Hydration Therapy

f0d70aaf41828df7e7334375dad51cdc3d1578163c6cc961c490f9adc0cb5d71January can be one of the most depressing (and drying!) months. The once beautiful sunny sky takes on a permanent grey hue, the wind chill manages to cut through even the warmest winter layers, and you have to look at your scaly lizard hands day after day. If the lack of Vitamin D has not changed your mood, suffering from dry, itchy skin will quickly put you down.

It is important to take preventative action to help avoid winter dryness altogether! Here are my three steps to keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy all season long!

    • Incorporate lots of healthy fats into your diet and you will see the difference in your hair and skin. Olive oil and avocado oil are rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants (substances that prevent or delay cell damage – read: keep you looking and feeling young!), while coconut oil is rich in saturated fats (specifically Medium Chain Triglycerides) and is quickly metabolized by the liver where it is used for energy.
    • Coconut Oil is a healthy, all natural product that can be used to nourish your body from the inside out.

      Coconut Oil is a healthy, all natural product that can be used to nourish your body from the inside out.

    • On the inside, the presence of healthy oils in your diet helps with energy expenditure, and burning fat by making you feel fuller for longer.
    • On the outside, healthy oils increase the moisture and lipid content of skin and hair to protect against damage. Over time, you will notice your skin texture become more smooth and hydrated, hair will become stronger and shinier, and nails may become stronger and healthier looking.
    • Other healthy oils to try – flax seed oil, omega three or fish oil (available as a supplement), hemp oil, hazelnut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil… Take a walk through your local health food store to discover more healthy and delicious oils to incorporate into your diet! Different oils have different flavours and uses in the kitchen, so go ahead and experiment!
    • Vitamin E is an excellent supplement that promotes skin healing.

      Vitamin E is an excellent supplement that promotes skin healing.

    • Pro tip: Vitamin E is a great supplement to add to your daily regimen. It promotes skin healing and can be applied to scars topically, ingested orally, or both. I have used it for years to help heal scars for acne, stitches, and cuts. Vitamin E is a light oil that absorbs quickly into the skin so it can be applied heavily as an evening reparative “mask,” or lightly for day time on problem areas. Note: it does not cure acne, but it helps heal scars that blemishes leave behind.
    • Pro tip: Vitamin D is another great supplement during long, dark, and cold winter months. A synthetic version of the vitamin synthesized in our skin by sunlight, Vitamin D helps restore wakefulness, eliminate the “winter blues,” promote bone health, and fight infection.


  • Exfoliating your skin should be done all year round – in the summer time it helps remove dry skin and increases the longevity of summer tans, and in the winter it slowly sloughs off dead skin that can feel itchy, uncomfortable, and tight.
  • Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator buffs away dry skin for all skin types.

    Clinique Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator buffs away dry skin for all skin types (Sephora.com).

    Exfoliating can be done with mildly abrasive compounds – some products contain items like ground fruit kernels or sugar – or liquid astringents like apple cider vinegar. When trying a new exfoliating product, natural or otherwise, test the product on a small patch of skin to make sure you do not have a reaction.

  • Choose the strength of the product based on the skin you are exfoliating. For instance: use the mildest exfoliator on your face (for very sensitive skin, try a gentle cleanser on a soft wash cloth and gently buff skin in circular motions). A more substantial exfoliator can be used for your body, and the strongest can be used on elbows, knees, palms and feet. It is important not to exfoliate too frequently – either once a day or once every two days is more than enough. Excessive exfoliation may cause redness, further dryness, and excessive oil production that may bring acne.


  • Once you have removed all your dry skin, lock in moisture with a thick application of moisturizer or body oil.
  • If you are looking for an extra thick moisturizer, try slathering on some coconut oil. It smells great, absorbs quickly, and is 100% all natural. What could be better? Depending on your skin type, coconut oil may even work as an evening facial moisturizer (it has the same pH as our skin and typically does not cause breakouts).

With these three simple steps – adding healthy, rich oils to your diet, exfoliating dry skin, and nourishing your body – you will never have to deal with dry winter skin again!

Do you have any tried and true remedies to winter dryness or products that you cannot live without? Tell us about them!

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