Anne Louise Smallen, Lic. Ac.

Our skin is our best natural protection against viruses, toxins and harmful bacteria . These invade our body through the pores of our skin and our senses (mouth, nose, eyes, etc.). To prevent damage from the environment, we should take care of our skin year round; it is considered the largest organ of our body . We should especially take good care of it in the fall and winter because it is under additional attack from cold and wind.  Cold and wind make our skin thinner, dehydrated, dry, flaky, scaly and itchy. Our lips crack and we feel uncomfortable. Skin does not like the confinement and roughness of winter clothes. The fairer our skin, the more precautions we need to take, in order to keep it healthy. Naturally we all know that taking care of our skin makes us attractive and reduces signs of aging, but it also keeps us healthy during the cold months.
At all times, we need to protect our skin by avoiding poor diets, excessive sun and environmental pollutants (from smoking, chemicals in cosmetics, environmental pollution, etc.). In addition, in the fall and winter, we need to give it an extra layer of protection by reducing the number and length of showers , increasing our intake of Vitamins A, B and E and using natural lotions after bathing to increase skin moisture (water and oil keep the skin cells plump and healthy). Olive, avocado or almond oil can do wonders on our skin.
The best way to get the necessary vitamins helping our skin is (as always) is through proper food rather than by taking supplements.  Supplements never match the complexity of whole food

Vitamin A is abundant in the following vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, green onions, winter squash, Chinese cabbage and Swiss chard. Make sure to buy organic to avoid pollutants. Vitamin A is also high in algae such as spirulina and chlorella available at natural food stores or in wheat/barley grass. Skin dryness is strongly related to Vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin B is contained in miso, tempeh, algae (hijiki, kombu, kelp and nori). Nori is the seaweed wrap for sushi. Spirulina and chlorella are also good sources along with fish, oysters and clams.
To get Vitamin E , eat cabbages, asparagus and cucumbers, sprouted wheat, sprouts of all kinds, almonds and hazelnuts.
And naturally, keep drinking plenty of water and use a humidifier at home. Once more, healthy skin is very important to the protection of our health, second only to the purity of the air we breathe. Take good care of both this fall and winter and see if you keep colds and flu at bay.