With the onset of winter, dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, itchy legs and rough hands are common. However, if proper care is taken and you make an effort to moisturize and hydrate your skin daily, you can protect yourself from these skin ailments. Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon shares a few tips that can help.
Winter care is essential for healthy skin
Following a daily beauty routine can actually prevent dryness, which leads to several skin problems. Here’s what you can do to fix it.
Avoid having bath with hot water. Instead, make sure that the water is lukewarm. Hot water showers strip your body of essential mositurisers. Hence, it’s vital to also limit your shower time to a maximum of 10 minutes and to not shower more than once a day.
Opt for a body wash that’s moisturises your skin and pick a soap, which is natural or organic as certain types of soap can be harsh on the skin.
Avoid bath sponges and body brushes to avoid damage to the skin.
Winters are a good time for light peels. Consult a good cosmetologist to understand what kind of peel will be suitable for your skin. Peels help exfoliate the skin and remove the dry thick layer revealing smooth and supple skin underneath.
Avoid wearing fabrics that can irritate the skin. Wear a cotton shirt under your sweaters and coats so that the wool does not irritate and dry the skin.
When you have taken a shower, pat dry your body and apply a moisturiser immediately.
Use an alcohol-free cleanser and toner in your daily routine. Milk- based cleaners can help keep the skin smooth and prevent dryness. Do not use clay-based masks on the skin as they pull out moisture from the skin.
The skin on your hands is thin, and is susceptible to quick damage and so are the heels of your feet. Keep them protected by applying moisturiser and oil on them and keeping them covered with gloves and socks.
Apply sunscreen every time you step out. Your skin needs protection form the sun even when the weather is foggy.
Drink water to hydrate you, and to replenish some of the lost nutrients in the skin.
Select the right winter moisturiser for your skin type. It should contain three main ingredients – Humectants like ceramides, glycerin, sorbitol and hyaluronic acid. These attract moisture to the skin. Petroleum jelly, silicone lanolin and mineral oils seal the moisture in the skin and emollients such as lauric acids, linoleic smooth out the skin by filling in the spaces between skin cells, preventing cracks from appearing.
Use an oil based or cream based moisturiser, which is thick in consistency. The thicker the better it will act as a protector. For dry skin, you need a moisturizer rich in hyaluronic acid for its super hydrating properties without making the skin look greasy. For oily skin, look for lighter formulas and those who have more have gels and serums in them so that they don’t feel too heavy on the skin. For sensitive skin, pick a moisturizer that has antioxidants and is fragrance free. For combination skin, use moisturizer products that don’t make your skin feel congested. Invest in a cream or oil-based cleanser that is protective but not greasy.