Woman cleansing skin.

Seasonal Skincare

To get the healthiest, most radiant skin, you’ll have to do some year-round maintenance work. One thing that remains constant during every season of the year is that you want to be sure you are protecting your skin against damaging UV rays. However, some other areas of your skincare routine may require tweaks here and there as the seasons, and your skincare needs, change. Discover what the main seasonal concerns are and how you can best address these to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Woman applying a facial mask

Winter
Dry, flaky, irritated and itchy skin are all common complaints during the winter months. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, you also need to protect your skin from other environmental elements. Harsh winds, freezing temperatures and incredibly dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin in winter and one way to fight back is to keep your skin covered when possible. Items like gloves and scarves can help to easily protect your skin.

You may need to switch out some of your fall products for more heavy duty formulations in the winter. Consider the following ideas when remedying winter skin:

  • Switch from a gel cleanser to a creamy or oil-based cleanser
  • Swap your toner for a more moisturizing one to soothe dry skin after cleansing
  • Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides for maximum hydration
  • Use gentle exfoliants on your face and lips to keep dry, flaky skin at bay

Woman touching her skin

Spring
Say goodbye to the dry, flaky skin of winter by starting spring with some much-needed exfoliation. Using chemical exfoliants such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is a great way to gently remove dead skin cells and other debris. A homemade scrub of olive oil and sugar is perfect to get your arms and legs glowing again and to keep them looking great, consider investing in a dry brush. You may also want to:

  • Change from heavy moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer
  • Keep lips well protected with balms and treatments that contain SPF
  • Store your moisturizing toner for a lightweight toner or essence to treat skin and combat oil
  • Remember that you still need to be protecting your skin with an SPF every day during spring.

Woman in a beach

Summer
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding summer skincare is the presence of excessive oil. Part of why this happens is that the warm temperature can liquefy the sebum (oil) in your pores, which causes the oil to leak out onto the surface of your skin resulting in unwanted shine. When you mix sweat with the oil, your skin looks not only greasy, but it feels uncomfortable as well. Combat excess oil in the summer by:

  • Use a gel or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil and sweat from your face
  • Decrease the intensity of your moisturizer to a lightweight lotion or a serum
  • Use beta-hydroxy acid to deep clean pores and help stop excess oil
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains mattifying properties

Summer fashion exposes far more skin, so be sure that you are applying sunscreen to any area of your body that is exposed. A general guideline is to use the equivalent of a shot glass (1 oz) to cover your entire body. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens can be applied immediately before stepping into the sun. One application of sunscreen a day isn’t enough if you’re going to be outdoors; reapply sunscreen every two hours or after every time you immerse yourself in water. Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses are also a good idea to protect yourself.

Woman dressed for fall

Fall
Drier skin isn’t the only fall skin concern that you need to be worried about. Your skin may go into a bit of shock after summer and this manifests as visible sunspots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. With all of the excess oil that your glands produced during summer, you may have enlarged pores heading into the fall. To keep your skin looking healthy in the fall you should:

  • Store your lightweight moisturizers and serums and begin to use a more heavy duty product
  • Use a gentle cleanser, toner and exfoliant because skin is sensitive from UV damage
  • Begin using retinol to erase signs of sun damage from the summer
  • It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you need to continue using an SPF daily to protect from further sun damage.

If you are using quality skin care products with great ingredients and formulations, there is a good chance that you won’t need to change your entire collection of products with each season. A few key items here and there can help you keep your skin healthy during every season of the year. Sunscreen is always in season, so don’t forget to stock up on it when you create your seasonal skincare routine.

Healthy colorful salad

Eat Well: Recipes High in Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in order for your body to function healthily. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements says, “[v]itamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs work properly.” One of the other organs that vitamin A benefits is the largest organ of your body, the skin. Vitamin A is excellent for helping to treat acne and aging and it was the first retinoid to be approved by the FDA to effectively treat wrinkles. While vitamin A may help skin a bit more when applied topically, having some in your body certainly helps your skin and it provides essential functions for other areas of your body. Here are our three favorite fall recipes that are high in vitamin A.

Seared Sesame Tuna

Seared Sesame Tuna
Tuna is a good source of vitamin A. In a one ounce serving of tuna, you receive around 15% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe calls for 6 oz tuna steaks, meaning that your seared sesame tuna accounts for over half of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tuna steaks (6 oz)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (a sweet Japanese wine)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup black sesame seeds

Grab a small bowl and add soy sauce, sesame oil, raw honey and mirin together and divide into two equal parts. Pour one part into another bowl. Stir in rice wine vinegar and set aside. Spread black sesame seeds out on a plate. Brush soy sauce mixture onto the tuna steaks and press lightly into the sesame seeds. In a pan, heat olive oil on high heat. When very hot, place tuna steaks in the pan and sear each side for about 30 seconds (or longer depending on how you prefer your tuna cooked). Remove from pan and serve with the dipping sauce you set aside.

Roast Veggies

Harvest Vegetable Bake
This comforting dish combines three amazing sources of vitamin A. Just a one-cup serving of kale provides you with 354% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A. This recipe also calls for red bell peppers, sweet potatoes and squash which are all great dietary sources of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 small acorn squash diced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil and butter to a pan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt, then add the sweet potatoes, bell peppers, squash and shallot. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. When sweet potatoes are tender, stir in the chopped kale and sage. Continue to cook over medium heat for five more minutes, until kale is wilted.

Dried Apricot Jam

Dried Apricot Jam
Dried apricots can be enjoyed on their own, but for a bit of variety mix up this tasty jam that a perfect addition to your morning oatmeal of slice of toast. A half-cup serving of dried apricots contains 151% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin A.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups dried apricots
  • 4 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup stevia powder (or less depending on how sweet you want your jam)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 1.75 oz package powdered fruit pectin

Bring water to a boil and add dried apricots. Cook for 30 minutes, or until apricots are hydrated. Take the apricots and water and place in a food processor with vanilla bean paste. Working in small batches, blend until well combined but still slightly chunky. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the processed apricot mixture with pectin and cook just until boiling. Add stevia powder and lemon juice and boil until dissolved, about one to two minutes.

In a stock pot, sterilize jars and lids for canning for five minutes. Pack apricot jam into jars, leaving about ¼ inch of room at the top. Once jars are filled, run a butter knife along the inside to get rid of any air bubbles and remove any jam residue from the rims of the jars. Add lids and screw on rings. Place a rack in the bottom of the stock pot and fill about halfway with water. Bring water to a boil, then using a holder, place full jars on the rack. Leave space between each jar and if necessary pour more water into the stock pot, enough so that there is about one inch of water on top of the jars. Bring the water to a roaring boil, cover the pot and allow 10 minutes to process. Remove jars from the stock pot and allow to fully cool, about one hour. When cool, press the top of each lid down to ensure it is airtight for storage.

Carrots, bell peppers, squash, kale and other dark, leafy greens and tuna are all excellent sources of dietary vitamin A. You can whip up a simple kale salad for lunch and add some chopped bell peppers, carrots and sliced tuna on top. Eating for your body doesn’t have to be boring or difficult, these three fall recipes that are full of vitamin A are simple, delicious and nutritious.

Pumpkin recipes

Eat Well: Fall Pumpkin Recipes

When you think fall you think pumpkins and when you think pumpkins you think pie, cookies and lattes. While pumpkin pie is definitely a must-have for fall, we’ve rounded up three fall pumpkin recipes that use pumpkin in ways you might not have before. We’ve got a breakfast, lunch/dinner and dessert that are perfect for fall.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
Start a cold weekend morning off with a cozy taste of fall.. These pumpkin pancakes are a treat for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups milk or milk substitute
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a bowl mix milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. When combined, add to the pumpkin mix and stir gently, just enough so that the two are combined. Heat a pan over medium heat and pour batter onto the pan using ¼ cup at a time. Brown on both sides and serve with your favorite topping. This recipe makes about 6- ¼ cup pancakes.

Pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin Soup
Warm dishes and the ubiquitous fall flavor are the perfect mixture for fall. Try this creamy soup to fill you up and keep you warm.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh cubed pumpkin (use 1-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 whole black peppercorns

Bring chicken stock, cubed pumpkin, onion, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and salt to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Remove one cup of the mixture at a time and puree using a food processor or blender. Return all of the pureed soup into the original pot and bring to a boil once again. Reduce the heat to low once again and allow the pureed soup to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream, pour into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. This recipe makes about four servings of soup.

Pumpkin mousse.

Pumpkin Mousse
Everybody loves pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice cookies, but this easy mousse is a new and delicious way to serve pumpkin for dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 24 small marshmallows
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Begin by melting the butter in a large skillet. Stir in marshmallows, milk and pumpkin. Continue to stir frequently until melted, creamy and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Allow to cool completely for about 30 minutes. Combine confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream in a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture and spoon into serving dishes. Cover and place in the fridge until firm (around two hours).

There are so many amazing culinary uses for pumpkin, you just have to think a bit creatively. Make a savory pumpkin chili or whip up a pumpkin protein smoothie. Gather your family and test out our fall pumpkin recipes for a fun and filling meal.