Dry Winter Skin Remedies: A Holistic Approach
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, dry skin is caused either by exposure to excessive dryness and heat or a deficiency of blood and fluids within the body. These causes can be seen as mutually interdependent- one can make the other worse. Other symptoms of blood and fluid deficiency include brittle hair and nails, constipation, constant thirst, or even very light or non-existent periods. If you have dry skin year-round or every winter you experience severe symptoms, fluid and blood deficiency are most likely at work, and dietary changes plus both internal and external Chinese herbs can help.
Scientists describe something called the “Dry Skin Cycle”- and it goes like this:
In Phase 1, Triggers like low humidity and frequent hand washing lead to “barrier deterioration”- the loss of water content and flexibility from the top layer of your skin.
In Phase 2 of the cycle, the skin attempts to repair itself by increasing production of new skin cells and releasing pro-inflammatory substances. While this is a protective mechanism, it leads to thicker, scaly skin that is itchy, inflamed and red. This scaly skin is actually even more susceptible to damage than healthy skin, so the cycle just keeps repeating itself.
Healing from the inside out: Foods for skin health
Go into a conversation with the intention of finding out something interesting about the other person. Everyone has a story to tell and the best people to be around are the ones who encourage and give space for that story to be told. The story doesn’t have to be a big one – it’s not just the big details that make up a life, the smaller ones are important too. From both eastern and western points of view, what you put in your body as well as what you put on your body are very important. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, foods that nourish the blood and fluids (also called the Yin) include black beans, sesame seeds, duck, eggs, nettle and asparagus, just to name a few. Dishes such as asparagus with egg salad and sesame seeds and tofu with fish and coconut milk are all great ideas. To build and nourish the blood, dark leafy greens, beets, avocado, mussels and red meat are recommended.
Whether it’s a story about the day, the weekend, work, kids, pets or the bigger things that make us who we are – everyone has something to say. Be curious, and encouarge their story to life.
Other Tips for supple skin
Avoid excessive caffeine as it is quite dehydrating
Turn your heat or radiator down whenever possible at home-especially while you are sleeping. This will benefit both your skin and your sleep, as the ideal temperature for sleep is between 65 and 72 degrees.
Avoiding spicy or bitter foods in excess is also important.
Get a hand soap that is free of detergents, opting instead for gentler vegetable oil based soaps.
One of my favorite ways to moisturize is by using pure Cocoa Butter. Cocoa Butter smells like chocolate and feels luxurious and totally non-greasy!
Mistake to avoid
There are some huge mistakes many people do during cold weather. The biggest one is they do not apply sunblock during cloudy, rainy, or snowy days, because they think the sun is blocked by clouds. The truth is the clouds only block the sun rays minimally, and most of the harmful rays still reach the surface of the earth. Moreover, the damage is doubled because of the reflected rays from snow and wet surfaces. Another huge mistake is some people sit very close to chimneys and heating devices in order to feel warmer. Most of these people will notice redness in their skin which can lead to harmful diseases if not treated.