New Delhi: Winter! The time for coziness, cuddles and warm, lazy sunshine. Also the time for dry skin, falling hair, dandruff and dull appearances. Not really, if you take that wee bit extra care of your body, which it truly deserves. You did it diligently in summer. So why not vary that routine now for winters? Come on. Quit being lazy.
Summers and winters have a totally different effect on our skin and hair, which is quite apparent in the way we feel during these seasons. The harshness of winter causes the skin to feel dry, taut and stretched out, leading to premature ageing. Not only that, it can also lead to other skin conditions like acne,eczema and psoriasis being aggravated further. The face loses its summer charm and begins to look dull.
The hair isn’t spared either. Winter causes the hair to dry up and it ends up looking like straw. And that isn’t the end of it. It is invaded by dandruff, which would give any snowfall a run for its money! It would only be outdone by the hair falling at an alarming rate of over150-200 (which is normal) per day. Your crowning glory can make you look really sorry.
But take heart! All is not lost. A few simple steps will restore your skin and hair to their former magnificence.
First things first. No matter how comforting a hot water bath sounds, it must be avoided. Not the bath, the hot water. Lukewarm water is what you need, my friend, to bathe and wash your hands and face at all times. This will protect the skin from losing its natural oils ,which hot water happily removes, leaving the skin scratchy and dry. So lukewarm water it is!
Take your favourite oil, almond, sesame, apricot,( coconut oil can be avoided as it freezes during winter) and add 20 drops of it to a bucket of water and bathe with it. It may leave the bucket a little greasy, but that’s a very small price to pay for what it would do for your skin.
Alternately you can add 10 drops of the oil to the last mug of water that you pour on yourself at the end of your bath. Both methods do wonders for your skin.
Avoid using too much of soap. If you must, let it be glycerine soap that is transparent.
Remember to moisturise yourself immediately after a bath,while the skin is still damp. This ensures that the moisture is sealed in, leaving the skin hydrated and supple.
Needless to say, exfoliation is a must to remove the dead cells and to allow the new skin cells to come up, breathe and be moisturised. Using a scrub once or twice a week should do the trick to rejuvenate the skin.
Don’t be lazy about the night cream routine. Follow it religiously. Use creams without perfumes or paraffins. Lesser preservatives make for better longer lasting creams.
A few home remedies never did anyone harm. Here are a couple to keep your skin soft and nourished.
You can even take curd for all types of skins,dry or even acne,or fresh cream/malai for mature skin. Add some crushed rose petals, if you have them, and glycerine to it. Blend them well in the mixie and store this mixture in the fridge. Apply a spoonful of it every day. You can dab off the excess with a clean tissue and apply your regular cream over it, if you like.
Alternatively you can take just curd, even straight from the fridge and apply it on extra dry skin or even on any rash. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then wash it off with rose water or plain water. This will leave your skin filling definitely healthier and softer. Go ahead apply your night cream after that.
Another trick is using Vitamin E ( Evion) capsules. Cut or burst open a capsule. Apply it directly to dry or mature skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes then wipe your face gently but thoroughly. Do not wash your face and apply your night cream directly. This can be done once a week. If the skin is too dry then twice a week.
For the lips, a lip balm is a must. You can un-chap your lips by applying a vanilla scrub of 2 parts sugar,1 part olive oil,and a dash of vanilla essence mixed well together.
Your feet too need that extra attention to remain crack free. Wash them with warm water at night. Generously apply cream on them, to which glycerin and crushed camphor ( kapoor) has been added. Wear loose cotton socks through the night to protect them further from developing cracks. Lactic acid cream is a better option.
Now for the hair. Warm oil routine is a big yes yes. Gently massage the scalp with warm or even hot olive oil. Steam the hair by wrapping a towel, which has been wrung in hot water, over it. This will make sure your hair is properly hydrated. This can be done once a month. Conditioning the hair is another alternative.
Blow drying is a no no even if it is tempting on a cold day to dry your hair. The brittle winter hair is only damaged further by blow drying. Avoid it.
Above all make sure you are hydrated properly all the time. People tend to drink less water during winters, as we feel less thirsty, leaving the skin and hair dehydrated. No hots soups, beverages can replace the body’s water requirement. Rather they cause further dryness. 2-3 litres of water can do wonders for your skin and hair. We need to be moisturised inside and outside.
Eat flax seeds chia seeds, walnuts, other dry fruits and ,a diet rich in Vitamin E to have that radiating glow.
Finally. Listen to your body and what it needs. Eat healthy fats, drink plenty of water and moisturise yourself. Don’t forget.
When you step out you must cover yourself with a good sunscreen as much as you did in summer. Cover yourself properly from head to toe to face the elements. Hats, gloves,jackets. Choose your style.
Winters are there, waiting to be enjoyed. Go have your fun in the sun!!