Canadian winters recently seem to be harsher on our skin than our spirits. We are likely nearing the end of this cold season and should be thinking about changing our skin care, just like we would change our clothes, to best prepare for the upcoming spring. Here are a few modifications to consider for your own personal regimes:
Winter: Cream/Body Butter
Spring Switch: Lotion
Creams and body butters have a high oil to water ratio in their formulations, with some butters being up to 100% oil based. These products are thicker in texture and are incredibly moisturizing to the skin. Because of their consistencies, they have longer staying power on the surface of the skin, which is what make them excellent for using in colder temperatures. Because temperatures and humidity are increasing in the spring, skin is able to retain moisture better. A lotion, which has a higher water to oil ratio, is lighter on the skin, faster absorbing, and may be a more suitable choice for spring. Notable ingredients are:
- Aloe Vera – Provides fast absorbing hydration to the skin.
- Argan Oil – Deep penetrating and great source of vitamin E.
- Rose hip oil – Regenerative for skin cells.
- Jojoba Oil – Helps to regulate our own skin’s sebum production, making it effective for dry and oily skin
Winter: Warm comfort foods
Spring Switch: Bitter foods
This bit doesn’t have to do with any products, but healthy skin is as much internal as it is external. Our skin is our largest organ and it actually plays a big role in detoxification. If our organs of elimination (liver, kidneys and colon) become overworked, our skin steps in to eliminate some of those toxins. This can manifest in the form of acne or rashes and many other skin conditions. Bitters and bitter foods naturally help our digestive system as well as organs of elimination perform more efficiently and will ensure your skin is glowing. Some easy ways to incorporate bitters are:
- Eat salads with dandelion greens or radicchio.
- Drink teas of chamomile, horehound or yarrow.
- Take drops of wormwood, gentian or dandelion tincture before meals.
Winter: Keep Hydrated
Spring Switch: Maximize Hydration Internally and Externally!
When its freezing outside, most people might not be inclined to reach for a cool glass of water, but that doesn’t make it any less important to consume. When our skin cells are dehydrated, our skin lacks elasticity and a glow. Ensuring you are not only consuming, but that your cells are actually absorbing that water, is key. Optimal absorption occurs when there are electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium). They are important because these are the minerals that will actually transport water molecules into your bodies cells. Other than drinking plain water, you can hydrate yourself by:
- Make your own flavoured water! – Add slices of fruits and veg like lemons, limes or cucumber and herbs like mint or ginger to add some interest to your drink.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – Melons, strawberries, pineapple, cucumber and celery all have a high concentration of water. Consuming these foods in their whole, raw forms are best.
- Electrolyte drinks – Coconut water is one option and way healthier than most neon coloured drinks athletes use. To make your own sports drink, use 1 litre of water, ¼ tsp of Himalayan salt (or any mineral rich salt, NOT table salt!), 1 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice.