The best way to combat dry skin is through your diet.
I’ve said this before in my clear skin post but the skin really is a mirror reflection of what’s being put in your body (or isn’t!).
I must confess, my diet hasn’t been the absolute best recently, and it really shows. I feel constantly dehydrated despite drinking loads of water.
So, what is one to do?
1. Hydrate from the inside out
This seems like a no-brainer but time and time again I see that most people aren’t sufficiently hydrated, signs of which include increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, dark coloured urine and headaches.
Water is always your best bet when it comes to meeting your body’s quota for fluid. Try and avoid tap water which is full of chemicals and hormones and opt for filtered water, or even better mineral water in glass bottles.
If you find plain water a little bland, try adding a squeeze/slice of lemon, lime or orange for added zing.
Coconut water is as popular as ever and can help to hydrate due to its rich content of potassium, sodium and chloride. Be careful of drinking too much though as it does contain sugars.
Smoothies can be a great way of boosting your vitamin and fluid intake, however can contain a lot of sugar especially if using lots of fruit, and can therefore be quite acidic. Try adding water rich (and low sugar) vegetables such as cucumber, celery and iceberg lettuce for a super hydrating green smoothie.
If adding fruit, watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries , kiwi and oranges are a good bet.
Even if you are drinking sufficient amounts of water you skin can still feel dry and dull. That’s why it’s so important to eat well too.
As well as celery, cucumber and lettuce, other hydrating vegetables include courgette, green cabbage, cauliflower, aubergine, carrots, peppers and spinach (spinach is my personal go to for adding to smoothies) so consuming these on a regular basis can really help to hydrate the skin from the inside.
In order to keep your skin supple and firm to need to consume sufficient Vitamin C and Zinc to support collagen and elastin production.
Omega 3 fatty acids can also help to keep your skin supple and smooth, so increase your intake of salmon, mackerel, avocados and flaxseeds.
2. Avoid Toxins
Winter skin is a lot more delicate, so be gentle with your skin care regime.
Choose gentle cleansers and moisturisers designed for sensitive skin (I prefer to use oil based cleansers such as the Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Anti-Dullness Cleansing Oil – phew, that’s a mouthful!).
Dietary toxins can be found in processed foods, foods containing pesticides as well as artificial flavours and preservatives, sugar and soy. Stick to whole, unprocessed and organic foods wherever possible.
Environmental toxins can also be found in cigarette smoke as well as pollution, both of which have drying effects on the skin.
3. Use DIY masks
I’m a big fan of homemade masks. Cheap and easy to whiz up these can really help provide added moisture.
Ingredients like avocado, almond oil, jojoba oil, yoghurt, honey, banana, oats and coconut oil are a great start. Mix together a few ingredients using an oil base, leave on for 30 minutes and wash off to leave your ski refreshed and hydrated.