Tips for turning your skin from dull and lifeless to smooth and radiant
While everyone knows you should eat more vitamin C-rich foods in winter to prevent catching a cold, there are several other vegetables, fruit and other nutrients you should include in your diet to achieve glowing skin during the cold winter months.
The first rule to remember for the winter months is that your skin needs hydrating from within if you want it to glow on the outside. Due to the cold, and most of us being indoors at work or at home, we drink less water as we don’t get as thirsty. Make it a point to keep drinking water throughout the day. Have it lukewarm if the regular temperature is too cold for your throat. Nothing beats drinking water when it comes to cleansing the system and staying hydrated.
Another great option these days that works at hydrating, detoxing and keeping you warm is green tea. Make yourself a full flask and keep it by your desk. Keep drinking through the day and not only will you cleanse your system, the antioxidants will work wonders for your skin as well. Another great way to feed antioxidants into your skin is a glass of red wine after work.
And go easy on the hot chocolates and the lattes. They are fine on occasion, but through the day regular teas and coffees will only dehydrate you. Fruit juices at room temperature are a better option. Guava or orange juice is rich in vitamin C as are berries, so include blackberries, blueberries or strawberries into your breakfast smoothies. Berries and grapes and cherries are also rich in antioxidants and other pigments known to boost collagen in the skin.
Most health aficionados will tell you that snacking can be unhealthy, but in winter you can burn fat trying to stay warm, especially if you are outdoors and not wearing adequate clothing. So, for a fresh burst of energy, you can be tempted to snack away. Just stay away from the fries and burgers. Better snack options, that also moisturise your skin from within, are foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, salmon and oily fish like mackerel are healthy snacks that don’t need to be part of your main meals. A sushi roll with salmon and avocado can take care of mid-morning hunger pangs or keep you going through until dinner if you have it early evening. Avocado is rich in fatty acids that boost collagen. Sprouted pulses like moong beans are also good as part of a salad.
Other foods consumed during winter that help the skin stay moisturised and lubricated are those rich in vitamin E. We all know it is one of the main ingredients in cosmetic creams, but not many know the foods you should eat to have it generated in the body. Foods that are yellow and orange – peppers, carrots, pumpkins, mangoes and papaya – all have carotene and antioxidants which our digestive system converts to Vitamin E which in turn nourishes the skin.
While we all like being out on a sunny day, even in winter wearing sunscreen is a must. However, despite the fact that we come from a hot and sunny country, Indian skin is not very adept at processing vitamin D from the sun. Supplements that provide vitamin D to the body are also needed to keep up energy levels and reduce fatigue. Liver, mushrooms and eggs also help to give the body some vitamin D.
Chapped skin despite the use of moisturisers is frustrating for everyone, and foods that can reduce the incidence of chapped skin are those rich in Vitamin B. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, accompanied by brown rice, are sources of this vitamin that your body needs.
Ultimately, how well you look after your skin will help you get through the severe Australian winters looking fresh faced. Here is a remedy for very dry skin using an ingredient from your kitchen shelf. Coconut oil. Just apply it all over your skin, massage it in and take a nice warm shower. It has natural moisturisers and emollients that work better than any cream from an off the shelf jar. Even if it is just your face that feels dry, apply it all over, leave overnight and in a few days you will see the difference.