There is no doubt about it, we’re in the darkest part of the year.
I love autumn; wearing cosy slippers and snuggling under quilts, in rooms lit by candles and fairy lights.
Some of you might be lucky enough to have a real fire in your home. Or maybe you went to a bonfire for Fireworks night? Fire has an incredible energy that draws us in, and gives us strength during the autumn and winter months.
Central heating and hot baths and showers also bring warmth, but can be drying to our skin. There are other ways to nourish and hydrate ourselves naturally, from the inside and on the outside too.
8 tips for great winter skin
Here are a few simple tips to help you look and feel your best this winter.
1. Eat warming, nourishing foods.
Good digestive health is essential for happy skin. Ginger and garlic are both wonderful for the digestion and circulation as well as the immune system and give flavour to almost any kind of dish.Vegetables should form the main part of our diet.
Almost any vegetable can be roasted to make a side or main dish. Include as many colours as possible. Add balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and a little mustard for extra flavour.
I am a huge fan of soup, and I make a big pot two or three times a week. It’s great at lunch-time (and works as a packed lunch too) or even as a light supper with a salad or a jacket potato.
I might make it in the evening while cooking dinner, or sometimes first thing in the morning so it’s ready for later.
Leek and potato, winter vegetable with barley, carrot and ginger, sweet potato and butternut, potato and celeriac are all simple to make and very delicious.
Basic soup recipe
- Chop the veg, and cook slowly in a little butter and oil.
- Add stock and herbs or spices and simmer until cooked through.
- If using beans or grains such as barley, I tend to pre-soak and cook them separately. Alternatively, tinned beans work well.
- Either mash slightly or blend for a creamier texture.
- Garnish with fresh herbs or croutons, or even a sprinkle of parmesan.
2. Increase fatty acids in your diet.
Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 are necessary for our health and can’t be made by the body, so have to be obtained through food. Both play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal health and development.
The Omegas are the building blocks for healthy cell membranes and help to produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, which helps to keep skin hydrated and younger looking. We can obtain them by increasing certain foods in our diet, though it’s important to note that some of the best sources are not ‘typical’ foods.
Omega 6 is found in flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, acai berries, black cumin, borage and evening primrose.
Omega 3 is found in marine algae, cold water oily fish, flax, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, plus dark green leafy vegetables.
Omega 9 can be made by the body, but a good level is recommended for health. It is found in olives, avocados, almonds, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts and macadamias.
Getting the balance between the different Omegas can be tricky, which is one reason why I add Fatty Acids to my porridge every morning, along with a spoon of coconut oil and a touch of honey.
The complex I use contains oil from flax, olive, sunflower, safflower, evening primrose, rose hip, pumpkin seed, borage, black cumin, what germ, apricot kernel, sesame seed, *goji berry, soya lecithin and DHA rich oil from marine algae, raspberry, nutmeg and carrot.
Almost 99% of the ingredients are organic.
*Goji berry benefits include increased energy, better sleep, ease of waking, ability to focus, calmness, contentment, and reduced fatigue and stress. (Wow.)
3. Drink more herbal teas.
I love nothing more than a big pot of tea, and I also like a good cup of coffee. We all know that drinking water is good for us, but it can be harder to drink enough when we feel cold.
Herbal teas are the way to go!
They warm us up, keep us hydrated and they are good for us too. The ones with ginger and spices are great for winter.
(Excuse me while I go and pop the kettle on!)
4. Take a sauna.
Saunas are a great way to keep skin looking and feeling great as we get to sweat out lots of toxins and our circulation is given an incredible boost, along with our immunity.
I really recommend Spa London, especially the one at York Hall in Bethnal Green. They have great facilities and is very reasonable at £25 for three hours as a non-member.
If you have good self-discipline, you can also try having bursts of cold water during a hot shower to increase circulation.
5. Use oil-rich moisturisers.
Facial oils are wonderful in the winter – dry skin just soaks it up!
If you haven’t tried one before, Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic make a nice range. I don’t use them during the day, but I like using them at night time so they can be absorbed while I’m sleeping.
They can seem expensive, but the ingredients are all organic and super-concentrated. You only need a little and the bottle lasts for a very long time.
Choose something that you like the smell of and then it will be such a treat whenever you use it. Rose and Frankincense are uplifting for the spirits too. Lovely.
Use a lovely home-made scrub to get your circulation going, remove dull skin and moisturise – all at the same time!
Basic Scrub recipe
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons castor sugar
(to make a foot scrub, add the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of olive oil)
This makes a simple, natural scrub to use on your face, and helps to draw out impurities as well as melt away dry skin. It smells nice and doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals.
7. Use balms on hands and feet.
Balms are longer-lasting than creams for soft hands and feet. Wild Rose Beauty Balm is my all-time favourite.It lasts forever, and is a super intensive hand treatment that works well on feet too!
Made from beeswax and natural oils and nothing else.
8. Get more sleep.
Like most mammals, we are designed to hibernate a little during the winter.
When we get enough sleep we are not only rested, but we have better focus, better mood, plus all our body systems work better.
There is no substitute for it. Read my tips for better sleep. I know there are never enough hours in the day, but there is always tomorrow.
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention homeopathy. How did that happen?
Homeopathy is supportive all the year round. In winter it can help to lift the spirits and provides effective treatment for winter depression.
I often see clients with dry skin and eczema that is worse in winter, and remedies can be really helpful for that.
Sleep and energy are the two first things to improve for most people when they first start homeopathy. It’s lovely to hear how much better they feel when they wake up in the mornings.
FIND OUT MORE
If you’d like to arrange a free chat about how homeopathy can help you stay well this winter, just drop me a line. I’d love to answer any questions you have.
IS HOMEOPATHY FOR YOU?
I can help you:Stop catching everything that's going
Get a good night's sleep
Have trouble-free periods
Get ready for pregnancy
Sail through your menopause
Have nice clear skin
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