Fall: The leaves start to change and the air grows crisp. It’s a transitional time when we begin hunkering down, preparing for winter and the holiday season. So what does this have to do with your skin? As your body’s largest organ, it’s wholly receptive to even the subtlest of shifts.
While the blistering cold doesn’t usually hit until December or January, fall’s coolness can affect your skin in a variety of ways. If you live in a location where the summer humidity fades into aridity, you’ll want to watch out for dermal dryness. Even though it’s not hot outside, it’s just as crucial to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
Autumn days are often chilly and can lead to chapped lips and cheeks. Think about switching your moisturizer to something more substantial to preempt parched skin. And make sure you have a good lip balm on hand, avoiding petroleum-based ones. Instead, look for products with ingredients that actually nourish and protect your lips, like Shea butter.
The changing climate also affects we wear in these different conditions. As the weather turns cooler and brisker, we start bundling up in hats, scarves, sweaters, tights, and other garments. If not washed or sanitized, hats and scarves can be culprits of fall blemish breakouts. Even when properly cleaned, they can still cause irritations and yeast-related rashes from perspiration. Materials matter, too. Wearing warmer, heavier fabrics that aren’t as breathable can cause us to perspire, leading to body blemishes as well as rashes.
Seasonal dietary changes can also play a big role in our skin health. Fall holidays are often cause for more parties and gatherings. Some of the fall food pitfalls are pies, sugary cocktails, and candy. Many traditional ingredients, including sugar, wheat, and dairy, can be detrimental to the skin because they are pro-inflammatory.
Fall harvest provides an abundance of wholesome options. Opt for leafy greens, like kale or chard, or some seasonal squash, like butternut or acorn. All of these are anti-inflammatory, full of detoxing fiber, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your skin will thank you!
To help you maintain a beautiful glow this fall and holiday season, try these healthy and delectable skin-loving recipes:
A refreshing alcohol-free beverage that everyone will love.
- 6 oz. carbonated water
- Juice from ½ of a tangerine
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cranberry juice
Stir together the carbonated water and tangerine juice in a tall, thin glass. Add the cranberry juice. Finish with a decorative slice of tangerine on the rim or in the glass. (A fun addition is “REALLY BIG ice,” as we call it in my house. There are tons of molds available online or in stores. Try freezing them with a few real cranberries and/or tangerine rind inside for an oh-so-festive beverage.)
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
A yummy replacement for traditional mashed potatoes.
- 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
- Several whole garlic cloves (optional)
- Almond, cashew, or coconut milk
- Butter (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steam cauliflower for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain (the dryer the better) — or roast in the oven with whole garlic cloves for a toasty flavor. Add milk and salt and pepper to taste. (Butter is optional.) Mash with a potato masher.
Try this in place of traditional green bean casserole.
- Brussels sprouts
- Coconut butter
Steaming is a simple, yummy way to prepare Brussels sprouts, but why not try this: Shave or quarter Brussels and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with melted coconut butter, and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet and cook at 450 degrees. Give it a shake once or twice while in the oven, and cook until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Fries with Caramelized Sage
Truly delicious without marshmallow or brown sugar.
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut butter
- Fresh sage leaves
Cut sweet potatoes into fries. Take fresh sage leaves (if washed, make sure they’re dry), and place them in a frying pan with melted coconut butter on medium heat. Flip when one side is browned, and remove sage when caramelized. Put fries in a bowl with more coconut butter and salt and stir together. Place in a baking dish at 450 degrees and cook until browned (give it a shake once or twice while in the oven). Remove from oven and garnish with sage.
Deborah’s Holiday Pecan “Cheese” Cake
A vegan heavenly holiday delight!
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 T. cocoa powder
- 3 T. coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 T. maple syrup
- 1/2 T. coconut oil
Put all ingredients in food processor until they form a paste. Press into a tart pan, bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
- 140 grams dark chocolate, cut into pieces
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 T. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Melt dark chocolate over low heat with coconut milk. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor or blender, combine cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Blend well until super smooth. (The time to get it smooth will depend on your food processor or blender. It can take as long as 8 to 10 minutes.) Add melted coconut oil and blend again.
Add the cooled coconut milk/chocolate mixture to the cashew cream and blend. Pour into cooled tart crust. Decorate with shaved coconut and/or fresh berries.
For permission to reprint recipes contact Deborah Burnes at Sumbody.