How to look great this winter

Most of us are well aware of what damage the summer sun can do to our skin, but forget the toll winter can take on our face, arms and legs.

Cold weather can be the catalyst for some worrying complexion complaints, and can leave the skin looking less than its best all over along with your hair and nails .So now is the time to start thinking about staying one step ahead at this chilly time of year by taking preventative action against the cold. “During winter, skin tends to be dry, itchy and scaly.

Dry skin is always prone to be more tanned and turn darker, therefore extra care is needed during winter. With a little change in your skin care regime, you can fight winter woes and sail through the season in style.

Skin care for winter:

Change Your Cleanser

Dry skin is another winter woe to be tackled. And this is aggravated with the use of soaps and detergents.
Cleansers containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be particularly drying, especially if you are using them in conjunction with other acne treatment products.”Use mild face wash with moisturisers. Look out for those with aloe vera.

Use mild toners in the place of astringents since they have a drying effect on the skin.

You should take a short bath or shower (no more than 10 minutes) only once in a 24 hour period. For adults, showers are generally better than baths. While longer baths or showers, especially in hot water, can be quite relaxing, they will also increase the loss of natural oils from the skin and worsen skin dryness. The bath or shower should be in warm rather than hot water. Soap should be used minimally and only when and where needed (for example, under the arms, the groin and genitals, the feet, and the face).

Moisturize

Moisturizing is about the only thing you can do to treat dry skin in the winter. Taking a hot bath and lathering on the moisturizing cream is an easy and quick start to healing and preparing your skin for the cold elements that it will face for the day.

Some of the best types of moisturizer for winter weather are ones that contain oils in them, just because your body isn’t producing the oils needed to have hydrated skin. Lanolin, vitamin E oils, and avocado oils are perfect for absorbing moisture and retaining it in the skin. Protein from milk is a great way to soften skin that is dry or wrinkled. Honey is also a great moisturizer that is all natural.

Using nutrient-rich moisturising cream is the most important remedy for winter-beaten skin. To reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while evening out natural skin tones, apply moisturising creams three times a day to maintain a smoother, softer, younger looking, more radiant complexion.

The best time for moisturiser is after a bath, which helps seal the extra moisture in the upper layers of the skin thus making it soft and supple. Importantly, make sure you moisturise the knees, elbows, calves and heels well— these areas are prone to dryness since they aren’t many oil glands here. To soften cracked feet, rub in a rich body lotion, pull on a pair of socks before going to sleep and you will wake up to find a beautiful pair of feet looking at you.

Also read: Cracked heels? Here’s an Ayurvedic cure

Exfoliate

Winter is a season when dead and dry skin gets accumulated very fast; one is required to exfoliate the entire body. Exfoliation will allow the skin to soak up more moisture and remain moisturized for a long time. There is no production of oil from oil glands of skin in winter.

This is because of the low outer temperature and central heating. In this condition, there is more loss of water from the skin. This might result in premature wrinkled skin. All these conditions can be avoided by skin exfoliation but should be restricted for just once a week in this season.

Protect

The sun’s damaging rays can affect your skin even during the winter months, so use a sunscreen. Since you’re usually bundled up when outside in the wintertime, you don’t need to slather sunscreen all over yourself. Try to wear makeup or moisturiser with SPF 15 on your face throughout the winter.

Winter Lip Care

Dry, cracked and chapped lips are a common winter complaint, and severe cases of chapped lips can be very painful, not to mention unattractive. Whats worse is that lipstick makes cracks stand out even more instead of concealing them.

Almond oil makes for a great lip moisturizer. Simply apply some almond oil to lips before turning in for the night. Avoid licking your lips and don’t bite the skin on the surface of your lips. Lip balms are nowadays commonly available and some with a SPF factor as well to protect them from the harmful rays.

Lastly during the winter months, it would be wise to stay away from the lipsticks that claim that they are long lasting. Often they can dry your lips out and cold weather will do that fast enough. Instead look for creamy formulations.

Winter hair care

Hair care is as essential as the skin. Use a mild shampoo during winters. “Don’t overdo the shampoo regime since it would remove all traces of natural oil leading to dry hair, dandruff and hair loss. Also make sure you wash your hair with lukewarm water since hot water makes the hair dry. Intensive hair conditioners help combat dryness caused by cold weather. Conditioners are a must after every wash especially for dry and thick hair in this season. Since the cold weather causes to dry your hair, massage your hair in aloe Vera juice for a few minutes.

This will restore its softness. You can also treat your hair with oil massage once or twice a week, Olive oil can work wonders in reinforcing moisture to your hair.

Avoid exposing your hair to frequent coloring, streaking, or ironing as they can rob your hair off its moisture and it is advisable to avoid heating appliances on your hair like straightening irons, curlers etc. Expose your hair to natural drying. Keep away from blow dryers this season.

Eating the Right Food
Water is important no matter what time of year it is, but it is extremely important in the winter.

You should drink plenty of liquids in the form of water (at least 8- 10 glasses a day), lime or lemon juice, tender coconut water & other fruit juices to replenish the water lost from the winter air taking it out of your skin.

A good night’s sleep is also a good step to take.
While you sleep at night, your body is replenishing itself and preparing itself for the oncoming day ahead whether it be hot or cold. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, your body as well as your skin will not be healthy and glowing. In the winter time we
regularly eat a lot more than we do in any other season. This is good as long as we are eating the right foods.

Got a health query? Ask our experts

Foods that are full of antioxidants help your skin to fight off inflammation and protect the cells of the membranes from being destroyed by the elements. Drinking green tea or eating foods with omega 3 are other great ways to help. These are rich with antioxidants.

Taking a multi-vitamin is also a great way to help your skin along. Those with dry & damaged skin must have vitamin A in their diet. Dietary source of vit A are carrots, papaya, spinach, coriander leaves, drum sticks, pumpkins, animal foods such as butter, curd, egg yolk, liver, fish liver oil, fish & whole milk.

Evening primrose oil in the form of capsules help in replenishing the lipids in the stratum corneum (upper most layer of the skin), thus maintaining the moisture content of the skin.

Lastly, if you have a skin disease due to dry skin (such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczemas etc. which are known to aggravate in this season, please visit your dermatologist.

Courtesy: Dr Geetanjali Shetty
Dermatologist and cosmetologist, Dr. Geetanjali Shetty specialises in anti-aging procedures, and in treating acne, pigmentation and hair disorders.

Image: rajkumar1220

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