Dry skin can be uncomfortable and can create fine lines and wrinkles. Having had a tendency all my life towards dry skin I know how frustrating it can be as well as uncomfortable and itchy. Over the years I have found a few ways to improve my skin including avoiding products with harsh chemicals, using my diet to nourish my skin from within and using natural homemade scrubs and masks. Of course factors like the weather and humidity can affect your skin but as we can do nothing about that I always like to get back to what we eat and apply to the skin as the first line of defense.
Moisturising from withinSmall amounts of fats are an intrinsic part of healthy skin. One of the best strategies you can employ to nourish your skin is to put more nourishing fats into your diet. Good fats are not made by the body so you must take them in your foods in order to get a regular supply. Good fats are beneficial at keeping your hair shiny, your nails strong and your skin young looking and blemish-free. The epidermis is normally composed of fat (lipid) and protein. I use Udos Oil to obtain Good Fats” Its made from sunflower, flax and sesame seeds, and its rich in Omega 3 Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), and Omega 6 Linoleic Acid (LA). It can be used in dressings, poured over foods or added to smoothies. Pampering and nurturing your skin from the inside works much better than expensive anti-ageing creams. Dry skin conditions are often characterized by a lack of the correct amount of water in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Its important to drink adequate amounts of water each day. A lot of people find it hard to drink the recommended 2 Litres a day, it is something you have to train yourself to do, setting a few alarms to remind yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day can be a good life hack in the early stages, also I find if you add lemon juice to your water it is much more palatable and and easy to drink. Juicing is another great way to hydrate the skin and is such an easy step to take to combat dry skin conditions and give you that glow.
The Dairy ConnectionI have found in my own family that dairy has been a trigger for various skin conditions. My son Richard suffered terribly with eczema when he was a baby and even 34 years ago I fed him on soya milk when there was only one health store in Dublin. Although I was a young and inexperienced mum at that stage I realised that it was something to do with dairy as that was all he was eating at the time. Of course I used all the usual emollients and moisturisers but they had little effect. I had a recent experience with my granddaughter Ella who also developed eczema. Her mum switched her to goats milk and within two weeks the rash, she had been so uncomfortably scratching and itching, literally disappeared. Dairy has been linked to a host of conditions including eczema, acne, asthma and weight gain. In the book "The China Study" Professor T Colin Campbell explains the link between consumption of animal products and the occurrence of cancer. He found that casein (a protein that constitutes 87% of milk) promoted cancer in all stages of its development. And that the amount of cancer growth could be controlled based on the amount of casein in the diet. If acne is an issue, dairy may be the culprit of this skin condition as it causes your skin to produce excess sebum (oil), the results are clogged pores, more spots, and a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Its not so hard to give it up these days as every supermarket has dairy alternatives to milk and yogurts, check out my blog on getting the family on board where I discuss alternatives to dairy.
Cleanse & Moisturise
My Favourite Skincare Range; Sukin. SHOP NOW When I first started speaking about safe beauty products 15 years ago most people thought I was mad. Thankfully people have now wised up to the fact that a lot of the pretty packaged toiletries on the market contain a cocktail of dangerous synthetic chemicals. I have tried all the natural ranges and there are some fab natural skincare products out there but my all time favourite range is Sukin. The range is very inexpensive and doesn't leave my skin tight or dried out. I have a very simple routine when it comes to skin care I cleanse with the Sukin cream cleanser, then wash with their foam cleanser and finishes with Sukin moisturiser or the nightcream from the range if its before bed.What I like about the range of Sukin products is the labels clearly highlight all the ingredients so you can see at a glance that there are no parabens, no harsh detergents, no hidden surprises and no nasties.
ExfoliateExfoliating is really important when suffering with dry skin but it is an important to use a gentle product so it does not strip the skin of all its natural oils. At least twice a week I exfoliate my skin to remove the build-up of dead skin cells which make the skin look ashy and dull. As I find even the natural exfoliating products can be too harsh I make my own exfoliating mask with handy ingredients from my kitchen. If you want your skin to glow and see a massive improvement this homemade facial mask is one of my top beauty tips.
Dry Skin Facial Scrub
- 1/4 cup of uncooked oats
- 1/4 cup of agave syrup (or honey for the non vegans)
- 2 Tablespoons of Fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric