Dull, pale and lacklustre skin in the winter months? It is not unusual as most of us are lacking the sun this time of year hence the lack of colour – yet the funny thing is some people manage to maintain a glow year round, without any artificial tanning or creams. What’s the secret? is it true that health comes from the inside?
Well to an extent yes, it does come from the inside and more importantly stems from the lifestyle we choose. Of course the easiest way to glowing skin is the sun but unfortunately it doesn’t shine all the time. Yet there are several things we can do during the grey winter months that can help not only our general health but give skin a natural healthy colour and glow. I recently came across a study about the benefits in skin tone that can be had from increasing fruit and vegetable intake, to quote -
People who eat more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a more golden skin colour, thanks to substances called carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of everyday living, especially when the body is combating disease.
Carotenoids are what give certain fruits and vegetables their colour so think fruits and vegetables like:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Turnip Greens
Not only this but it seems that the glow we get from eating carotenoid rich foods is more attractive and is deemed to look better than a tan from the sun. So there really is such thing as a healthy glow….
“We found that, given the choice between skin colour caused by suntan and skin colour caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin colour, so if you want a healthier and more attractive skin colour, you are better off eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables than lying in the sun.” - Dr Ian Stephans
I wouldn’t go as far as replacing the sun with a nutrient rich, fruit and vegetable diet because as we know Vitamin D is very important for our health and can only be obtained via natural sun exposure. So the simple remedy to getting a good winter glow could be eating a fresh salad daily filled with fresh vegetables and salad leaves – you will get the added benefit of a good dose of Vitamin C which helps in collagen formation and can prevent bruising. Some easy ways to implement these maybe berries in the morning and for lunch and dinner more tomato based dishes (stews, soups etc) which are great in the winter months.
I have also found from my own experience there are a few other really simple things that can be done to keep healthy skin and avoid it drying out in the harsh winter months:
- Moisturise with Coconut Oil - It has been used as a moisturiser in the tropics for hundreds of years. Most people find their dry skin dissapears, plus it is cheap to moisturise with and smells good. Coconut oil also seems to work well in protecting skin from the elements and maintain its moisture in the skin for hours, which can’t be said for conventional moisturisers.
- Get the sun when you can - Any opportunities you have to get some sun must be taken, even 5-10 minutes a few times a month of full neck and face exposure can contribute towards a slight tan and keep your vitamin D levels topped up.
- Keep the Liver healthy - Dull and pale skin can often be a result of either liver toxicity or a poorly functioning liver. Try to eat foods that can help with liver function – Grapefruit, artichoke, and bitter foods in general can help your liver and gall bladder release their digestive juices and function optimally. A healthy liver is one of the key components of a healthy body……
The healthy look that comes from eating a nutrient rich diet is unrivalled in terms of its ability to make skin radiant and supple. This is thanks to the vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals which simply cannot be obtained from pills, tablets or creams – Showing just how important real food is to a healthy body.
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And also checkout my e-book ‘A Simple Guide to Eating Well‘. Thanks for reading.