Cold Weather Self Care Tips
I love this time of the year, when there is a nip in the air. But the season can also play havoc with your skin, leading to dry, flaky skin and chapped lips, if adequate care is not taken.
Dry skin suffers more than oily skin so if you have dry skin, you should follow these tips more religiously. However, the following measures are helpful for all types of skin:
1. Watch Your Diet
Your skin texture depends not only on external treatments, but also on your food intake. A proper nutritious intake helps in rejuvenating the skin from within. Water is essential for our body and a good intake of 3-4 liters daily should be maintained by all. This helps in retaining the moisture of your skin as well as keeping skin disorders at bay. Fruits and vegetables in your daily diet release a lot of water into your system. Primrose syrup / capsules and olive oil in your diet aid in softening the skin.
2. Moisturize Daily
Cold weather and cool winds aggravate dry skin condition. Moisturizers and cold creams are a must during winters. Tone and moisture after each cleansing to preserve and replenish the moisture in your skin. Use a moisturizing night cream every evening. Apply a daytime moisturizer around your eyes and on dry areas each morning, after a dermatologist's opinion on suitable brands.
Use the paste of ground green gram powder instead of soap to work your way to soft and supple skin if you believe in going natural. You can also mix it with curd / raw milk.
3. Oil Therapy
Pamper you skin with a little coconut oil before a bath to heal dryness and chaps. Use a creamy soap that renders that extra suppleness to your skin.
Wait 30 minutes after bathing, or washing your face, before going out into frigid air. Splash your face with cool water when you come back inside as it's known that extreme temperature changes can burst capillaries near the skin's surface.
Add a few drops of oil to the water that you are using to bathe. This will help retain the moisture lost when bathing. In fact, going for a pre-bath warm oil self-massage, called abhyanga, is highly recommended. Avoid using very hot water during winter as it can decrease the natural oils of your skin. Instead shorten your bath time.
4. Include Flaxseeds, Almonds, and Ghee
Although it doesn't necessarily taste fabulous, flaxseed oil can moisturize your body from the inside. Since it is rich in vital fatty acids, it can do a lot for your overall health. It is available in oil form as well as in capsule form.
Give your skin lipid support from within by including soaked and blanched almonds, soaked walnuts, whole milk, fresh cheese, and ghee (clarified butter) in your diet which will definitely add wonders to your skin.
The amla fruit (Indian Gooseberry) is the richest known natural source of vitamin C. Amla provides concentrated nourishment to the deeper layers of the skin. Take it on a regular basis to replenish the skin from within.
6. Lip Care
Avoid licking your lips and don't bite the skin on the surface of your lips. The skin will never have a chance to heal if you chew on it. It will end up becoming thicker, giving you black colored lips. This is a hard habit to break but well worth the effort.
7. Lip Balm
Keep lips covered with a good balm applied several times during the day. Lip balms are now commonly available with an SPF factor. Make sure the lip balm contains SPF 15 or 20. Other ingredients to look out for while buying a lip balm or chap stick are vitamin E and shea butter. Massaging lips with ghee (clarified butter) and leaving a thin layer on overnight acts as a natural protection for lips.
8. Hair Care
Don't go outside with your hair wet as you may risk breakage. Always apply conditioner before using blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. Cut down on the heat!
Who said sunscreen is only for the summers? The sun is out 365 days a year and be it summer, rain or winter, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Photo damage could result in early wrinkling, and increase in pigmentation can occur if one does not apply sunscreen during winter!