How to Care for Dry Skin in the Fall

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Traditional Chinese Medicine is holistic medicine. It treats the whole person, and also follows the cycles of nature to achieve harmony. One concept in Chinese medicine is that the seasons of the year correspond to certain parts of the body. For example: Summer corresponds to the Heart, Spring to the Liver, etc… The parts of the body that correspond to Autumn are the Lungs, Large Intestine, and the Skin.

Since Skin is one of the organs of Fall, it is more prone to the effects of Fall weather, especially dryness. If you have a tendency toward having dry skin, there are many steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Diet is a very important way you can have control over your health. There are many foods that you can eat or drink to nourish and hydrate your skin. There are also many foods to avoid which can create dryness in your skin.
Foods that can help to nourish and moisten the skin:
• Drink plenty of water: a good rule of thumb is to drink 1/3 of your body weight in ounces of water every day. This only includes pure water, and does not include other drinks, such as those with caffeine, which is a diuretic and may dry your skin even further. Example: if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water per day
• Pears have a great moistening effect on the skin
• Fish that are high in Omega-3 oils, such as salmon
• Nuts and seeds are rich in oils
• Avocado
• Sweet potato
• Olive oil
• Dark, leafy green vegetables
• Eggs
• Aloe vera juice
• Goji juice and berries

Foods to avoid that can make your skin dry:
• Spicy food
• Alcohol
• Fried food
• Caffeine
• Salty foods
• Sugar

Sleep is also crucial for healthy skin. It is recommend for adults to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. The best times to sleep, according to Chinese medicine, are between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am.

Merry Clinic’s Skin Detox formula is an excellent way to moisturize your skin from the inside. It contains nutrients and moisturizing oils that your skin will love, and will remove harmful toxins that may be contributing to the dryness: http://www.merryclinic.com/products/skin-detox.html

Some more helpful tips include:
• When taking a bath or shower, use warm, not hot water. Hot water tends to make skin even more dry
• Use a gentle soap for bathing. Merry Clinic’s Dead Sea mineral soap is excellent. It is a very gentle, natural soap containing mineral salts from the Dead Sea, which are known to heal the skin, and to help the skin to hold moisture http://shop.merryclinic.com/DeadSeaSoap-p/mineralsoap.htm
• Honey and aloe vera gel are also excellent natural moisturizers

At Merry Clinic, our philosophy is to treat the skin from both the inside and surface of your body. For added benefit, you can also apply virgin coconut oil or shea butter to problem skin areas to soften and moisturize.

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Teresa is a California licensed acupuncturist in San Francisco, CA

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