & Manuka Honey Moisture Mask
Avocado, olive oil and Manuka honey make a sticky - but heavenly - moisturizing mask.
Mix 1/2 an avocado with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey.
Slather on face, feet, elbows - anywhere that's dry.
Leave for 15-20 minutes and wash off.
Additions: Add a drop of an essential oil for added benefits.
Thyme or rosemary if you have breakouts (they have antibacterial properties), lavender for calming, or frankincense for immune strengthening.
Moisturizing Sugar Scrub
Olive oil, sugar, and essential oil make a great moisturizing winter exfoliant.
Combine 2 tablespoons of good quality organic olive oil with 1/2 cup raw sugar and a drop of an essential oil (lavender, rosemary, or frankincense).
Scrub all over yourself in the shower, in circular motions for optimal cardiovascular benefits.
Additions: Use a loofah or natural bristle brush to dry bush before your shower - always brushing towards the heart to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Dry brushing is great for moving lymph fluid, exfoliating (helps the scrub work more deeply) and promoting beneficial circulation.
Pumpkin and Coconut Oil Hair Mask
For a dry, itchy scalp and hair, this go-to mask will solve all.
Mix 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree with 1/4 cup coconut oil.
Rub generously into scalp and hair.
Cover with cap and leave for half an hour. Repeat weekly.
Additions: Use a hand held dryer to gently heat up your covered head. The heat helps the mask infuse more deeply into scalp and hair.
Detox & Moisture Bath
Our favorite detoxing Shaman’s Bath as a winter edition.
Mix 1/4 cup of coconut oil with 1/4 cup of almond oil together and pour in the bath.
Add 3 cups of epsom salts and 2 cups of baking soda to the warm water.
Soak for at least 20 minutes.
Additions: Add in the essential oil of your preference. I love orange for this one! Though rosemary and/or thyme have great antibacterial qualities if you have are prone to breakouts.
An important note:
My advice is to put on your skin only what you would eat.
This sounds crazy, but it’s true, because what you put on your skin can have an enormous effect on your overall health.
Studies have been shown that directly link the harsh chemicals, preservatives and additives commonly used in FDA-approved body care products to hormone imbalance, thyroid disease, even cancers, all to extend the shelf life of a product. These harmful chemicals and additives are easily absorbed by the body, and get sent directly into the blood stream, increasing toxicity levels and damaging health.
Want to see how your current body care products rank on the toxicity scale? EWG is a resource that provides important education around safe and effective products and is driving reform in the cosmetics industry. Here are some of EWG’s "approved" serums and moisturizers.
Healing from the Inside
The only way to get a good glow is to heal from within. Your skin is a direct correlation to what is going on inside – from mental health to gut health. Ever notice a break out after a stressful week at work? Or strange skin sensitivity after eating or drinking certain foods? How about puffy eyes after not getting enough -good quality - sleep? Skin is our body’s way of communicating, so it is important to listen to it, and help it heal from the inside.
Collagen Powder. A skin must have.
Collagen supports resilient skin. I see it in my practice, and my patients see it in the mirror.
Aim for 18 grams of high quality collagen powder a day.
Easily add into soup, smoothies, tea, coffee - any liquid really.
Make sure that your collagen powder is sourced from grass fed dairy farms, and is of the highest, purest quality. This will greatly effect the results. Here is my favorite.
Five Days Free. No alcohol for five days a week.
Have more alcohol free days by setting aside weekends for drinking only. Your skin will thank you.
Sleep with an ultrasonic humidifier.
Ultrasonic humidifiers will be keep the air in your bedroom at optimal moisture level, bringing respiratory benefits, boosting the immune system, and improving skin health.
Place by your bed. Turn it on while you sleep.
Use one with preferably cold air, as they are less likely to get moldy.
Nourishing Soups. Delicious tonics for skin health inside and out.
Warm soup loaded with green veggies and some seaweed provides skin loving minerals. For those of you who like to cook - I love this detox broth.
Supplements! Our favorite winter saviors.
Essential minerals and Vitamin C packs a powerful punch when it comes to skin health and healing. You can't build new skin without Vitamin C.
Liposomal Vitamin C by Empirical Formulas. 1000mg of Vitamin C 3x times per day.
Water, lots of water. But make sure to add minerals.
Too many glasses of tap water can actually leech minerals from the body. If you feel you are drinking good amounts of water, but don't really feel hydrated, mineral loss could be why.
Once a day, put a scoop of electrolytes in your mouth to help you body properly use the water.
If you are experiencing skin issues or irritations this winter, that you just can't resolve, come in for an appointment, and together, we will get to the root of the problem and come up with a personalized plan to achieve your best skin and health from the inside out. Because your skin is trying to tell you something, and we should listen to it!