Keeping your skin and body hydrated is key to staying healthy throughout the winter months. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), winter is ruled by the water element, which controls the kidneys and bladder—organs responsible for the healthy flow of qi throughout the body via water. According to TCM, cold winter air dries out the body and weakens these organs, disrupting the flow of qi and making the body susceptible to seasonal illnesses. A telltale sign that your body isn’t holding onto hydration? Dry, cracked skin.
By keeping the entire body hydrated, we can support the work of the bladder and kidneys and keep the skin feeling supple and healthy all season long. But staying hydrated is about so much more than drinking enough water—here are a few simple lifestyle tweaks you can make to ensure your body is getting all the moisture it needs.
Hydrate While You Sleep
Cold winter temps and dry indoor heating zap moisture from the air in your home. Rehydrate the air around you by keeping a humidifier in areas of the house where you spend the most time, like your bedroom. Sleeping with a humidifier nearby not only keeps your skin moist and plump, but also moisturizes the lungs while your body is in a state of restoration, allowing the body to rebalance its vital qi.
Sip Throughout The Day
Don't wait until you're parched to gulp down water– instead, take little sips of room temperature or warm liquids throughout the day to distribute water more evenly throughout the body. Try to hydrate between meals, rather than drinking lots of liquid with your food. Drinking too much water while you eat dampens your digestive fire, which can cause stomach upset and prevent your body from fully utilizing the energy from your food.
Add Some Flavor
Can't get excited about plain water? Enhance your water by steeping it with ginger, cinnamon or goji berries—these ingredients are not only delicious and warming, but are also thought to help aid the movement of water throughout the body, promoting a balanced flow of qi.
All In Moderation
Winter is the time to cut down on drying ingredients like sugar and coffee. Sugar soaks up moisture in the body, while coffee acts as a diuretic, releasing water from your system at a much quicker pace. Of course, as with everything in TCM, it's all about balance. If giving up your morning cup of coffee or your favorite sweet treat just isn't realistic, make sure that you drink enough water and eat water-rich meals like soup to compensate.
Nourish winter's water element by mirroring the flow of water in your daily rituals– practice fluid movement like tai chi, yoga, or dance and let
intuition and flexibility guide you through your days. Embodying the characteristics of water through movement and thought can help support the body as it navigates the stress of the winter season.
Keep Your Skin Supple with Frankincense
Skin is the body's largest organ, so needless to say, when your body is depleted of moisture, your skin is too. To prevent excess water from evaporating out of the skin, layer your moisturizer over a facial oil like our Bioactive Regenerating Oil as the last step of your skincare routine. Our nourishing oil is enriched with frankincense, an aromatic resin used for thousands of years to help regenerate and strengthen the skin's protective barrier to prevent water loss throughout the day and night.
Goji, Cinnamon & Ginger Tea
- 4 cups filtered water
- ¼ cup dried goji berries
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
Bring a pot of water to boil and add the goji berries, ginger and cinnamon stick. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes to allow the herbs to fully infuse into the water. Strain out the herbs and drink the warm tea throughout the day. Sweeten to your taste with honey.
From our energy to yours,
Tori & Marla