Fall and winter are traditionally times of “contraction” in which movement, growth and metabolism all slow. This can also affect the cell turnover (replacement cycle) in your skin. Adjusting for these changes can be key to maintaining balance and proper function of the skin and body.
- Adjusting your diet for your body’s needs during cooler weather. If you grow a garden or frequent your local farmer’s market, you know that “Mom” offers us a wide, but different variety foods in fall. These foods are nutritionally dense and loaded with antioxidants that can support the function of beautiful hair, skin and eyes (think carotenoids in pumpkins,
squashes and gourds). But, they are also more dense and rich – the cooking of which can lead to more caloric intake. If you’re a bear or a groundhog getting ready to hibernate, that’s great. The rest of us however, should pay special attention to getting enough movement, which increases blood circulation, keeps our bodies fit and the skin glowing. Since fall and winter foods tend to have less water in general, and humidity is decreasing, you can really help with skin hydration and volume by increasing your daily water by about 20%. Don’t know how much water you need? Check here for our suggestion. Lastly, don’t take HOT showers. Yep, it feels good in cooler temps to take a hot shower, but this can remove natural oils from the skin, drying it out and causing broken capillaries. Warm is ok, hot is not.
- Adding important nutrients/supplements for skin rejuvenation and repair. We’ve spoken about the importance of Essential Fatty Acid sin skin health before. Eating a diet rich in EFA’s as well as proper supplementation has a long list of benefits, but EFA’s are imperative in the fall and winter to keep the skin lubricated and the barrier function intact. Hyaluronic Acidcan of course be used as an ingredient in skin care preparations. Applying HA topically works well in humid climes to recruit moisture from the environment and bind it to the skin’s surface, but as humidity falls outside, moisture gets pulled out of the dermis to bind with the HA, possibly making dehydration more pronounced. Consider adding an oral HA supplement during fall and winter instead – it may be even more beneficial in this way for binding moisture in the skin and body. We love Hyalogic for their wide variety of oral HA! Colostrum. Yes, colostrum for skin health. While this amazing superfood for infant mammals has become quite popular in recent years by functional medicine and natural health practitioners to promote overall health and gut healing, we don’t often think of it for skin health and rejuvenation. But remember, your gut is your skin inside! And if colostrum is beneficial for the lining of your gut, it stands to reason that it will help promote healthy, beautiful skin too. Colostrum is not only loaded with growth factors which promote the formation of collagen and elastin, but can promote better elasticity and firmness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and add volume to the skin. Most importantly, colostrum can promote tighter junctions between skin cells, reducing trans epidermal water loss (TEWL), from the skin. Make sure to check with your health care professional when making changes to your diet or adding supplementation to your daily regimen.
- Getting good quality sleep (and more of it) Evernotice that you sleep better or feel like you need more sleep in cooler months? You’re not alone. The shortening of days and reducing visible light affects our production of melatonin and circadian rhythms. The body uses this
deep sleep as a time to repair cells, tissue and organs – like skin. In days’ past when indoor light was scarcer, people often got 10-12 hours of sleep in winter. Now with indoor lighting, electronic devices and screens everywhere, sleep cycles are often interrupted. While sleeping too much can be unhealthy and even a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), too little sleep will leave you looking and feeling, well, tired and worn. If you’re having trouble getting good shuteye, check out sleep.org, powered by the National Sleep Foundation. Lots of good insight and information for creating good sleep rituals and helping you create beautiful, healthy skin.
We would love to help you achieve beautiful fall skin (and beyond) – call us for a consultation at 727.647.9448.