Winter can be a really challenging time for our skin. The cold air and lack of moisture plays havoc with our skin cells, causing awkward breakouts, elephant-like rough patches and itching areas that push us to constant scratching. It can be embarrassing and quick frankly, a problem we don't need or want! So what can we do to prevent these unpleasant skin situations from erupting and how can we outfit ourselves with the most fabulous winter skin? Here your BRIT BEET Winter skin first aid kit:
- Stay hydrated: All our cells need water to work efficiently and it is an essential component of healthy, glowing skin. A quick test to know if you are hydrated is checking the color of your urine: clear urine = hydrated; dark yellow urine = drink more!
- Exfoliate: If you haven't been a convert to exfoliating before, Winter is the time to break out the exfoliation scrub and get rid of dry, scaly patches that may have appeared thanks to Old Man Winter. How often should you exfoliate? Once a week is a good bench mark after which your skin will feel soft and smooth to the touch.
- Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids: Choose foods such as salmon (wild is best), sardines, scallops, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and walnuts. Some of these foods also contain fats called ALA's which can help keep your skin function properly and also help reduce inflammatory responses in the skin which can lead to rashes and break-outs.
- Choose organically grown fruits and vegetables: These are rich in antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C, flavonoids (plant molecule) and carotenoids (plant pigments) which all play a crucial role in anti-inflammatory and immune support, helping our skin to look its best.
- Consume drinks that are antioxidant rich: Green tea and cold-pressed juices help fight free radicals that can damage the cellular structures of the skin, accelerating our skin's aging process.
- Allergens/Sensitivities: Be aware of foods that have caused a sensitivity or allergic reaction in the past as they can trigger unwanted skin conditions such as dermatitis and breakouts: Some of the most likely culprits are: wheat, corn, tomatoes, oranges, chocolate, cow's milk, shellfish, alcohol, vinegar, sulfites (red wine), peanuts and strawberries. BRIT BEET tip: Don't just avoid these foods in their whole state; make sure you are reading labels as many of these foods are common ingredients in packaged foods.
- Exercise: 30 minutes every day! This improves our circulation and brings fresh nutrients and oxygen to our skin cells for that lovely glow.
- Skin Hygiene: Cleanse your skin gently each night, allowing the cleanser to sit on the skin for a few minutes so it breaks down dirt and impurities, then wash it off with warm water or a clean face cloth. Follow with a toner to close up the pores and balanced the skin's pH. BRIT BEET tip: Look for natural toners that contain ingredients such as rosewater which hydrate and clarify our skin. You may want to avoid toners that contain alcohol which can dehydrate our skin and exacerbate those awkward dried patches brought on by Old Man Winter.
If you follow these simple and effective steps, you can rock that fabulous Winter skin all season long and be your beautiful self, inside and out!