When my son walked in with a crack on his hand, I asked him why he’s not using his gloves, he answered “because it isn’t in style…” There are various reasons why hands and lips get chapped in the winter including the dry air caused by central heating or the windy and cold weather outside. How can we avoid it from happening? How can we heal and protect our skin?
Generally the skin gets dry in the winter from the cold air and reduced humidity levels, but the hands are very prone to have a hard time because of its exposure to cold air, if you don’t wear gloves and whilst trying to keep infections at bay we know to wash our hands very often, using harsh soaps and drying reduces the moisture, from oils naturally secreted and being locked in to the skin. The lips have an added issue of not having oil glands in them so it doesn’t have that added benefit and having such a thin layer of skin it needs extra protection.
Nourishing your body from inside out is key to keeping your skin healthy.
- Make sure you’re well hydrated, drinking plenty fluids, using herbal teas, soups and avoiding coffee which is a diuretic.
- Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein for making your skin supple, so add fruits and vegetables like strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, kale, and peppers to your diet.
- Vitamin A is crucial for skin repair and maintenance, beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is an antioxidant found in brightly coloured foods, eat foods like carrots, sweet potato, peaches, and eggs.
- Zinc is an important trace mineral that helps repair damaged tissue and heals wounds and is found in meat, poultry, pumpkin seeds, and mushrooms.
- Omega 3 fatty acids helps to prevent skin dryness, EFAs are also responsible for skin repair, moisture content and overall flexibility. Since the body doesn't produce these fatty acids, they must be obtained through your diet from foods such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Try this delicious Chickpea Salmon recipe.
How to keep your hands and lips healthy?
It’s necessary to get rid of the dead skin cells before moisturising so brushing your lips after bathing twice a week with a muslin gently will remove the dead skin and then using the Seascape lip balm every night to keep it moist. It’s generally good to keep a good oily lip balm like one with bees wax in, handy on your office desk or bag. With your hands make sure to scrub them once a week, a homemade scrub can be used, ¼ cup coconut oil and ½ cup brown sugar, mix well and use it on any body parts to scrub the dead skin cells off, then wash it off well and use a thick moisturiser. Moisturise your hands nightly and whenever you remember. If your hands are already in bad shape, it would be necessary to put a thick layer of hand cream on and cover with cotton or bamboo gloves for at least 20 minutes or overnight, do it a couple of times until your hands are completely healed.