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Get a winter glow

27 August 2022
raw avocado chocolate mousse with hazelnuts
Heavenly raw chocolate mousse.

Dunedin naturopath Deanna Copland shares some tips – and one very delicious recipe – to help with winter skin and wellness woes.

Cold air, dry indoor heat, low humidity levels, and harsh winds can all wreak havoc on our skin, leaving our largest organ feeling dull and dry. These factors make it harder for the skin to maintain its natural protective oils, which act as a barrier against environmental influences. As a result, moisture gets pulled from the skin, leading it to look and feel dry and cracked.

DRINK UP

What can we do to keep skin happy and hydrated? In cooler weather, we often tend to drink less liquid and what we put into our body will impact on the hydration levels and the general health of our skin.

Ensure that you drink plenty of liquids, such as room temperature water, herbal teas, broths and soups. An estimate of how much we should be aiming for is 25ml per kg body weight on rest days and 35ml per kg on exercise days.

There are some really pleasant herbal teas available – ginger and lemon is a very warming one in winter, as opposed to peppermint, which is energetically cooling so best in warmer weather. If you work from home, you can get several cups of tea from one tea bag by continually refilling your cup, and warm drinks are definitely more appealing when it’s cold outdoors.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Try to increase the amount of good fats you have in your diet by regularly having raw mixed nuts and seeds, avocado and oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel. Avocados are back in season so these are great to incorporate in your diet. Even if you’re not fussed on avocado, I challenge you to try the chocolate mousse recipe. Once it has been refrigerated for around an hour, it loses all avocado taste.

Rough, dry skin on the backs of arms can be a sign of vitamin A and beta-carotene deficiency, which can appear as rough, raised bumps on the backs of the arms. Liver and cod liver oil are the best sources of vitamin A, but egg yolks and leafy green vegetables are other options.

Orange vegetables such as pumpkin, kūmara, yams and carrots, are also good sources of beta-carotene. A tasty snack idea is to roast carrots with a little coconut oil until soft then add to homemade hummus. Hummus is so easy to make – put chickpeas, including the brine from the can, garlic cloves, olive oil and cumin seeds into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the roasted carrots. Have this tasty dip with veggie sticks and rice crackers or in place of butter.

SO TOPICAL

Remember to exfoliate skin about once a week during winter. You can make your own scrub using coconut oil and raw sugar and use it in the shower with loofah mitts. The warmth from the shower will soften the coconut oil and leave your skin glowing.

Try to limit your time in the shower, though, and avoid having it too hot as this can strip extra moisture from the skin.

You may need to change a gel face cleanser to a cream one and tweak your skincare regime to suit the seasons.

Some find humidifiers useful for adding moisture back into the air in your home, so these can be really worthwhile for very dry skin conditions such as eczema.

Heavenly raw chocolate mousse

SERVES 3

INGREDIENTS

• 2 ripe but not brown avocados
• ¼ cup cacao powder
• ¼ cup maple syrup (check it’s not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• ¼ cup coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
• Pinch of mineral salt

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth and velvety.

Pour into Martini glasses or ramekins, refrigerate for at least an hour. Top with nuts, fresh berries or coconut flakes before serving if desired.

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