Ways to Improve Dry Skin

Living in Calgary, you think my skin would get use to the dryness, but when winter hits, my skin still has to adjust. The winters are more dry than the summer, at last in the summer, you are drinking more water with the heat there to remind you to drink. The same isn't true for the winter. There is a tendency to drink warm drinks - most of which isn't water - and some of them make you more dehydrated. 

Here are my go to's when winter hits, and my skin needs most moisture:

Drink more water - There is a tendency to drink warmer beverages during the winter, whether it's coffee or hot chocolate. Holding a warm cup also helps you warm your hands - or defrost them from the outside. But they don't hydrate you, so I've been opting for hot water, or hot teas (matcha is my favourite) - these drinks help to hydrate your body throughout the day. Drinking water first thing in the morning can also help hydrate your body and get it ready for the day.

Fish oil - The cells of our bodies are made up of phospholipids, which are made up of lipids (aka fat) - this includes your skin. So the best way to help your cells is by eating healthy fats, so that your body can use that as a building block for your skin and organs. By doing this, the body's ability to retain moisture increases. Barceloset al found that omega 3 oils, found in fish oil was able to restore and improve the integrity of the skin.

Using oil as a moisturizer - Oils are fantastic moisturizers! Contrary to popular belief, oil does not clog the skin. Olive oil is able to penetrate the skin, and moisturize from there, but it doesn't provide a barrier. This leaves the top of your skin vulnerable to dryness. Coconut oil is also a fantastic moisturizing oil, but it tends to stay on the top of your skin, and not moisturize the deeper layers like olive oil - the same can be said for avocado oil. The best thing to do is combine your oils, so they can work synergistically to moisturize your all of the layers of your skin. You can also add a few drops of essential oils of your choice (I use lavender, and tea tree) to add some aromatherapy when you moisturize. Try a few oils, and see which ones your skin enjoys, there are a number of amazing oils that are often recommended for the face, you can add some of these oils to your combination as well, but I wouldn't make it the main oil, because it can get quite expensive. Sweet almond oil is also a good choice instead of olive oil. Savy Homemade has a few really nice recipes on making your own body oils.

Milk baths - Use milk with a high fat content, and warm it gently before adding your choice of essential oil(s) (6 drops all of oil all together). Run your bath to the temperature that you want, and pour the milk + essential oils into the tube. Soak for as long as you wish (or the water allows before turning cold), then rinse off in the shower, and apply your choice oil. Milk contains a number of different vitamins and minerals that help the skin heal externally, along with small amounts of lactic acid to gently exfoliate the skin, decrease hyperpigmentation, and decrease acne by balancing the acid mantle. The milk bath helps to hydrate your skin with the fats and proteins found in the milk.

~Dr. Charmagne