Secrets to Glowing Winter Skin

When I did my blog planning two months ago and scheduled this week’s blog, I wrote “Winter Skin Care” because I wanted to share tips of how we can protect our skin during the cold and dry season. But then the strangest and beautiful thing happened.

On Saturday evening I went to the shop to get the latest fix of my favourite magazine, The South African Journal of Natural Medicine. I was actually late buying it (I should subscribe, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind whether to go digital or stay with print), so I just picked up a copy without scanning the contents and paid.

Imagine my surprise the following day when I sat down to read it ,only to discover that one of the main features of this month’s issue is “A-Z of winter Skin Care”. I got pretty excited to see that I am aligned with the current trends in natural health care and that I am sharing relevant information with you.

When I compared the draft I had already started to the full magazine article, I decided it’s best to share generously from the magazine. The article is written by Dr Leila Sadien who practices integrative medicine and integrative aesthetics and is one of South Africa’s top authorities on natural health and beauty.

Here are some of her recommendations to keep skin healthy during winter:

Antioxidants

Taking antioxidants topically and orally helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals which can cause cancer and inflammation and also protects us from the effects of  poor diets and lifestyle choices. Consuming and supplementing with Vitamins A, C and E is recommended to nourish the skin.

Vitamin D

We spend a lot of time indoors during winter. This deprives us of exposure to sunlight which means that less Vitamin D is manufactured by the body. Vitamin D deficiency can result in skin problems such as acne, rosacea and may accelerate aging and cause delayed healing and repair.

Humidifier

I had my first encounter with humidifiers when I moved to dry Johannesburg, they saved me. Humidifiers moisten dry air and help the skin say moisturised during the brutal and dry winter season. I bought one with a diffuser and used essential oils to infuse different scents depending on the mood I wanted to create. The humidity keeps the skin supple and glowing throughout winter. WINNING!

Lips

The skin on our lips is quite thin and has no oil glands to provide protection. It is therefore important to keep them well moisturised with a good lip balm and drinking lots of water.

Night time Routine

It’s easy to skip bedtime skin care in winter but don’t. Your skin need extra moisture as it regenerates throughout the night after being exposed to wind and drying hot air-conditioning at the office. I use a rich oil blend in winter which I make with a base of Argan oil.

Get more from her on this months issue of the magazine.

http://www.naturalmedicine.co.za/

In addition to the above, skin is a reflection of what is going on inside of you. When everything is in order, your skin glows, it does not matter how old you are. However, if you are not consuming nutrient dense food, or your body is not digesting and using those nutrients efficiently, it will show on the condition of your skin. Remember in this blog article Detoxification Simplified I explained that skin carries the toxic load when other organs are burdened so your skin reflects the internal state of your health.

Here is my top 3  internal weaponry for glowing winter skin:

  1. Good Fats

As if we need another reason to eat more avocados, comes a story of an 81 year old model who attributes her good skin to eating avocados and flax seed every day.

Good fats mainly come from monounsaturated (olive oil, avocados ,nuts, sunflower)and polyunsaturated fats (salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, sardines)  help the skin maintain its moisture balance and vitality. They provide omega3 and omega 6, essential fatty acids required to build healthy cell membranes.

They also provide a protective layer to the skin, helping it to stay hydrated plump.

  1. Silica

Good dietary sources of silica include whole grains and seeds like oats, flax and rice. The herb horsetail is rich in silica and can be purchased in capsule form. You can also consume bone broth for the benefit of your skin. Well-made bone broth is rich in gelatine, which benefits the skin.

Silica is a mineral that helps your body produce and more strengthen collagen and all the layers of the skin and connective tissue. You definitely want this weapon.

  1. Water

Drinking water can be challenging in winter but if you skimp on it, it will show on your skin. Water keeps your skin hydrated from the inside and helps plump up collagen and improve the look of your skin. Water also helps to remove removes toxins from so your skin does not become burdened.

If cold water is challenge, drink herbal tea made with lavender and other skin supporting herbs like horsetail, oat straw and nettles.

Furthermore, make time to exfoliate regularly to remove dull old skin. Did you know that skin regenerates every month?  Removing dead skin gives way to new skin giving you a glowing canvas to lather with a rich moisturising cream throughout winter.

Adding these tips to your skin care will ensure that come summer time,you will have healthy,glowing skin to bare.That is the point.

Do you have other tips and tricks up your sleeve for winter-proofing your skin? I’d love to hear them. Drop a comment and share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Foods and Herbs for Enhanced Immunity

So, you’ve made the lifestyle suggestions I mentioned in the last post ,The Immune System:Your Inner Army, yet you still feel it’s not enough. You are right.
Let me get specific.
Before looking to your friendly pharmacist to help you prepare for the winter sniffles, visit your local supermarket or fruit and vegetable market. Stock up on these powerful immune boosters and make them part of your diet.

1. Citrus Fruit

Lemon fruit
Vitamin C has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to protect the immune cells from damage by infections. Research studies also found that Vitamin C speeds up healing and recovery.It is no coincidence that citrus fruits are abundant in winter.

Rather than taking a vitamin C supplement, reach for a variety of citrus fruits.
Other foods rich in Vitamin C include dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, red peppers, snap peas, berries, paw-paw, kiwi fruit and tomatoes.

2. Probiotic Rich Foods

It is now a well-known fact that 1/3 of our immune system lies in the gut. Therefore a healthy gut is one of our best defenses against infections.
Probiotics promote growth of good bacteria in our gut and help to stimulate the immune system,making your body less friendly to pathogens.

Probiotic rich foods include yoghurt, maas, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and other naturally fermented foods and drinks.

3. Garlic

Garlic has strong antibacterial compounds because it is particularly rich in allicin, a compound thought to improve immune cell power to reduce infection.
Garlic reportedly has antibacterial and antiviral properties which makes it a champion in fighting bacterial and viral infections.
Eating 2-3 cloves of garlic per day may help boost the immune system helping you avoid infections or heal faster.

4. Ginger

Garlic and ginger are often used together in cooking for their taste yet they both possess powerful infection fighting compounds.
Ginger has a powerful compound called gingerol which is thought to lower the risk of infection. It has powerful anti-microbial properties which stops growth of certain bacteria.
To get both antibacterial and antiviral properties during a respiratory infection, ginger is at its most potent consumed raw.
I love cooking with ginger and it features quite prominently in my smoothies and juices.

5. Berries

Mixed berries on white backgroundDo you remember early in summer I encouraged you to freeze berries so you always have them handy? That’s because berries have very potent compounds called phylenols which fight viral and bacterial infections. Berries are also powerful antioxidants helping to fight free radicals.

6. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in protein, fibre, Vitamins D, C and B, calcium and zinc. They also contain powerful immune boosting compounds which may help kick a nasty cold to the kerb.
Medicinal mushrooms (especially Shiitake, Maitake and Reishi) are known as immune modulator which means they balance and strengthen immune system function.They are useful  in preventing illness,balancing autoimmune and allergic conditions.

Mushrooms are best enjoyed cooked, in salads and they can even be made into teas and soups.

7. Coconut oil

Did you know that coconut oil has the same immune strengthening compound as the one found in breast milk?
Choose organic, unrefined, unbleached and non-GMO coconut oil to get the best benefits of lauric acid which is converted to powerful monolaurin, the immune boosting compound.

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal -all qualities you need from an infection fighter.
A generous sprinkling on the morning cereal or warm winter drink will not only warm your soul but will also improve circulation and boost your immunity.

8. Almonds

Almonds are rich in vitamin E which is key to a healthy immune system. Other nuts also provide good fats which can be powerful in fighting winter infections.
Consume about 20-40 a day to get the daily allowance of Vitamin E. Other foods rich in Vitamin E are avocados, sunflower seeds, and dark leafy greens.

9. Echinacea

This antiviral and antibacterial herb is the most researched herb, and most used,immune booster in Western medicine. Echinacea contains elements that increase the production of white blood cells,which we now know are the main defenses in our body.This herb is best taken at the onset of infection until it subsides. It is not suitable for long term use nor is it recommended if you have an autoimmune condition.

It is available in tablet,syrup and extract form.

10. Elderberry

Quercetin in elderberries is what makes them powerful infection fighters. It provides antioxidant,and anti-inflammatory effects which help with sinus pain and chronic fatigue that comes with a compromised immune system.
You can find elderberry tea, syrup or tablets.

Immune supporting foods and herbs can help the body fight off infection and relieve symptoms of colds and flu. Make these herbs and foods pat of your diet and experience improved immunity.

 

*Disclaimer:IN BODY IN MIND and its consultants do not diagnose disease. You should consult a Medical Doctor before undergoing any dietary or food supplement changes. Any recommendations you follow for changes in diet, including but not limited to the use of food supplements are entirely your responsibility.