Winter weather can take a toll on our skin, leaving it feeling dry and lackluster. Winter weather increases what Ayurveda Medicine calls Vata energy. Vata is one of 3 main doshas. Basically, these 3 doshas constitute what your body is experiencing as it relates to your internal and external world. Winter weather raises vata, which means we tend to experience a cold, dry, airy feeling in our skin, hair or even our joints. No. Fun.
To balance vata and your skin during the winter, you need to nourish yourself from the inside out. It doesn't matter how many magical lotions or potions you use, your skin won't glow with our proper nourishment. So, how do you accomplish moisturizing from the inside out? FOOD. Oily, warm or water dense food. Think avocados, nut butters, leafy greens.
1. Drink Water - If you're like me, you may have noticed it's much easier to remember to drink water during the summer. It's hot, so you get thirsty...duh... The winter is a different story. It's cold, we're less active and it's easy to "forget" to hydrate. There are a few great apps out there for all of us forgetful lucys, like Waterlogged that will remind you to drink water throughout the day. They even have fancy charts to give you a visual of how much you are drinking. I challenge you to try it for one week - I guarantee you will notice an improvement in your energy level and complexion! There are plenty of hydrating foods available too: melons, bell peppers, dark leafy greens...etc. You can read more benefits here.
2. Get Fat - In your diet, that is. Healthy fats, like avocados, are delicious and nourishing to your skin. Essential Fatty Acids (like Omega 3 & 6) are the foundation of healthy cell membranes. Glowing skin comes from a balance of nutrients in the body, and most of us are very short on EFA's. To increase them, choose foods like:
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Ground Flax Seeds (Seeds must be ground for our body to break down)
- Pure Olive Oil
3. Limit Sugar (especially artificial sweeteners!) - Highly processed sugar and artificial sweeteners are highly addictive and drain the body of energy. They provide little to no nutritional benefit. In fact, most stimulants like refined sugar, actually deplete our body, drawing out vital minerals and nutrients. Without these nutrients, our skin looks dull and dry. Try to keep your sugar intake between 6-9grams per day to maintain healthy skin. Pay attention to soft drinks, fruit juice and even your condiments to bring awareness to your daily sugar consumption.
These 3 tips are sure to help balance vata and combat the cold! Remember to be mindful and listen to your body as you make dietary and lifestyle changes.
Wishing you warmth & glowing skin!