Changing climatic conditions play havoc with our skin both during the sweltering summers with the dreaded UV Rays and in the extremely harsh winters where the skin turns dry with lack of moisture leading to various skin maladies like excessive dryness, wrinkles, dark spots, eczema, rashes and cracked, patchy and scaly skin to name a few.
So it is vital that we protect ourselves by keeping our skin hydrated, moisturised and oiled at all times in any season, because excessive dry skin is a result of water imbalance in our body and also a lack of Vitamin A and healthy fats. While oils and lotions keep our body moisturised on the outside, it’s also the eating of the right food nutrients that keeps our skin hydrated, glowing,soft and supple and helps to heal and repair itself. So keeping it healthy from the inside is also important.
We are what we eat so to keep our skin healthy and glowing it is necessary to eat foods that are high in mono-saturated fats which contain essential nutrients and oils that are high in EFAs i.e. Essential Fatty Acids such as Omega3 and Omega 6
In summers it is imperative that we use a moisturiser with a sunscreen. Vitamin B3 and anti-oxidants also help in protecting against the harsh sun.
Protect your skin with a few regular habits and these tips that help combat dehydration and skin ailments:
- To hydrate our body we drink at least one litre, that’s about 10-12 glasses of water (or more in summers) every day.
- Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables as they contain high water content.
- All fruits are good though citrus fruits should be eaten in moderation.
- Avoid processed meats, dry fish and foods high in salt and preservatives, as skin not only becomes puffy but very dry with excess salt in the body.
- Avoid excessive tea, coffee,fried foods and alcohol.
- Consume foods rich in Omega-3 fish oils,Omega -6 oils, anti-oxidants and silica-rich foods such as cucumbers as they maintain skin elasticity and suppleness.
- Eat all fish especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring,sardines and shellfish. Tuna and Salmon with Omega -3 are not only help in retaining the moisture in the skin keeping it wrinkle free but are good for your heart’s health.
- Dark leafygreen vegetables like spinach and kale rich in vitamin A and keep the skin soft, smooth and glowing.
- Berries are a powerhouse of anti-oxidants and protect the skin from free radicals that harm the skin. Eat strawberries and blueberries for a glowing skin.
- Vitamin E found in nuts, seeds and avocados are a must in your diet if you want to avoid dry skin.Avocados have monounsaturated fats that protects from skin aging.Eat a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and peanuts. Flaxseeds also contain omega-3.Vitamin E helps the skin to retain its moisture and prevents cell damage.
- Carrots and sweet potatoes have a high carotenoid content that acts like a natural sunscreen against UV rays. It contains Vitamin A, most important for preventing dryness.
- A bad digestive system speaks volumes on the skin and a rich pro-biotic diet of yoghurt, kefir and kombucha balances the good and bad bacteria keeping skin infections like eczema,psoriasis etc at bay.
- Regularly apply oils rich in Vitamin E ,D and A, monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids as they prevent dryness and eczema
- Massaging the body with Coconut Oil /Sesame oil/Olive oil/Almond oil one hour before bath combats dryness and keeps the skin moisturised and soft. If one doesn’t mind the smell one can apply even after the bath for more effectiveness.
- Application of “Eladi Keram” Oil and “Ilippu” ointment at night on dry skin areas also helps in treating dry skin .
- Avoid frequent washing of hands or body especially in humid and hot weather as it leads to dryness and an irritable skin. Never bathe with hot water but use lukewarm water. Use mild soaps for bathing.
- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun and limit outdoor activities as direct UV rays cause dryness, discolouration and skin allergies. Wear a shady cap and cover yourself fully when outdoors on bright hot days.
With winter already set in those with excessive dry skin should not fail to keep their skin moisturised and nourished at all times. Even people with normal skin should keep it well moisturised and eat the right foods. These are small trade-offs that pay a good dividend by keeping your skin supple, smooth and glowing!