SKIN CARE DURING WINTER
Winter is the time for comfort, for good health and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside a fire.
Ah! If only our skin would settle for such simple stuff. The cold, coupled with low humidity and the dry air of heaters, can leave your skin dry, flaky and itchy.
All skin types need protection in winter, those with certain skin conditions need to take extra care. From chapped lips to cracked heels to body itches.
People who suffer from allergies, eczema’s and certain skin disorders like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, seborrhea dermatitis should be aware that their skin problem will double in winter. So they need to take a little extra care and follow a stringent and effective skin care regime for the skin to stay moist and healthy.
First, let’s understand how your skin reacts to winter. The skin that is visible to your eyes is actually made up of many layers. The upper layers comprise dead cells, which form the stratum corneum. These cells have lipids, oils, lactic acid, urea and hyaluronic acid in them, which form the skin’s natural moisturizing factors giving it a natural ‘skin barrier’ that helps keep our skin hydrated and supple. Due to low humidity in winter, the lipid structure in the barrier layer of the skin tends to breakup. This means water can’t be retained in the skin and this gives you dry, flaky skin
Also read our article on : Care for Dry and Oily Skin
How do you make out if your skin barrier is damaged? ( Winter Skin Care )
Your skin will feel tight and drier than normal to begin with. This is the time to switch to a heavier moisturizer for your face and a rich ointment for the hands, feet, legs and elbows (at night).
Warm the moisturizer or ointment by rubbing it between your fingertips, before applying. If the irritation persists, you could try investing in an air humidifier or consult a dermatologist.
WINTER DOS ( Winter Skin Care )
* While the thought of a long, hot bath on a cold winter day is appealing, over-exposure to hot water can dry your skin out even more. Avoid taking hot water showers.
* Keep your bath short. Try not to be under the shower for more than 10 minutes.
* Be careful about the soaps you bathe with, as soaps can alter the Ph. of the skin and make it alkaline. This will cause dryness and flaking of the skin.
* Avoid deodorant bars and antibacterial soaps in winter as they make the skin drier.
* If your skin is sensitive, avoid soaps with fragrance.
* If your skin is dry, opt for a non-foaming, gentle moisturizing gel.
* After a bath, apply a moisturizing lotion on the entire body, while the skin is slightly moist.
* Use a lip balm for your lips. Ghee or clarified butter works beautifully too.
* Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to your face, neck and your hand (if they’re exposed).
* Avoid toners and astringents in winter, especially if they are alcohol-based. They will further dry the skin.
* Avoid room heaters for long hours.
* If you are developing cracks, you need to take care of your feet on a daily basis, instead of depending on once in a while pedicures.
* Drink up to 8 glasses of water daily to keep hydrated. You can also make use of natural fluids from juicy fruits for delicious drinks.
* Include flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, salmon and mackerel in your diet. These are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and will help to keep the skin hydrated.
Also read our article on: Care for Sensitive skin
WINTER REMEDIES FROM YOUR KITCHEN ( Winter Skin Care )
Here are some delicious remedies to soothe and nourish your skin. Homemade masks are a simple and soothing way to nourish your skin.
# Make a paste with yoghurt, ground almonds and coconut milk. Apply the mixture on your face and keep it on for 20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
# You can also blend an avocado with a few drops of coconut oil and apply the mixture all over your body before taking bath. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off. Your skin will feel fresh and good as new.