Oct. 20. 2017
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of NS and Creator of The Method

First things first, hydration is key from the inside to help prevent dry skin, but guess what? Sometimes that’s not enough! With the use of internal heaters, dry heat in the house, in our cars and the harsh differences between cold and hot, it can be really tough on our skin.

Hydration is key

If you have heard a bit about my health story, there have been some rocky points and many successes from those hardships– including skin issues. When I was in high school, really where all my health issues started, I suffered from acne especially on my back and chest which left me so self-conscious. On top of that, my skin was (and still is) incredibly sensitive to the products I use so I have to make sure they’re incredibly high quality and something that doesn’t irritate it. Another skin problem I’ve had, which still pops up in my adult life is eczema. I’ve had eczema since I was a child, but as an adult, I will get flare ups if I’m under a lot of stress or if dairy and gluten sneak into my diet (insert my stepmom’s home-cookin’). We do know there is a gut-skin connection and this rings so true for me, meaning if I have some offenders that don’t do well with me (i.e. too much coffee, alcohol, gluten, and dairy) then my skin immediately reacts to it in some way. Several studies have shown the link between an impaired digestive tract (i.e. mucosal lining and amount of good bacteria in our microbe) and acne, inflammation in the skin, psoriasis, etc.

Most of it is preventable for me, but sometimes it just happens and I can’t pinpoint it. The longer I’m in the health and wellness industry, the more stories I hear floating on the internet and on social media about people combatting an illness with some radical diet or lifestyle change and I’m not a fan of letting our health issues define us or glorifying a “health success” story; it’s just part of my life and I deal with it. But, I was having a conversation the other day with a friend about her psoriasis and I felt compelled to say “hey, I get it, I have eczema breakouts sometimes and it really sucks”. She didn’t feel alone anymore and we swapped some of our skin savers…and I wanted to share some of those with you guys too just in case any of you have eczema or just get dry skin during the cold months! All of these tips can help.

Let’s talk skin food! Nourishing from the inside is key to healthy skin, hair, and of course our overall well-being. Besides making sure you’re drinking enough water and eating hydrating whole foods (i.e. celery, cucumbers, fruits, and vegetables galore), healthy fats, and proteins. You can also supplement with vitamin C, omega-3’s, and Turmeric Milk to help fight inflammation. I remember my mother making oatmeal baths for me to help calm the inflammation and it was so calming and felt amazing. I have to admit though, I don’t take oatmeal baths as an adult (the tub clean up is rough haha) but love to get the same calm feeling on my skin. Topically, like I said I love the oatmeal baths I used to take when I was younger, but now I routinely use either coconut oil, sesame oil, or when I have a flare up or a really dry patch of skin I’ll use the Avalon Organics® Eczema Relief line with 1.5% Colloidal Oatmeal. This is the only organic-certified line of clinically-tested eczema treatment products made with pure, plant-based ingredients and certified to by the National Eczema Association. One thing I look for in lotions and skincare products, in general, is simplicity – if you have eczema or just sensitive skin then you know how easily some ingredients can trigger irritation. This lotion is free from steroids, soy, gluten, GMOs and fragrances and is completely organic. Not to mention, it smells amazing just like their lavender and lemon hair care I’ve been using and it really helps calm the skin.





























What about you? I’m curious if you have any dry skin issues or even eczema and what you use to help calm your skin both in lifestyle and with products- I’m always intrigued to hear your stories. I hope this helps any of you suffering from dry skin or flare-ups with eczema like I do.

xx McKel


This post is in partnership with Avalon Organics®, a product/brand I use regularly and enjoy. I only share the best of the best that I truly enjoy and would find beneficial to you all as well. Thanks for supporting brands that help support what we do here on Nutrition Stripped.