Winter cold leaves one’s skin dry, cracked and itchy. During winters, the air gets both cooler and drier due to low humidity. While the cold air constricts the blood vessels supplying the skin, sweat and oil producing glands, lack of moisture dehydrates skin cells, leaving skin rough, dull and flaky. If you want to beat your winter skin woes, then do things that would increase blood circulation and supply moisture to your skin. These simple winter skincare solutions will help you do just that!
Stimulate and Hydrate dry skin cells
- Revive the dehydrated skin cells by increasing your water intake. With cooler temperatures, your water intake may go down drastically, which can further dehydrate your cells. Make sure you consume at least 8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin well hydrated.
- Have hot and cold showers alternatively. This kind of shower improves your blood circulation and stimulates sweat and sebaceous (oil-producing) glands. Avoid excessive washing and be sure to use lukewarm or moderately cold water.
- Do not use harsh soaps or cleansers than can dry up your skin after washing. Choose mild and moisturizing products that are cream, glycerine or oil based to keep your skin soft and supple.
- Do not forget to moisturize your skin after a shower. Apply a good moisturising cream or lotion immediately after taking bath. Applying on wet skin will help trap the moisture.
- Exfoliate and massage once a week. While in shower, you can use any homemade or store bought body scrub to get rid of dead skin cells. Moisturisers and massage oils penetrate better when the skin is clean and exfoliated. You can make your own scrub by mixing oatmeal with milk and honey or sugar with extra virgin olive oil. After exfoliation, gently massage your body with almond oil or olive oil in circular motions and wrap yourself with warm wet towel for few minutes till the oil gets absorbed into the skin. Pamper your skin occasionally with a nutrient rich, deep moisturising face mask.
- Exercise helps you sweat and improve blood circulation. Moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day will do wonders to your skin.
- Use a room humidifier to retain the moisture in your skin
Look after your cracked heels and chapped lips
- If you suffer from cracked heels, applying a moisturizing foot cream or petroleum jelly at bedtime is an absolute must. Clean your feet with pumice stone to exfoliate any dead skin cells, apply a good foot cream enriched with Vitamin E and wear cotton socks before going to bed at night.
- If your lips are chapped and cracked, you might feel like licking them too often to get rid of the dryness. However, licking your lips frequently could worsen the problem. Although this will temporarily moisten your lips, constant licking will remove the natural lipids making them even more susceptible to damage from harsh weather. Instead, apply lip balms with natural oils like soybean or olive, bee wax , petroleum jelly and vitamin E. Mouth breathing can make your lips dry as well, so make a conscious effort to avoid mouth-breathing as far as possible. Seek professional help if any medical condition is preventing breathing from nose. Of course drink plenty of water to keep your lips moist and soft.
Watch what you eat and drink
There’s nothing more comforting than a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold winter day. Though most of us savour hot beverages like tea and coffee during winters, too much indulgence can rob your skin of moisture. Try to reduce the consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol and replace with more healthier and refreshing drinks like herbal teas and homemade soups. Hot milk with saffron, jasmine, chamomile or ginger tea, clear soups and green tea are obviously the best choices one could make. We cannot stress how important it is to eat fresh and healthy balanced diet. No matter how much external care you give and how expensive products you use, your skin will mostly reflect what you eat! While sugars and deep fried foods make your skin dull and lifeless, foods like Oily fish, nuts, avocados and Omega 3 eggs will bring out the perfect radiance. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, especially melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, citrus fruits and carrots. Since we tend to drink less water during the winter months, these fresh fruits and vegetables would compensate for that.