Most parts of the northern hemisphere are now in full, fledged winter mode. This means a lot less sunlight during the days, colder weather, and sometimes our falling back into a paler version of ourselves. The sun kissed skin is tucked away under layers upon layers of wool and cotton to keep the elements at bay and the body temperature stabilized. Our lack of exposure to the sun not only depletes the body of vitamin D, that we acquire naturally from exposure to sunlight, but it also loses its warm summer months glow. It should be no small wonder that many people who live in the northern parts of the globe also suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder, as a higher rate of depression settles in with the arrival of shorter days.
We are what we Eat!
So, what can we do to maintain a sunny disposition both emotionally and physically while the summer warmth is still months away? The saying that we are what we eat comes into play more often than people would care to admit, and this is definitely the case here. We can choose to take extra vitamin D supplements to aid the body with the lack of sunlight, or we can look to a few super foods to help us along. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but because our time in sunlight is greatly diminished during the winter months we must find other ways to supplement.
Vitamin D aids our body in its absorption of calcium, our immune system’s proper response, our bone development and overall cell growth and regeneration. Foods that are rich in vitamin D are usually found in fats, because vitamin D is oil soluble. These food usually include cod liver oil, fish, cereals fortified with vitamin D, oysters, black and red caviar, tofu and soy milk, salami and sausage, dairy products that have been fortified, eggs, and lightly cooked mushroom. The list of possible choices is so varied that there have to be at least a few things on it that make your taste buds tingle with a sunny disposition.
3 Ways to Maintain a Tan
So, not that we have taken care of our dietary needs when it comes to a lack of sunlight and vitamin D we have to tend to the outside as well. There are three main types of ways to maintain a tan during the winter months.
- 1. Some people opt to head to a tanning bed for a few minutes a week. Many tanning salons advertise that their tanning beds use only UVA rays, but experts are uncertain about their long term effects on the skin, and their link to can cancer.
- 2. Spray tanning is also a popular way to maintain a glow during the winter months. Many spray tans contain a compound called DHA that allows the amino acids already present in the body, to produce melanoidin pigments in your skin. The biggest danger lies in inhaling and absorbing DHA through the body’s mucus membranes. It is not something I recommend you do often.
- 3. The most popular choice lies with the use of self-tanning lotions. These lotions rely on DHA as well, but only the ones that contain a 10% or higher amount of DHA are deemed dangerous by the FDA. The self tanning lotions also leave behind a very distinct fragrance which many people dislike, and it takes many a try before an overall even tan looked is achieved.
Top 4 self tanners on Amazon.com:
My favorite pick for maintaining a healthy glow to your skin during the winter months would be an organic, self-bronzer that you can lightly apply to the skin. To maintain the beauty of the tan you achieved over the summer long into the winter months and possibly into spring, while not adding more, keep these tips in mind:
1. Drink a lot of water to keep the skin hydrated and moist.
2. Don’t take showers or baths that are too hot, as they will strip moisture and color from your pores.
3. Don’t over exfoliate your skin.
4. Moisturize daily with vitamin E-infused lotions.
5. A good diet based on fruits and veggies high in vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc.
The most important part to looking good is to feel good from the inside out.