THE BLOG
11/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dry Skin in a Dry Climate

The dry climate
of Colorado can contribute to dry skin. Dry skin is more likely to wrinkle at
an early age, but nature also provides remedies to bring moisture to the skin!

The best
way to hydrate the skin is from the inside
.
Drinking at least a quart of pure water a day is
essential. Caffeine, alcohol and tobacco are dehydrating to the skin. Foods to eat to moisten skin include the dark orange and green beta-carotene
rich foods like apricots, carrots, green leafy vegetables, parsley, pumpkin,
sweet potatoes, winter squash, as well as moistening almonds, apples, avocados,
barley, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower
seeds and yogurt. It is essential to consume the right kinds of fats. Commercial oils such as soy, corn, and canola all contain Omega 6
fatty acids which can contribute to inflammation. Use instead skin beautifying
extra virgin olive oil to make your own salad dressing. Moisture
providing herbal teas include fennel seed, Irish moss, marshmallow root,
plantain leaf red clover blossoms and violet leaves. Expand your herbal repertoire.

Vitamin A helps to preserve the skin's elasticity,
regulates sebaceous glands, protects against infection and stimulates collagen
formation. The B complex helps keep stress from showing its ravages on our
skin. A deficiency is sometimes implicated in cracks around the mouth, corners
of the mouth and eyes. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, strengthens the
capillaries and increases skin elasticity. Vitamin E helps the body utilize
oxygen better, balances hormonal production and preserves elasticity. Essential
fatty acids such as those found in fish oil, flax, evening primrose and borage
oil can moisten the skin, decreasing dryness, wrinkles, and eczema.  Zinc helps synthesize collagen and is
essential to restore dry flaky skin into balance.

Avoid using soaps and cleansers that
contain deodorants and detergents.
Cleansers made of oatmeal, white clay, vitamin E, coconut oil, shea butter, or olive oil are the least drying.
Cleanse the face with warm water (not hot) and rinse with at least ten splashes
of cold water to remove any residue of cleanser. Bathing and washing excessively
can dry out skin. The best time to apply a moisturizer is right after
cleansing as water helps keep the skin's outer layers from drying out and oil
seals it in. Avoid poor quality
cosmetics that contain mineral oil, chemicals and artificial colors and
fragrances. Some
of my favorites include Astara, and Weleda..

Showers
that are short and not too hot are less drying than baths
. If you do like to soak in the tub, mix up a rich
bath oil of two cups each of the following: cold pressed coconut oil and then add
1/2 ounce of pure lavender oil. Shake the oils together and add two tablespoons
to the bath.

During the day, rehydrate the skin, especially the face, which is most exposed to the
elements. One half cup each of rose water and mineral water can be used as a
moistening mister. Another easy spray can be made with eight ounces of spring
water and ten drops of chamomile, geranium, lavender, neroli, or rose essential
oil.  Shake before spraying. If you fly in airplanes, keep in mind that cabin air is very drying and a small spray mister
is great to use for external hydration. Weather, sun exposure, and the heating and cooling of
homes, cars, and workplaces can exacerbate dry skin conditions.Protect skin from the elements; especially when
outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. wear appropriate protective
clothing. Avoid sunburn and
tanning booths.

Avoid excessive heat
such as sitting close to the fire. Keep the heat lower in your house,
especially at night. Use more blankets! You'll not only save energy, reduce
your power bill, also save your skin.

A humidifier and houseplants are moisturizing to the air and body. A good massage done with oil can be both relaxing and moisturizing. Wear natural fiber clothing so your body can breathe!

What are some of your methods for coping with dry skin in Colorado?

What are some of your favorite autumn healing traditions?

2009-09-18-BMARSsmalltwitterphoto.jpgBrigitte
Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a
nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for
over forty years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University,
Omega, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman Holistic College of
Nutrition. She has a weekly local radio show called "Naturally" on KGNU
and a private practice. Brigitte is the author of twelve books,
including The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, Healing Herbal Teas, and Rawsome!. Click here for more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at brigittemars.com.