We’ll be in winter mode for the next few months and since winter weather can be rough on your skin, here are a few of the most beneficial things you can do to keep your skin healthy, soft, and hydrated.
Hydration: It’s an Inside/Outside Job
Hydration truly is an inside-out job. Your body needs water to function optimally and your skin needs it to keep healthy, plump and firm. Water is up to 60% of your total body weight, so adequate hydration is essential for it to function. I’m talking about some VIP body components here: the brain, heart and lungs, kidneys, muscles and even bones.
“Drink 8 glasses of water a day” became a cliché because it’s true (though many experts now recommend more). Just think of the many ways water keeps your body and skin at their optimal best: it aids in digestion, circulation, absorption, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells throughout the body, and flushes out toxins.
Eat Your Water
Skin is built from the inside out, so what you eat impacts your “glow factor.”
Another way to boost deep hydration is by eating foods high in water content, such as leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Did you know that eating an apple with a bottle of water hydrates more than two bottles of water? I learned that juicy bit of info from Dr. Dana Cohen’s book Quench, which is all about optimal hydration for your body.
To quote Dr. Cohen: “The real question is not how to anti-age, but to age well. The simple answer is to not dry out.”
Make Friends With Essential Fatty Acids
Sure, the words “fatty” and “acids” may sound scary but put them together and you’ll see how much good they can do for your skin. Essential Fatty Acids ensure your skin maintains a healthy natural barrier to keep moisture in and damaging elements, like bacteria, pollutants and free radicals, out.
As we age, our bodies produce fewer lipids, weakening the skin barrier. Your skin can look dry, dull, and be more susceptible to wrinkling.
Facial oils are an easy way to replenish the oils you’ve lost due to the natural aging process and exposure. Natural oils like organic avocado, camellia and rosehip seed enrich the skin with essential fatty acids, including omegas 3, 6 and 9 — all of which are innate components of supple and resilient skin. Omega-3 oils are known anti-inflammatories. Omega oils are also touted for their dietary benefits — a good example that what we put in our bodies can work wonders for our skin, too.
Keep Moving — Your Lymphatic System Needs a Boost
Call me geeky, but I find the lymphatic system fascinating. It keeps our immune systems healthy to fight infections, while it also keeps the body’s fluid levels in balance.
In a nutshell, I describe it as our body’s garbage disposal given that you need to “flip the switch” to activate it. The lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump like the heart, which is why regular exercise is key to keeping it moving. Otherwise, tissue can become swollen with excess waste. Time to take out the garbage! It’s a big reason I like to get my body moving by jumping on a rebounder, doing facial massage or dry brushing or doing simple inversions (like legs-up-the-wall pose).
SPF in Winter? Absolutely.
Some experts say the sun is responsible for as much as 90 percent of skin’s aging.
If only UVA rays — you know, the ones that age you — took a break, then you could take a break from SPF. No such luck, I’m afraid. UVA rays are present throughout the day, rain or shine, and they can penetrate clouds and glass. UVA rays cause photoaging, such as premature wrinkling and sunspots. Whatever your skin has endured (excessive sun-bathing anyone?), the damage is done. The good news is that it’s never too late to focus on prevention.
Just like brushing your teeth every day helps to prevent cavities, using broad-spectrum SPF every day prevents photoaging.
Applying SPF in the a.m. is just as essential as your moisturizer. Don’t neglect SPF protection just because it’s winter and you don’t see a ray of sunshine anywhere. Those UVA rays are always present.
I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Tabasum Mir, a New York-based plastic surgeon, who cautions, “If you don’t protect your skin with SPF, it doesn’t matter how many anti-aging creams you use. If there is only one thing you do during the day, use sunblock.”
by Kari Gran, founder of KariGran.