If you’re trying to overcome dry skin – especially chronically dry skin, there’s no way you can rely on external skincare alone. A more holistic approach will give you much better results, and better health too. So, let’s look at some of the ways to address your dry skin at the source.
Water intake. This is basic, but often overlooked. When skin is hydrated, it works better. Skin cells and other tissues can do the job of reproducing, eliminating toxins and wastes as well as repairing themselves more efficiently. But not only will skin work better, it will LOOK better. After all, what looks better, the raisin or the grape?
And skin cells could be compared to those grapes. We must replace the water lost from the skin to TEWL (trans epidermal water loss, or water loss through the skin) and perspiration.
How much water should you drink? I suggest to clients that they divide their body weight in half and use that number (in ounces) as a guideline for daily H20 consumption. This water consumption is best done in divided amounts, first thing in the morning and between meals. Remember, caffeinated & alcoholic beverages act as diuretics, so balance those drinks with additional water consumption.
Another vital component of hydrated skin: Essential Fatty Acids (essential because your body can’t make them on its own, so you need to get them from your diet). EFA’s are just that – ESSENTIAL for healthy skin. Adding EFA’s from Omega’s 3 (from fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies & sardines), and 6’s (flaxseed, evening primrose & Borage) do some amazing things:
- reduces water loss through the skin (TEWL)
- reduces inflammation
- reduces sensitivity & irritation
- increases moisture content
- increases elasticity & firmness
- helps with wound healing
- helps to control chronic inflammatory skin disorders
As important as taking supplements or adding EFA-rich foods to your diet, the ability to digest & assimilate them into your system is critical. If you can’t digest lipids well, your skin can’t get them. Adding a digestive enzyme with meals can be very helpful in this regard. Since not all EFA’s have the same effects and since we all have different needs, I suggest getting the advice of a healthcare professional to find out what’s right for your unique situation.
Lastly, be consistent and give these changes time! It can take 4-8 weeks to really notice the changes in your skin. Next week, we’ll talk about beneficial skincare ingredients for overcoming dry skin