With the clocks going back on Sunday, there is no escaping the oncoming onslaught of winter. The combination of the colder weather and all the bugs and beasties flying around can take their toll on both our health and our beauty. Everything from your complexion and hair, to your nails and hands, need a little more attention – but there’s no need to break the bank by buying hoards of new beauty products. Just a few simple tweaks to your diet can really help you get through the rubbish weather and into spring with ease.
The first thing I always notice when the seasons turn is what a massive impact it has on my skin, particularly my face and hands, and I think I’m not alone in this one. I often spend loads of money on hand creams that never seem to work, while moisturisers that combat my flaky face contain excessive oils that leave me speckled with pimples. Nuts and seeds are a great way to increase your intake of Vitamin E, helping your skin to retain it’s natural moisture levels. Flaxseeds and walnuts are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help skin stay soft and hydrated.
It’s not just the moisture levels of my skin that I see suffering when it’s cold. It’s not uncommon for your skin to take on a paler complexion because of the lack of sunshine, but it can also be the result of anaemia caused by low Iron or Vitamin B12 levels. If you notice that your skin has lost it’s sparkle, it’s really worth increasing the amount of seafood (particularly shellfish such as oysters – sounds like an excuse for a treat!) you have in your diet to replenish these essential vitamins.
If you’re a sufferer of Raynaud’s syndrome, where your hands and feet swell and become very uncomfortable in the colder weather, your circulation isn’t at it’s best over the winter months. Another sign of this could be dark bags around the eyes (one of my least favourite beauty problems,) but that can be easily resolved by adding spinach to your diet. Stick it in stir fries, salads and sandwiches for a healthy addition to any meal.
Chapped lips are probably the most common winter beauty worry. If you’re a regular sufferer, getting more vitamin B in your diet can help. Yogurt and oats are rich in Vitamin B, as well as being high in zinc to help improve healing, meaning your sore lips look and feel better in no time.
If, like me you find yourself with really brittle nails over the chillier months, it’s not just time to invest in a decent pair of gloves – though this is wholeheartedly recommended! – egg yolk is a great way to increase your vitamin B7 levels. Get your fill of omelettes and pancakes as egg yolk enriched meals and increase your protein levels (found in meat, fish and dairy) for healthy nail growth.
Where do you suffer most when summer leaves us? Whatever your most tricky problem, you can guarantee there’s a way of adding it into your diet to avoid splashing out on beauty products that don’t work. In winter, a little research goes a long, long way.
Written by Alice-May Purkiss