Summer is here, so now is the time to make sure your skin is looking its best. Winter air can be just as drying as summer sun, so here are my top tips to help your nourish dry skin and protect your skin in the summer.

Skin loves fat! Make sure to include some whole food fat every day. Nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut, and organic butter all help to nourish the skin. The skin uses fat in the upper layer to help retain moisture, this fatty layer prevents moisture from evaporating through the skin. Try adding nuts and seeds to your muesli, or avocado into a green smoothie or raw baking made with nuts and coconut oil.

Water is an obvious way to help hydrate your skin. The human body is 60 percent water, so keeping up your fluid intake is important. If you are exercising or in the sun make sure you increase your water intake. Ensure you are drinking lots of pure water, vegetable juices, or herbal tea, each day. My favourite is the Beauty Tea sipped cold throughout the day.

We don't just drink water, we also eat it in our food. Fruit and vegetables are full of fluid to help keep you hydrated and your skin soft. Cucumber, carrots, celery, and capsicums are full of water and nutrients to help keep you hydrated and provide the nutrients needed to keep skin plump and healthy. Add some of the veggies into your lunch box with some hummus or guacamole for a skin nourishing snack.

Turn the Temperature Down
Wash and shower in warm water, not hot water. Hot water can break down the lipid layer of the skin, which reduces the moisture content of the skin.

Keep your skin out of the sun in the heat of the day (11am-3pm), as sun damage is the fastest way to dry and age your skin. When you are in the sun use a good quality suncream and make sure you cover up, think; long flowy shirts and big hats to keep the sun off your face.

Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol acts as a diuretic and dehydrates all the cells in the body, it also causes blood vessels to enlarge, when this happens too often the face will start to get red patches around the nose and cheeks, this is due to broken blood vessels which happens when they become enlarged too often. So while mimosas in the sun sound like a fun idea, this certainly isn’t worth sacrificing glowing skin for.

Evening Primrose Oil
Many people with dry skin are lacking gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in their diets, a fatty acid which helps to keep the skin hydrated, retain moisture and it also reduces overall inflammation in the body. Evening primrose oil is rich in GLA to support healthy skin but can also help balance hormones especially in women showing signs of hormonal acne. A therapeutic dose of EPO is 1500mg per day, EPO can be used by most people, however, it is recommended that you speak with a qualified health practitioner first.

Words on Wellness by Jessica Gilijam-Brown 
New Zealand based Holistic Nutritionist (BSc) @wellnessbyjessica

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