1.0 Collagen enriched comfort food
Whilst relevant all year-round, this becomes especially valid if you’re in your late twenties and older, when the body’s ability to naturally produce collagen decreases. Collagen acts as the glue that gives our skin its strength and elasticity. So, when we produce less of it, then naturally our skin begins to show the signs; firstly with fine lines and later with wrinkles, liver spots, sagging, etc. Edible Health’s 100% pure hydrolysed collagen powder is an effortless way to feed the body the collagen it needs. Even better, it’s absolutely perfect in winter warming dishes. Our pure blends can be stirred into pies (savoury or sweet!) casseroles, stews, soups, puddings; all those comfort foods our body craves as the cold weather sets in. Our pure, plain bovine and marine powders are flavourless and odourless. As a result, they can be stirred in and left to do their good work quietly, without any change to the dish whatsoever. So, feeding your skin from the inside out is particularly pleasurable this time of year - enjoy!
2.0 Keep up your fluids
It might be getting colder outside, but that’s no reason to reduce your daily water intake. Like all cells in the body, our skin is comprised largely of water. If we don’t maintain good hydration, our complexion very quickly lets us know. Skin becomes dry and flakey, it feels tight and even itchy. We can develop acne as a result of an oil/water imbalance, pores can clog up and we lose that healthy plumpness, which in turn gives way to fine lines. Water is most definitely our friend every day of the year, not least of all as the seasons change!
Our bodies need approximately eight to ten glasses of water a day. This is usually fairly easy to achieve in the warmer months, but can feel a challenge in winter. Why not keep up your fluids with herbal teas instead? They’re super hydrating, but far more delicious and diverse than the average glass of water. Even better, you can add collagen to your tea as well!
3.0 Be gentle to your skin
The temperature might be dropping outside, but chances are you don’t feel it inside. Indoor heating is essential this time of year, yet it can wreak havoc on our complexions. Indeed, if we’re not careful, then we can dry out even faster in winter than we do in summer. Now is the time of year to dial up the TLC and show our skin we care. Consider ways to help keep skin hydrated such as:
- Switch to a milk-based cleanser or a softer solution that won’t contribute to unnecessary drying
- If you exfoliate, consider changing to something less abrasive such as apple cider vinegar
- Nourish your complexion with an indulgent occasional treat. Try wrapping some oats into a muslin cloth, tying it up and letting it infuse into your (lukewarm) bath
4.0 Cold water therapy - winter wild swimming, anyone?
This one is not for the faint-hearted!
In recent years, the Wim Hof Method has really gathered momentum as an affordable, accessible path to holistic well-being. It essentially involves immersing the body into extremely cold temperatures for limited periods of time. It is touted as an excellent way to:
- Kickstart and improve metabolism
- Improve sleep quality
- Reduce inflammation and swelling
- Aid the immune system
These in turn all have positive effects on the skin. When the skin is exposed to cold water, capillaries near the surface open then close, triggering increased blood circulation. Our blood moves oxygen, hormones and nutrients around the body, and these can each have a direct impact on our skin’s health and condition. When this process is performing at its best then our system is getting what it needs efficiently, and our complexion reaps the rewards!
5.0 Sleep with fresh air circulating
Whilst we’re on a chilly topic, let’s consider the bedroom window. Is yours opened or closed during the cold weather? Ideally, you should leave just a bit of fresh air to circulate around your bedroom when you’re sleeping. If you really can’t bring yourself to do that, or you’re concerned about security, then at least keep the bedroom door open so as to allow better ventilation. A study in the Netherlands found that a well ventilated room is more likely to result in lower CO2 levels and therefore better quality sleep. The purpose of sleep is to give the body and mind time to recover, repair and prepare. It’s not just our skin that benefits from adequate and quality sleep, but our entire well-being.
6.0 Don’t forget the SPF (and drop the tanning beds)
Just because it’s grey outside and raining doesn’t mean harmful ultraviolet rays have suddenly disappeared. On the contrary, they’re present year-round. So many of us associate them with the sun and assume that a cloudy day means a UV-free one, and therefore a chance to ditch the SPF. Not so.
UV radiation is a form of electromagnetic energy. It can come naturally from the sun, but also from artificial sources such as tanning beds. We classify UV rays according to their wavelength; UVA is the longest wavelength, UVB is medium-level, and UVC is the shortest.
- Damage the outer layers of the skin
- Damage DNA
- Cause most skin cancers
- Won’t go through windows
- More penetrable than UVBs, meaning they can affect cells deeper in the skin
- Can cause premature skin ageing and some cancers
- Not absorbed by the ozone layer
- The main type of energy used in tanning salons, and they can penetrate windows and clouds
- Responsible for most skin cancers
- Although the most dangerous, these are filtered out by the ozone layer and therefore we’re only exposed to them via sources such as welding torches, mercury lamps etc
When it comes to the cold weather season, one point above is particularly pertinent; UVAs can penetrate windows and clouds. Although they are not as hazardous as UVBs, at the very least they can still damage and prematurely age our skin. At worst, these UVAs can cause some skin cancers. To further compound this, a reduction of collagen levels are enhanced in photodamaged skin. As a result, it’s best to play it safe and apply SPF year-round.
Do you have any other tips or tricks to help care for skin during the changing seasons? If so, we’d love to hear about them!
Keen for more? As part of our skin series, we’re shining the spotlight on this incredible organ - how it works and how to care for it now and into the future, plus why it’s a tell-tale indicator of our overall health. Be sure to visit the full series for a dermis-deep dive into caring for your skin.
The information we have provided herewith, and all linked materials, are not intended nor should they be construed as medical advice. Moreover, the information herewith should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions and consult your General Practitioner for advice specific for you.