Spring Cleaning for Healthy Skin: Pamper Yourself!

As we shed our winter coats and the harsh winter comes to a close, it’s time to remember that our skin also is undergoing changes; it is a time to shed the upper layer of skin and begin working on our new summer glow. Spring is the Season of regeneration, regrowth, and renewal. Spring is the time we should revitalize our bodies both inside and out.

Posted on | Susan Evans, MD | Comments ()

As we shed our winter coats and the harsh winter comes to a close, it’s time to remember that our skin also is undergoing changes; it is a time to shed the upper layer of skin and begin working on our new summer glow. Spring is the Season of regeneration, regrowth, and renewal. Spring is the time we should revitalize our bodies both inside and out.


Winter, with its low humidity and recycled air (from your indoor heating system) can wreak havoc on your skin, robbing it of fresh natural air and nutrition. This can leave your skin looking dull and dry, both of which accentuate premature wrinkling.

In particular knees, elbows and feet take a beating from heavy winter clothes and boots. We tend to forget these covered-up areas.

I always feel that in order to create the best look on the outside we have to begin with an internal strategy. We should adjust our diet to minimize any accumulated toxins.

  • Berries and red grapes – We're talking just about any berry that is red or blue: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries, gogi berries all contain phytochemicals that destroy cancer cells both in culture form and in the liver.
  • Green tea – The catechins (EGCG) in green tea have anti-cancer properties that prevent and reduce breast and other cancers.
  • Flaxseed – Contains lignins that have cancer-fighting properties.
  • Garlic, onions, leeks – Just about any part of the allium family has been shown to reduce various types of cancers including stomach and colorectal cancer, prostate and breast cancers, as well as a number of other more common cancers.
  • Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cruciferous vegetables – Men who eat broccoli 4 times a week have proven that their prostate cancer diminishes. Similar effects have been found when cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts are eaten. Of note, broccoli sprouts have been shown to demonstrate 20 times the cancer fighting properties of plain broccoli!
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene is the key ingredient in tomatoes and its benefits are even greater when tomatoes are cooked, so pasta sauces, pizza sauces, etc. are especially good. Studies have identified progress in the areas of prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer. The FDA is currently disputing these studies (all 72 of them), but most experts believe that the FDA's study is flawed.
  • Resveratrol found in red wine – Let's hear it for red wine! Resveratrol has been shown to have very powerful cancer-fighting properties that suppress abnormal cell growth which can cause many kinds of breast cancer. Resveratrol blocks the action of estrogen, which is largely responsible for breast cancer. Early studies in lab mice show similar results in prostate cancer. One glass a day should do it.

Improve the way we moisturize our body
Once we have addressed our spring nutritional goals, our next step is to change any winter skin regimen that may not work as well during spring. The heavy moisturizing cream used in the winter months may be too heavy for spring. Switch to a lighter, oil-free formula instead, but still pay close attention to the skin around your eyes and mouth. Don't forget to apply sunscreen every time you leave the house.

Begin exfoliating your body
Putting away winter clothes means exposing more skin. To exfoliate, begin with a gentle process and move from head to toe. Products that are papaya-based and contain alpha-hydroxy and salycilic acid compounds are the best to remove dead skin cells, and promote collagen renewal for healthy new spring skin cells. 

Blog written by Susan Evans, MD
Dr. Susan Evans is an internationally acclaimed, health and beauty expert one of Oprah's and Dr. Oz's healthy skin and beauty...