Healthy skin during the winter months can be a problem; as well as all of us looking pale and washed out due to a lack of fresh air and vitamin D, there’s the drying effect of central heating when we’re inside and the cold weather when we’re outside. Prevention is always better than cure and if you start incorporating a few simple changes into your lifestyle now, you can hold onto that gorgeous glow all through winter.
Load up on sweet vegetables: Bright coloured veggies such as sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash are all packed with skin-loving vitamin A, which helps to keep wrinkles and pimples at bay. They are all rich in beta carotene, which boosts that natural-looking glow from within, and pumpkin in particular is probably one of THE most underrated superfoods out there. And, as it’s in season now’s a brilliant, and inexpensive, time to stock up. As well as roasting your own pumpkin seeds to snack on throughout the day, there’s a variety of genius recipes all over the internet for homemade pumpkin protein bars, soups, cakes, gnocchi, cheesecake and even lasagne.
Water, water, water: Yes, we all know that we need to drink up to two litres of water a day. But, as the nights draw in, our thoughts tend to turn to warm food and drinks. As well as giving your daily h20 a makeover by packing in sliced fruit, and keeping a bottle somewhere you’ll see it throughout the day (at your desk, or by your coffee maker) so you have a constant reminder to drink water, try switching just one or your cups of tea or coffee, with a cup of hot water with lemon. If you drink just one cup not long after you wake up in the morning it will rev up your metabolism, as well as keeping your complexion glowy. Another great trick is to always have a glass of water before a meal, or a snack. Sometimes our minds misinterpret thirst for hunger. The ideal for healthy skin is to make a habit of sipping water throughout the day and then cutting back at about 4pm you won’t be waking continuously throughout the night to answer the call of nature. When you’re drinking alcohol, having one glass of your favourite tipple and then one glass of water and alternating throughout the evening will help stop alcohol-related skin breakouts.
Drink your greens: Adding a daily fresh juice or smoothie made with plenty of leafy greens, cucumbers, parsley, celery, lemon plus a scoop of your favourite superfood will help give you a clear complexion and give you healthy skin, as it’s highly alkalising, purifying, and cleansing. If you don’t like the idea of drinking a glass full of veggies (we’ve heard it referred to as green sludge by sceptics!) then you can easily hide a hefty dose of spinach, kale or broccoli (don’t forget that cruciferous veg is brilliant for help balancing your hormones, which in turn helps keep your skin clear) under the taste of pineapple, or another fruit. For a recipe that kids and adults happily drink, without even realising they’ve even had any greens, we’ve put together our favourite one here. Beautiful skin truly begins from within, so making a habit of drinking one large green juice or smoothie daily, will give you a plethora of beautifying and health benefits.
SPF: Finally, even in the depths of winter it’s important to apply SPF if you’re going outside. Remember though that statistics say that a number of people are deficient in vitamin D, not only because of a lack of sun in winter, but because they’re sloughing on the Factor 50. The answer? – supplement. For healthy looking skin investing in a quality supplement like Lumity helps to protect against oxidative stress from toxins, pollution and sun damage. It also strengthens your immune system, plus helps you sleep better, and beauty sleep is the ultimate age-defying remedy for beautiful skin.
Ashley is a certified nutritionist and health coach who is the founder of Ashfab Nutrition.