Moisturise your skin from the outside with a good moisturiser and from the inside with ample water.
It's cold, so it's likely you're sitting inside with either a heater on or you're clutching the ubiquitous hot water bottle to keep warm. Your heating environment can cause low humidity and dry air that draws moisture from the skin. Even in climes like Cape Town with winter rain you still need to be vigilant as to how you heat your environment.
During winter you may spend more time in a hotter than usual shower or bath. Too hot and too long exposure to water can wash off your body's natural oils, drying out your skin.
Harsh and fragranced soaps are also detrimental. Choose natural ingredients and products with essential oils and vitamins. If you can't forgo a long soak, create a hydrating rose and coconut bath with two tablespoons of coconut oil, 15 drops of rose essential oil and either one cup of powdered milk or two cups full fat milk to the water.
And that's just the outside. What you put into your body can have a huge effect on the way your skin looks and feels. When the weather turns chilly, we reach for food higher in fat and sugar content to give our bodies fuel to keep us warm. We're also unlikely to drink as much water during the winter months, rather opting for hot drinks. This can contribute to your skin feeling dry and flaky. Hydration is essential for overall health and plays a major role in keeping your skin moisturised.
Remember that your skin is an organ and what you do to keep your whole body healthy and well also applies to your skin. Keeping yourself nourished and hydrated will help stave off premature wrinkles and the dryness associated with ageing from hormone changes.
Include the following food into your every-day diet to give your skin a moisture boost.
*Avocado are rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fibre and some protein. They're a great dietary addition for skin and can be eaten on their own, in a salad or blended into a smoothie or a cacao dessert. The protein helps support the structures of collagen and elastin in your skin, while the fat keeps your skin moisturised
*Sweet potatoes are filled with Vitamin Aii, which helps with skin renewal and stimulates fibroblasts, the cells responsible for developing the tissue that keeps skin healthy and firm.
*Carrots contain an abundance of Vitamin C, a precursor to collagen production. They are also rich in Vitamin A.
*Nuts and seeds (walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed) are all brilliant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for keeping your skin glowing. Nuts also contain a lot of Vitamin E, which help strengthen the skin barrier and retain moisture.
*Eggs are high in protein as well as lutein, which improves skin elasticity.
*Green tea is filled with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
*Tomatoes are high in lycopene ' this is an antioxidant that helps keep skin young. Note that the lycopene content in tomatoes is higher if they are cooked, which means a warming tomato soup or stew can become an integral part of your winter menu.
*Coconut oil deposits itself under the skin so it naturally plumps out lines and acts as a moisture-loss barrier.
*Eat sunflower seeds to help keep your skin supple. They're filled with fatty acids, protein and minerals as well as vitamins C, A, and E which guard against free radicals and UV rays.