Keeping your skin from drying in the winter might seem like an uphill task but there are some easy to follow rules that can make life easier.
With winter comes dry skin and desperate bids to save your skin from getting flaky. With less humidity in the air and central heating playing havoc on your skin, it might be hard to maintain the natural balance of the skin. “As temperatures drop during the colder months, the humidity in the air drops, too, and this causes dry skin,” Rosemarie Ingleton, a New York City-based dermatologist, told Elle. But a few simple tips can go a long way against the harsh weather and also help maintain it in the long run. But apart from that, these simple skin-care routines can also be a form of self-care rituals that makes you feel nourished inside and out.
The three main factors that go a long way are:
a) being sun-safe (even in the winters);
b) providing optimal moisture;
c) and nourishing it with nutrients.
Long, hot showers might seem inviting in the chilly weather, but it can cause excessive dryness to the skin. It is ideal to have short and warm showers in the winter. Once you are out of the shower, take the additional few minutes needed to smooth on a light layer of body oil and then a rich body cream or lotion. "It’s important to do this while the skin is still a bit damp to help the moisturizers penetrate," Ingleton explained.
In our lifetime, we will shed close to 23 kg of dead skin! Every single day, we shed 10 billion dead-skin cells, so exfoliation is a big step in how healthy our skin looks. This is often the most forgotten task in our busy lives. But experts suggest that just once-a-week exfoliation will go a long way. "Gentle exfoliation plays a key role in skin radiance by removing complexion-dulling dead skin cells and allowing new, fresh and healthy skin cells to reach the surface," Dr. Anita Sturnham, GP, told Harper's Bazaar. You don't need to shell out money to get an effective scrub. You can even make organic scrubs at home with just some sugar, coconut oil, lemon, and honey. Huffington Post outlines how sugar can be great for your skin. Oatmeal grind and coffee work brilliantly as scrubs, too.
It's natural to crank up the heat when it gets cold outside. While it warms you up, it can make the air in your home drier. This can literally suck away the moisture from your skin. Try maintaining the temperature in your home between 68°F to 72°F for healthy skin, according to Everydayhealth.com. It will also help in keeping costs under the budget. Consider a humidifier, especially for the night, if the air gets really dry in your room.
No, this is not about shaving your skin off. It's about continuing to shave even during the winter. Most of us feel relieved that we don't need to wax regularly in the winters when we are clothed head to toe. But some experts explain how shaving can actually have some benefits, too. "Shaving doesn’t just remove unwanted hair: it also gently exfoliates the skin, which removes dead skin cells, allowing moisturizers to penetrate deeper into the skin layers and work more effectively," explains Dr. Sturnham. It is important to choose your razor carefully because the wrong one can exacerbate your skin sensitivity. Opt for a razor with a moisture bar for all seasons.
Juggling between work, kids, house chores, and family commitments can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Nothing causes havoc more than stress. Imagine just ten to fifteen mins of uninterrupted me-time once a week. Wash your face, put on a nourishing face mask, unwind in your room away from yelling kids and blaring TV. Or, play some soothing music and relax as the mask does its thing. This can be a welcome respite at the end of a long week or on a Wednesday when you need a mid-week pick-me-up.
There are many products available in the market that promise to lock in moisture and improve elasticity. The trick is to find the product that suits your skin type. A hydrating mask that can be applied overnight once a week can do wonders for your skin. You can also use the sheet masks that come in a variety of delightful flavors.
"Masks are helpful because they are occlusive, meaning they forcefully introduce the hydrating ingredients into the skin," Vivian Shi, a dermatologist and assistant professor at the University of Arizona, told Elle. The mask acts like a saran wrap for the skin, preventing the moisture from drying away.
This would ideally be the first and most important self-care tip, always and forever. Whether your goal is better mental health or glowing skin, nothing beats a goodnight's sleep and a healthy nutritious diet. While there are a lot of external products that can come to your aid, working from inside out is the best method of self-care. When you include foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and stress-busting ingredients, your skin's natural immunity will be high. Consuming at least six to eight glasses of water throughout the day, minimum alcohol and caffeine consumption, and seven to nine hours of sleep on a regular basis can do more magic than any lotion or salon visit can.
Also, don't skip the sunscreen, even on grey, cloudy, or cold days!