How to protect your skin and hair from the cold weather

While the cold weather may inspire us to cozy up by the fire, it can also take a toll on our skin and hair. When the temperature drops, so does the humidity, stripping our skin of the moisture it needs to maintain elasticity as well as basic immune function. As ours first line of defense against pathogenshealthy skin has a big impact on our overall resilience.

Turning up the heat or taking a hot bath can be a good short-term solution to the heat, but it can also cause the skin to lose its natural oils, leading to dry, cracked skin, rashes and eczema. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to protect your skin and hair and keep them happy.

Use Healthy Oils

Don’t worry – although the thought of using oils on our skin, especially our face, may cause some people to fear breakouts and even oilier skin, the truth is that a proper skincare routine that incorporates the right oils can actually they help to hydrate and repair our skin. When used correctly, oils also won’t make your hair look like greasy spaghetti – instead, they can add a shiny shine to your hair. Internally and externally, oils and healthy fats are key to keeping your skin and hair hydrated. Vegetable fats like coconut, avocado and extra virgin olive oil are a great place to start. If you’re concerned about the natural, delicious aroma of some of these oils, check out a selection of organic fractionated coconut oil that’s made without hexane processing. Unlike virgin coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil is not only naturally fragrance-free, it is also always in a liquid state.

Incorporated into your daily diet, these can supports the regeneration of skin cells. Topically they can keep the skin moist and soft. For drier skin – and in the winter months – go for heavier oils, such as sesame or extra virgin olive oil. If your skin is oilier, choose lighter options such as apricot or almond oil.

Bone broth

It may seem all the craze these days, but bone broth was used for centuries to support tissue vitality. High in collagen, this delicious and nutritious base can be added to soups, stews and beans to support healthy skin and hair. While powerful on its own, adding nutritional superfood mushrooms can help enhance its effect on tissue and the immune system. Consider adding mushrooms, such as Reishi, as an after-dinner winter tonic to help you sleep better (which can help with the bags under your eyes!). Or add some Turkey tail as a pre-meal digestive and immune booster that helps maintain healthy gut flora, which can support healthier skin.

The high content of polysaccharides in functional mushrooms supports the skin’s ability to hydrate and retain moisture. Since bone broth is a versatile liquid base to which you can add any mushroom superfood, think about your needs. An easy way to support glowing skin and hair is by adding a mushroom powder such as Om’s Beauty Hair Skin and Nails formulain bone broth.

Get enough B’s and E’s

Unfortunately, increasing fat and collagen won’t do it all. In order to support the cellular functions of tissue repair and growth, a variety of nutrients are required. Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, vitamin E and the B vitamins, can be found in everyday foods – and is especially concentrated in functional mushrooms. Om Beauty+, which contains a range of functional mushrooms, biotin and vitamin E, also contains collagen. In fact, it comes in a strawberry lemonade drink mix that you can just add to your water bottle.

In general, superfood mushrooms contain a significant amount biotin. A building block of the hair protein keratin, research has shown biotin ability to increase hair growth and strength. Vitamin E, which is found in Cordyceps, acts as antioxidant and can promote a healthy scalp. While the B vitamins found in mushrooms such as Maitake provide many benefits, research is particularly promising for their ability to supports bone and skin cells. Whether included in your daily diet or as a supplement such as e.g Om’s Beauty-Full, These vitamins have the power to keep your skin and hair vibrant and healthy.

So, as the days get cooler and drier, try these techniques to keep your skin and hair hydrated and you’ll be able to relax by the fire without putting your skin and hair at risk.

Christine Henningsen MS, RH (AHG), RYT, is a clinical botanist and educator who first fell in love with plants in the desert southwest. She is passionate about bringing herbal medicine back to people, integrating Western Herbalism, TCM and Ayurvedic practices to empower people in their health care. He maintains a private practice and serves as a professor in various University programs.

Bibliographical references:

  1. Stamets, P. (2019). Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet. Earth Aware Editions: London.
  2. Skidmore-Roth, L. (2010). Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs & Natural Supplements. Elsevier: New York, NY.
  3. Balch, P. (2010). Prescription for Nutritional Healing: AZ Guide to Supplements. Avery: New York, NY.

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