We are permeable beings within our surroundings through the lens of Chinese medicine. To combat an externalized issue, we look at both the outside and inside environment of the individual and create a balance between the two in order to find homeostasis within the body. During this time of year when the temperatures drop, we find ourselves combating different symptoms from what our warmer time year brings; namely dry skin. This can happen from exposure to excessive dryness and heat (as in all of our heating systems--HVACs and indoor fires alike--keeping us cozy) and/or from a predisposition to constitutional blood and yin deficiency. And for those with the latter, the former can exacerbate symptoms of thirst, constipation, cold hands and feet, light periods, dry hair, dizziness, and night sweating, to name few.
Nourish from the inside
What you put in your body is just as important as what you're putting on your body when it comes to skin issues according to Chinese medicine.
Here are a few recommendations for combating winter skin:
Include yams, seaweeds, eggs, beets, tahini, and nettles in your diet - all considered yin and/or blood nourishing.
Start the day with a warm glass of water as its more easily absorbed into the body to nourish your tissues from the inside out.
Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine - both incredibly drying in nature.
Get to bed earlier so your body has time to adequately replenish itself through deep rest.
Add an essential fatty acid to your supplement regiment - omega 3, flax, and evening primrose are all good options.
Apply a light layer of coconut oil to your skin while you're in the shower. The steam created in your shower allows your pores to remain open, more readily absorbing the moisture. When you towel off, all excess oil not absorbed will be taken away leaving your skin perfectly moisturized.
Turn on the humidifier throughout the day and night to cut through the air's dryness. Set a reminder to clean it regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.