September 22, 2020
Living in Calgary sure has its challenges when it comes to keeping your skin moist and supple in the colder months. Many people think that keeping skin from feeling dry and leathery is just about lathering on creams and lotions, but there’s much more to it including diet and lifestyle elements.
“As a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant, I recommend starting with what you are putting in your body,” shares Kelly Zakus, Natural Choice Advisor for Calgary Co-op. “Many foods can play havoc with your skin while others can be nourishing and promote that healthy, supple glow that we all want to achieve.”
Cut Back on Dehydrating Food & Drinks
It’s likely not a big surprise, but Zakus recommends cutting back on drinks that are dehydrating to the body including caffeinated beverages, and alcohol, and reducing foods that are high in sugar and salt. When you do consume any of these, ensure that you increase your water intake to help counterbalance the effects.
“Drink more water, I can’t stress enough to drink the recommended amount needed eight 8-ounce glasses/day, and you may need even more if you’re a bigger person or very active. Also consider increasing your intake of fruit and veggies as many have a high amount of water in them and will help you stay hydrated. Plus, they’re full of nutrients that will keep your skin healthy too.”
Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Foods high in Omegas and healthy fats can also be key to keeping skin hydrated. Food sources high in healthy fats include fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, flax oil and olive oil just to name a few. Omegas will help reduce skin inflammation which can occur if your skin becomes very dry or irritated skin. Omegas can also help improve moisture retention in the body.
Collagen and Hyaluronic acid (HA) are two important components to healthy skin that our body naturally makes but that production decreases as we age so it is important to consume foods where these are naturally occurring. Collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity while aiding in keeping moisture in and HA actually attracts and holds onto moisture. When looking to add these components to your diet, you’ll find them most often in animal sources such as bone broth.
“Bone broth is one of the richest sources but to help the body’s own production and you also want to get those dark green veggies, berries and citrus foods that are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C into your diet too,” Zakus recommends.
Is life keeping you too busy to cook and eat all the right foods? That’s normal, says Zakus. That’s where supplements can come in.
When You Can’t Keep Up, Consider the Right Supplements
In the Natural Choice section, there are many great products that will help keep your skin moisturized through the dry winter months. Zakus recommends a line by Lorna Vanderhaeghe that targets skin which includes Borage Oil (which has a high level of GLA, and Omega 6, that when is deficient it can lead to dry skin).
Collagen is a common supplement and there are many great ones including Lorna’s, CanPrev, Organika and Progressive.
If you don’t have the time to steep your own bone broth, you can buy it both fresh and frozen, or—conveniently—in powdered form. Bone Broth powders by Organika and Prairie Naturals are also available as an alternative to making your own providing you with collagen and HA and also contains electrolytes to keep you hydrated.
Other supplements to consider are ones containing HA in them, there is the Hyalogic Whole Body which is a liquid HA supplement and Sisu has a product called Skin, Hair, Nails that contains HA with other skin supportive ingredients.
Once your internal workings are primed for the best skin health, it’s time to take a look at the external forces.
Topical Help for Natural Skin Health
“Make sure you wash your face daily with a gentle cleanser and don’t use really hot water which is drying to the skin. Exfoliate only a couple of times a week as over-exfoliating can cause irritation leading to dry skin. Choose creams and cleansers that are natural with no synthetic ingredients which can be harsh and drying. On top of your daily moisturizer consider adding in a moisturizing mask a couple times a week and a hydrating serum or oil such as Rosehip Oil—we carry several great brands such as Sukin, Derma E, Andalou, and the Routine face oils.”
With all the choices out there, selecting the right product can be daunting. Your Co-op Natural Choice advisors are there to help you choose the right products for your specific needs.
Please Note: Health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health advice. This general information is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Any information, advice, or suggestions given by Calgary Co-op staff is not a replacement for medical advice from your Doctor, Dentist, or professional Practitioner. Consult with your healthcare professional with any questions you may have.
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