Everything your skin needs to know this winter’
Dr. Sangeeta Amladi, Head Medical Services and R&D Kaya Skin Clinic
With winter fast approaching, the change in the weather can be very stressful on your skin. The low humidity during winter can cause the skin to become dry, flaky, dull and irritated. When the temperatures change, a change in your skin care routine is necessary. So along with a proper skin care regime, a healthy diet is also essential for healthy skin. Get to know your skin a little, how it works and the effects of winter conditions on the skin.
How should you alter your beauty regimen as winter approaches?
— Wash your face with a mild cleanser and rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid antibacterial soaps and very hot water
— If you have really dry skin, avoid toners as they dry it out even more. If you have oily or normal skin, try an astringent
— Apply a water-based moisturizer while your skin is still damp to seal in moisture before it's lost
— For dryer skin, use a heavier cream
— Exfoliate once a week to remove flaky skin
Foods that improve skin health, especially in winter
A healthy diet may include the following;
- A bowl of green vegetables like spinach, avocado and asparagus with a seasoning of garlic
- A salad consisting of grapes, oranges, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and onions
- A bowl of fruits including watermelon, berries – strawberries, blueberries, grapes, papaya, apricots
- Drink plenty of fluids: water, juices, milk, soups, and more
- Caffeine, alcohol, soft drinks and fried foods should be avoided
Daily skin practices for Healthy Skin
In winter, the skin generally gets dry. Dry skin lacks the moisture needed to keep the skin supple looking and therefore has a flaky look. Dry skin needs a daily moisturizer plus possibly a heavier, overnight cream to keep it in a healthy condition. Here are some tips to follow this winter….
- Use a long lasting moisturizer twice a day, preferably on damp or just washed skin (for better results)
- Generally, skin cleansing should be limited to once or twice a day.
- Do not use alcohol-based astringents, wipes and colognes.
- Avoid frequent application of moisturizers especially on face as over doing it could clog the pores
- Do not forget to wear your sunscreen, preferably a moisturizing form.
- Remove makeup to maintain healthy skin. Use a skin cleanser to gently remove dirt, excess oil and makeup
- Exercise will do more than simply get your heart rate going. It will clear your pores, increase your metabolism, and sweating allows your inner body to cleanse itself.
1 1) Why the skin becomes dry in winters?
There are a number of reasons, both external and internal, why the skin gets dry during cold weather.
External Causes: Low humidity during winter enhances the drying effect on the skin. Exposure to dry wind, cold water or drying soaps further increases the skin’s dryness.
Internal Causes: Due to low temperature, the blood vessels supplying the skin become constricted. This reduces blood flow to the skin and sweat glands and oil producing glands in the body. When the water content of the skin diminishes both internally and externally; the skin cells shrink and dry. This produces flaking of the superficial skin cells. Most people, because they do not feel thirsty during winter,do not drink enough water or fruit juices during winter. This results in low volume of the circulating blood causing dehydration which is another cause for skin dryness.
2) What are the easy tips to keep the skin healthy and not dry?
- Drink adequate water
- Eat balanced food containing all nutrients. Include vegetables, fruits, and fresh fish in your daily food intake.
- Avoid alcohol and coffee. Both will dehydrate the skin and predispose to more drying and itching.
- Avoid using harsh soaps. Soap free cleansers containing moisturizers are safe choices.
- Using a humidifier inside the house will help keep the skin moist even during winter.
- Exercise will help produce sweat and increase blood flow to the skin, which will improve the hydration of the skin.
- Colloidal oat meal baths, in addition to their action of preventing water loss, also soothe the skin.
- Apply a good moisturizing cream or lotion immediately after bath, before the body dries up. This will trap the moisture inside and keep skin soft and supple
3) Homemade packs which can help in keeping the skin better in winter
- Mix honey and milk and apply on the face. Mix half-a-cup honey to your bath water for soft and smooth skin.
- Aloe Vera also helps to remove dead skin cells and is soothing, healing, and moisturizing. Hence, aloe Vera gel can be applied topically on affected areas.
- A facemask comprising of egg white and honey gently removes the tan from your face.
- For oily skin type - Soak Multani Mitti and mint powder in yoghurt for 30 minutes and mix them well by beating. Apply it on face for 15 minutes and leave it to dry. Then wash off with lukewarm water. After that, rinse by cold water.
4) Do’s and don’ts to take care of skin in winters.
— Use soap – free moisturizing cleansers for face as well as body
— Can add emollient oil to bath water (1-2 drops per bucket of water)
— Apply moisturizer immediately after patting dry
— Use a moisturizing sunscreen on exposed body parts, 20 minutes before stepping out in the Sun
— Use a moisturizer twice or thrice a day
— Use a night cream (long acting moisturizer) on face and body before sleeping
— For oily skin, use light moisturizer, those specifically suited for oily skin
— For hair, use mild moisturizing shampoo and condition hair every time after shampoo
— Trim the split ends
— For frizzy hair, use leave-on condition
o Toners and astringent
o Long hours in AC
o Frequent shampooing
5) Hair care during winters
The tips below will help keep your hair healthy during winter months -
— Do not shampoo your hair too often
— Avoid taking hot showers or washing your hair in very hot water, use warm or cool water instead
— A leave-in conditioner works wonders for dry and brittle hair
— Avoid using heated appliances as much as possible. Using a blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron dries hair out even more in winter.