It's no secret that while winter can be a wonderful time, the harsh weather can wreak havoc on our skin. This is mainly due to the decrease in moisture in the air, leaving skin cracked, parched, and chapped. Having a daily routine can assist in the management of dry, itchy, and uncomfortable skin. Here are some tips and supplements that you can add to your routine to keep your skin supple, soft, and hydrated.
Turn Down the Heat
Showering in lukewarm water, rather than hot water, is beneficial as hot water can strip the skin of natural oils that keep it hydrated and moisturized. In addition, it's also recommended to limit showers and baths to 5-10 minute or less, this helps to heal dry and cracked skin. Following up immediately with a moisturizer can also help to lock in moisture.
Swap your foaming body wash for a body cream like the Weleda Sea Buckthorn body wash. A cream based wash won't strip the oils off the skin each shower, in addition to this Sea Buckthorn Oil contains over 190 active ingredients, with high concentrations of vitamin C and vitamin E, in addition to having well-balanced content of fatty acids, carotenoids, which help manage dry, flaky, burned, irritated, or rapidly ageing skin. Sea Buckthorn oil also contains Omega -7 which is naturally found in the skin and help to stimulate the regenerative process and wound healing.
Increase Dietary Fats
Consuming dietary polyunsaturated fats is important as these essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3's, cannot be synthesized by the body and are important in the maintenance and repair of healthy skin. When there is a lack of polyunsaturated fat within eating patterns, skin function can be impaired and can display visible skin abnormalities, as well as contribute to dehydration. Consuming dietary polyunsaturated fats, such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines), walnuts, sunflower seeds, and refrigerated flax seed oil can completely reserve dehydration and skin defects as the fatty acid composition of the skin can be significantly modified by the diet. Omega 3 supplements derived from small fish can be a great way to increase your intake of polyunsaturated fats.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplementation can improve skin health as the amount of collagen within the skin can decrease over time. Several studies have shown the positive effects that hydrolyzed collagen can have. 5g of marine collagen (type 1) taken for 6 week showed improvement in the skin’s moisture content in winter, as well as smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, and less roughness.
Dry Skin Brushing
Dry skin brushing is a great method of exfoliation and stimulates circulation to the skin. Maintaining good lymphatic circulation is vital to healthy skin as it in turn effects the functioning of the cells. It's important to use a brush made from natural fibers, usually boar hair or natural vegetable fibers, don’t use synthetic fibers as this may irritate the skin.
Once you have a well-practiced dry skin brushing routine, it can be a 5-10 minutes practice that can be done before every shower for general health support and healthy skin. Remember to go gently on more delicate areas such as face and neck
Contraindications: skin irritations, rashes, wounds, or burns, including sunburn, distended varicose veins
Dry Skin Brushing Procedure
- Brushing pattern follows lymph channel drainage patterns
- Choose the pressure that feels right for you — skin should be pink afterward, not bright red
- Generally, seven (7) strokes are used for each area, and brushing is done only in the direction of lymphatic flow
- Left side brushed first, then the right
Order of brushing:
3. Upper back
5. Face, scalp
6. Sides of trunk
7. Low and mid-back
9. Fingers, hands, wrists
13. Toes, feet, ankles
Lesley O’Connor, BHSc is a certified senior herbalist at Finlandia’s own herbal dispensary. Lesley has a special interest in women’s health, especially postpartum care, and believes that all women should have access to emotional, physical and social support during the postnatal period.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. Please seek medical advice and treatment in case of illness. If you are pregnant or suffer from any illness, please seek advice from your healthcare provider regarding these or any supplements and herbs you may want to take.