Our beautiful skin, the largest organ in the body, is not only important for physically shielding us from the external world from things like microbes, regulating our body temperature and allowing us to experience sensual touch, it can also powerfully influence the way we feel about our appearance – both positively and negatively.
Internal factors that affect the look of our skin include the foods and beverages we consume, the health or disease of our gastro-intestinal system, kidneys, cardiovascular system, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, immune system, reproductive organs like ovaries and testicles that produce hormones, our brain and nervous system, internal infections like viruses, bacteria, yeast, protozoa and more.
External factors that affect our skin include our topical skin care products, the ever-changing weather patterns, the seasons, the outside and inside temperatures, our geographical location in the world, allergic or immune reactions to trees, plants, flowers, grasses, pollen, pet dander, dust, mold, smoke, environmental chemicals, home, office and other building exposures and much more.
Lifestyle choices and certain habits or routines can determine our skin’s appearance. Things like alcohol, caffeine, certain prescription or over the counter medications, recreational drugs, smoking or inhaling substances, exercise type and frequency vs little to no exercise, chronic stress vs acute stress from time to time, quality and quantity of sleep and of course our chronological age.
In many circumstances, we can control or govern factors that can directly affect our skin health, i.e. our skin care products, our food and beverage selections, our lifestyle choices, certain environments, where we live or spend time, how we respond to stressful events and people and anything else we allow into our space and bodies.
In other cases, we are often at the mercy of more powerful influences – transmitted infections, certain diseases like cancer, hormone fluctuations, aging, unknown environmental exposures and of course the seasons, the weather patterns and the external temperature.
While our multi-layered sturdy skin is naturally designed to withstand extremes, seasons like winter can still be a brutal force on the skin.
Just as with every organ system, your skin needs a synergistic, functional medicine approach to be healthy – from the deeper dermis to the external epidermis layer of the skin surface.
Here are 4 easy tips to get your skin (and your whole body) looking and feeling healthy and vibrant!
1.) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: The cooler or in some cases freezing winter temperatures mixed with heated homes, offices, cars can deplete the skin of its essential moisture. Add in caffeinated beverages, alcohol, some medications, certain conditions like hypothyroidism or menopause, chronic stress (which causes more urination) and you’ve got the perfect storm for drier skin. Some people tend to drink less water when it’s a colder season or temperature outside. Don’t skimp on water! Your skin absolutely needs water for functioning and to look healthy. 60-100 ounces of water per day. Carry a water bottle like this one that I own – HydroFlask Steel Bottle.
2.) Choose your carbohydrates carefully: The term carbohydrate is often misused or misunderstood by many. Carbohydrates come in various forms. Between refined (little to no fiber) and complex (more fiber) carbs, we have sugars and sweeteners, breads, cereals, grains, pastas, potatoes, crackers, chips, desserts, candies, certain beverages…And then we have vegetables and fruits as carbohydrates! Those are the prized carbs you want to reach for not only during winter, but all year round – even when you might not feel like it. Why? Vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber AND water! This translates to less calories and more satiety (sense of fullness) more hydration and great skin! So simple and straightforward.
3.) Consistent sleep hygiene is a necessity: Our sacred sleep is not only a mandatory human requirement for daily/nightly rest, it is crucial for allowing the body’s cells and organs to take in nutrients, tackle essential repairs and eliminate things it no longer needs. Our skin is no exception and is incredibly sensitive to persistent lack of quality sleep. Poor sleep ages you, increases stress hormones and depletes collagen and elastin – 2 proteins essential for skin health. How can you optimize and deepen your sleep? There are entire books written on this topic! Here are the basics: a.) Turn off and step away from all electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed (TV, cell phone, computer, laptop, iPad, etc); b.) Keep a consistent sleep schedule within 30 minutes each night – the body loves predictability and stability; c.) Drink herbal tea, warm water with lemon, Stress X Magnesium Powder d.) Limit or avoid caffeine after noon and limit or avoid alcohol – both of which will ruin and intercept the essential stages of sleep. d.) Listen to a calming meditation, peaceful music, gratitude statements, prayer, simply taking slow deep breathes – or hey, all of the above!
4.) Increase Blood Flow to the Skin: When we physically move and strengthen our bodies consistently throughout the week, many amazing things happen. We often think of exercise to help us lose or maintain weight, become stronger and increase our metabolism. While exercise does help with those, it also helps to increase and deliver oxygen, blood, nutrients, anti-oxidants and other essential fluids to the entire body – including the skin. It helps to regulate the GI Tract, detoxify the liver, enhance thyroid health to increase body temperature, clear/flush the lymphatic system, open up the blood vessels, reduce stress hormones, improve sleep and mood, increased protein production essential for skin and so much more. The results? Better looking, refreshed and revitalized skin.
BeautyCounter Skin Care
About 2 years ago, I was introduced to BeautyCounter from a doctor colleague and friend of mine. BeautyCounter is an organization that formulates healthy, clean skin care products and cosmetics, advocates for better quality, safer ingredients and educates and empowers women and men across the world on ways to expand and deepen their skin care practices.
For so many people, skin care = self-love care. Perfect timing with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Love to you and those dear to your heart!
BeautyCounter discourages and prohibits the use of harmful ingredients in their products. Learn more about those ingredients to avoid – The Never List.
**What you put ON your body gets absorbed INTO your body.**
I’m so excited and passionate about these products that I have been recommending it to my patients, friends and family members. Across the board, they have noticed that since using BeautyCounter products on their face and bodies, their skin looks more moisturized, smoother, less blemishes, more even skin tone, less fine lines and just an overall luminosity.
Here are a few of my favorite Beautycounter products that will cleanse, hydrate and replenish your skin during the cooler months of the year so that you can enjoy and show off your glowing, radiant skin. And if you tend to have drier skin these days, you can use these products all year round.
OR for a lighter cleanser yet still moisturizing….
And for a lighter moisturizer that is still nourishing….
Here’s a few really cool incentives to consider before you buy…
***SPECIAL OFFER #1***
Get 20% off your first order of any BeautyCounter product.
Use Promo Code: CLEANFORALL20
*** SPECIAL OFFER #2***
During the checkout process, you have the option to pay for these products **interest free** using Klarna.
***SPECIAL OFFER #3***
When you or anyone you refer (someone you love and care for) signs up for my 6 month Vital Transformation Program, you receive a FREE BeautyCounter product within your special gift bag of several other amazing items!
This 6 Month Vital Transformation Program is an all inclusive, engaging program that gives you comprehensive health guidance based on your symptoms, bimonthly appointments, 8 detailed functional labs evaluating all body systems, personalized treatment protocols, 25% discounted supplements, unlimited email communication, individualized hormone prescriptions, motivational mindset work, ongoing accountability to ensure you succeed and so much more.
This program is designed to help you heal from deep within and prevent many illnesses to come.
Read more about my 6 Month Health Transformational Program HERE.
If you or someone you know truly needs this level and depth of functional medicine care, please schedule a FREE 20 minute Discovery Call HERE.
Wishing you a Happy Valentines, Super Bowl and/or Fun Filled Weekend!