Building a healthy beauty routine during the colder months.
If we could build that perfect beauty routine, most of us would say it starts with maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails. But harsh elements like cold air and dryness—what Old Man Winter likes to deliver when it flexes its muscles—can put a freeze on even the best regimens. Suddenly, once glowing hair, supple skin and strong nails lose their moisture and elasticity, and we're left itching for some relief.
"The colder weather can take a toll on our skin because it disrupts the skin's barrier," explains Andrea Donsky, registered holistic nutritionist, health and wellness TV expert, and founder of Naturally Savvy, a website that offers the latest news on making healthier lifestyle choices. "A sudden drop in temperature, loss of humidity and changes in lifestyle during the winter months (like taking hot showers and baths, using central heat), can all cause our hair, skin and nails to dry out."
Healthy Routines for Hair, Skin & Nails
However, Donsky says health practices can support our beauty routine. Here are some of her strategies for busting those winter beauty blues and bringing back the vitality in hair, skin and nails.
- Hydrate: Drink water! And plenty of it. She suggests about half your weight in ounces a day.
- Protect your skin: Wear gloves and a hat when outdoors. Wash dishes with gloves since too much water can damage your nails. Practice wearing sunscreen daily—choose non-toxic sunscreens that don't use harsh chemicals like oxybenzone.
- Keep moving: Exercise increases blood circulation, which in turn stimulates hair follicles, making your hair healthier. However, too much or extreme exercise can have the opposite effect (too much stress can cause the hair to shed).
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Make sure you're eating whole foods that are rich in the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. Avoid highly processed foods, including white sugar, white breads, pastas, etc. Limit alcohol (it can dehydrate your body, and therefore, your skin. It also causes puffiness and is inflammatory). Include foods rich in biotin, one of the B-complex vitamins (see below), such as egg yolks, nut butters, organ meats, cauliflower, bananas, mushrooms, legumes, oats and sardines.
- Consider a biotin supplement: Certain food-processing techniques can reduce the biotin content of foods. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or H, helps to strengthen weak, brittle nails and stimulates hair growth (and eyelash growth).
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Use lotions and moisturizers right after you wash your hands and face or step out of the shower or bath. Choose moisturizing products that don't have harsh chemicals like parabens and phthalates.
- Turn down the heat: Keep showers warm (not hot) and avoid direct heat from fireplaces and heaters, and minimize excessive blow-drying, which ultimately can strip away moisture from skin and hair.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: On nails, in particular, use non-toxic nail polish, treatments and polish remover as they can weaken your nails.
Nourish the Body
The nutrients we feed our body can also have an impact in combatting dry skin, limp hair and brittle nails, according to Donsky. For example, she advocated eating foods high in beta-carotene like carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and spinach, which contain antioxidants that prevent free radicals from breaking down the collagen in our skin. "Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body, and both are important for cell and tissue growth, which helps to keep our skin firm and healthy," she says.
Foods rich in vitamin C—broccoli, pomegranate, lemons, limes, leafy greens and watermelon, among others—help the body make collagen and reduce inflammation, adds Donsky. Collagen helps build the matrix that holds our skin and connective tissues together. It's good for our hair, skin and nails. As we age our collagen levels decrease, leading to fine lines and wrinkles and dry skin. Pomegranates, in particular, contain a compound called punicalagins, which help to retain collagen in the skin, slowing the signs of ageing.
Don't skip the good fats in your diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds. "We've heard good fats are important for our heart and brain, but they're also good for our skin because they hydrate us from the inside out. Olive oil, sunflower seeds and coconut oil are also good choices. And palm oil has high concentrations of tocopherols and tocotrienols (which are types of vitamin E), as well as carotenoids that help repair skin tissues and protect the skin from UV damage."
Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions
Nature's Bounty, which has been providing high-quality vitamins and nutritional supplements to support a healthy lifestyle for more than 40 years, offers Hair, Skin & Nails with antioxidants vitamins C and E and 2,500 mcg of biotin, vital nutrients your body needs to maintain natural beauty from within. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant while vitamin C assists in collagen production and formation, which contribute to achieving vibrant skin.
Hair, Skin & Nails is the #1 brand of vitamins for hair, skin and nails. It comes in a delicious strawberry-flavoured gummy, as easy-to-add nutrients to your daily routine and help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.
Interested in learning more? Visit the Nature's Bounty website for more information about their products and where you can buy them.