Winter means hibernation time, snuggling up in your bed, and binge-watching your new favorite shows on Netflix (this season I highly recommend You, and Sex Education - finished them both in one sitting).
However, this routine can also cause negative effects on your skin and possibly your health too. It's totally understandable that when your Weather App says "feels like 9", you would want to avoid the outside world at all costs, right? But spending a considerable amount of time indoors, where the heater is amped to the max and you get no vitamin D, can cause your skin to dry up quickly and very badly.
So during these cold winter times, drinking plenty of water and consuming the right foods (with the right fatty acids, antioxidants and oils) is crucial for that year-round healthy glow according to Skin Guru and Author of "Eat Beautiful", Wendy Rowe. Here are a few of her tips:
Foods to Consider:
1. Bone Broth - It's an excellent source of collagen and we all know collagen is great for hair, skin and nails. It also reduces inflammation and increases elasticity. So what better way to survive the winter and get.that.glow than by having some of your favorite soups.
2. Carrots - These help repair skin tissue and protects from UV damage (just in case you're planning on a tanning bed session to keep that bronzy skin tone). It also treats dry skin due to it's richness in potassium.
3. Kefir - It's highly fermented milk which contains a high concentration of good bacteria that has a thousand benefits for the immune system. It's not my favorite in taste, if we're being honest, but it's definitely a good substitution for yogurt as it's a natural source of probiotics.
4. Leeks - This vegetable is a natural diuretic, which means it helps get rid of excess fluids and toxins in your body, helping your skin look and feel clear and healthy. Also, this vegetable produces vitamin C and antioxidants, which improves the skins elasticity.
5. Miso - You've had it in your soups and sushi at your favorite Japanese restaurant and without knowing it, you were consuming a magical ingredient that makes skin brighter and clearer. (No wonder Asian girls have the best skin!) Miso, addresses signs of aging, contains good bacteria that cleans your gut, and works with your immune system to fight infections.
6. Red Wine - You weren't expecting this one, I bet! Yes, red wine is actually good for you skin - it contains a high amount of antioxidants which help prevent premature aging and it also slows down the growth of acne-causing bacteria. So cheers to more wine, less blemishes!
7. Orange - Everybody knows Vitamin C is good for you, but do you know why? This is the most important ingredient for the production of collagen in your body. It also helps the digestive system stay active by clearing the colon and eliminating toxins.
8. Onion - These vegetables not only add a special taste to every dish, but they also add nutritional benefits - helps boost circulation and fights infections. It should be consumed even more during the Winter time when your immune system is at it's lowest. Also, Onions have tons of Vitamin C and E which produce collagen and protects against UV damage.
9. Mushroom - Great source of Vitamin D, which is great for your teeth and bone's health. The zinc in Mushrooms prevents you from producing too much sebum (oil) so it's a great ingredient for battling acne.
10. Artichoke - If you're a New Yorker, then Artichoke is very familiar to you, and you probably enjoy tend to enjoy it more around 3AM in the morning when you stop for pizza after a night out with friends. (Yes, Artichoke Pizza is a thing - and it's fantastic!) But what you probably didn't know was that artichokes contain high levels of iron and good bacteria - they help reduce dark circles around your eyes, balances out dull complexion, and improves energy levels. So that's probably why you "woke up like this" next morning.
1. Cleansers - There are so many kinds of cleansers - foaming, cleansing wash, gel cleansers, cream cleansers, etc. - and they all serve their purposes depending on the skin. However, during the colder seasons, I try to use gel cleansers to avoid dryness. Some people say to only wash your face at night to avoid drying up your skin, however, your body produces sebum which is the number one ingredient for acne-causing bacteria. Therefore, I wash my face right after I wake up to get rid of the excess sebum, and right before I go to sleep to clean my face from the outside-world toxins.
2. Toner - Rosewater toner over any other toner in the market. Period. Rose water nourishes and hydrates your skin while the toner cleans any residues and balances out your PH levels.
3. Serum - It's a game changer! I didn't know what was the big deal about serums until I started applying mine twice a day right before moisturizing. Serums have healing benefits and it gives your skin that natural glow that you're striving for.
4. Moisturizer - Moisturizers are crucial for any skin type, age, gender, etc. It keeps your skin hydrated and protected. During winter times I go for heaver, richer options to ensure a long lasting effect. This means, if you've been using lotions, you might want to switch to cream (heavier option).
5. Exfoliator - Removing dead skin cells is key to having a clear complexion. But be gentle, you don't want to do this too often as you might remove all the natural oils it and cause the exact opposite, dry and sensitive skin. Ideally, you should exfoliate once a week.
6. Night Mask or Oil - Also to do once a week on clean and dry skin to regenerate the natural oils and deeply nourish the skin.
7. Face Masks - I use masks a few times a week to pull out any dirt that may cause congestion and improve different aspects of my skin. Clay masks are great to draw out toxins, cream masks to brighten and hydrate, and sheet masks to help restore moisture. I tend to use one every other day to make sure my skin stays healthy specially during the colder seasons.
8. Cupping/Facial Massage - How do I massage my face? Well, first I cleanse. Then I apply a natural oil and then massage in circular motions the different areas. This is super helpful because it stimulates blood flow, removes dead skin, and tightens your facial muscles. Also, it clears out extra fluids contained in your face and helps release tension.
I hope this is super helpful for those of you who are battling dry skin during the Winter. It's been my tried and true for the past two years and I'm confident these foods and skin care tips can work wonders on you as well. Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks or if you have any questions about the products I use in the comment section below.
Looking forward to your comments!
For more information, check out "Eat Beautiful: Food and Recipes to Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out" by Wendy Rowe.