Canadian winters and hormonal changes can wreak havoc on the look and feel of our skin leaving it dry and wrinkled. With summer coming and more skin exposure (and sun exposure) let’s look at a few ways we can really keep our skin hydrated...
We know that drinking water is important but if you’re already well hydrated, drinking to a point beyond a balanced level of hydration likely will not improve your skin. Cracking skin, dry hair and brittle nails and eczema may indicate that you need more healthy fats like GLA found in the supplements borage or evening primrose oil. GLA (gamma linoleic acid) is a 'good' omega-6 essential fatty acid that promotes skin hydration and elasticity inside and out as well as reducing inflammation. The other omega 6's - linoleic acid and arachidonic acid tend to promote inflammation. GLA may also help with dermatitis, incontinence, asthma, hormone balance and breast tenderness during PMS.
Another hydrating and anti inflammatory substance is Hyaluronic Acid. This miracle moisturizer can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water! In other words, it functions as a humectant and holds water molecules onto the surface of your skin to keep it nice and hydrated. In the joints, natural hyaluronic acid has several functions, including: lubrication, growth of cartilage and bone and reducing inflammation. In the joints and in the rest of the body, hyaluronic acid acts like a moisturizer, keeping tissues hydrated-even in the eyeballs, where it helps protect eye lenses.
You've likely heard the hype about collagen and with good reason. In the first five years of menopause due to loss of estrogen, women can lose up to 30% of Type I and III collagen in their skin before the decline levels off. Daily supplementation with collagen by adult women (35 to 55 years old) has been shown to improve skin elasticity, which is an indicator of youthfulness.
Topical use of Rosehip Seed Oil (also known as rosa mosqueta oil) can delay the effects of skin aging, assist cell regeneration and promote the increase of collagen and elastin levels that provide structural support for the skin. As it increases the skin's capacity to produce new cells and replace old ones, when used regularly, rose hip seed oil helps reduce hyper-pigmentaion and UV damage, evening out skin tone.
Here’s the bad news: alcohol dehydrates your body and skin and can make the skin look more wrinkled and dry and it inhibits the absorption of GLA as well. Many mixed drinks that contain alcohol are also loaded with sugar. Sugar stiffens collagen via a process called glycation, which ages the skin. Sugar causes inflammation so it can aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, rosacea, and eczema.
If you're looking to maintain hydrated skin; avoid prolonged contact with hot water, avoid drug store brands of body care products and opt for natural, chemical free versions, moisturize immediately after taking a bath or shower or washing your hands, ensure you are consuming lots of good fats and consider using a humidifier especially in winter. Come in to The Hollow Willow and let’s explore your dry skin solutions!