One of the biggest challenges that winter poses is the manner in which it impacts your skin and
hair. Chapped lips, cracked heels; flaking skin; ironically acne breakouts; dandruff; dull, lifeless
hair, and hair fall are some of the common issues most people face during winter. Dry skin and
dry hair are only two of the issues likely to affect you. Even so, these are likeliest to cause you a
great deal of distress, especially if you neglect them.
What started out as simply dry skin on one’s shins, or otherwhere could easily develop into sores, or skin ulcers. Uncontrolled dandruff won’t kill you, but will certainly cause significant distress and social discomfiture like itching, flakes on clothes.
In the long run, your scalp might get raw and crusty requiring a trip to the dermatologist. The solution lies in taking greater care of both your hair and your skin. So, here are some tips on how to protect your skin, especially lips and cheeks, and your hair.
Hand care is even more important in winter than it is in summer, or monsoons as rough hands can make you overly self-conscious. Just because using soap dries your hands doesn’t mean you stop washing them before meals, and at other times when it is imperative to do so. You can choose a mild handwash, a moisturizing soap-free cleanser, or a hydrating antibacterial gel. Be sure to towel dry them, and apply some moisturizer immediately afterward. Don’t miss out on using a hand lotion after your bath, and after you might have had to expose your hands to water and soap at any time such as while carrying out household chores. The lotion will heal the micro-abrasions to prevent your hands from drying out further.
Do this: Wear heavy industrial rubber gloves when doing the dishes or laundry. At night, apply some Vaseline petroleum jelly on your nails before going to bed. This helps in locking in moisture to prevent the skin from drying, or the nails from cracking.
A bright pink face might look rosy and healthy. However, when facial skin acquires that scalded appearance or begins to look like you have shingles, eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis; you should get proactive in your skincare. The cold, dry winds so common in winter dehydrate every bit of moisture from your skin. Always use lukewarm water, rather than hot water to wash your face or hands. This prevents essential oils from being stripped away. Keep in mind that foaming face washes roughen your skin. Cold winter winds tend to age the skin. Reverse that with the following tips. Get ahead to toe scrub using fresh milk. Just massage it in all over, a little before your bath. Use a natural loofah when bathing to scrub away the dead skin.
Smooth, glowing skin doesn’t mean you have to lather on cold cream morning and evening. You must use it before hitting the bed at night to allow the goodness seep in through the night as all cold creams are oil-based. If you have naturally oily skin or combination skin; you might want to use a water-based moisturizer. Since the winter causes more dead skin, it is vital to exfoliate regularly without causing any abrasions. Some ointments and face washes have exfoliating properties; especially those that have microscopic bits of ground diamonds. You could soak sugar in some olive oil, and let it sit for a while. Apply the sugar mask, and gently rub clean the face using circular motions. If you have oily skin, substitute the oil with fresh lemon juice. If your skin is very sensitive, try using soaked oats or grated apples as a scrub to exfoliate.
Do this: One of the best natural means of exfoliating dead facial skin is to make of face pack of lentils. Soak a cup of masoor ki daal for at least four hours. Grind it with the peel of a quarter orange, and half an inch stick of fresh turmeric. Whip the paste with two tablespoons of fresh cream (malai). Apply on the face, hands, arms, and feet half an hour before your bath. Gently rub off the dried mask before rinsing with lukewarm water. Do this once a week for the best results. However, if your skin is naturally dry, add a bit of coconut oil, olive oil, or glycerine to the paste. The turmeric heals any surface infection there might be. The lentil paste exfoliates the dead skin; while the fresh cream, oil, or glycerine enriches the skin itself. You can condition the face with some gulabbari or rose water.
The commonest hair problem in winter is dandruff, which is often confused with dry scalp. Dandruff is a condition that turns the skin oily, red, and scaly and is caused by seborrheic dermatitis. Unlike popular notions, dandruff is not dry skin. On the contrary, an oily scalp which is not cleaned often enough is likelier to harbor a fungus called Malassezia which triggers dandruff. The white or yellow scales flake off, creating dandruff which is as unsightly as it is embarrassing. You can try cleaning your hair once a week with a not-so-thick paste of curds and besan (Bengal gram flour). Apply, and leave it on for half an hour to a full hour. Rinse with lukewarm water. It will aid in bringing back the gloss to your hair, while fighting dandruff.
Shampoo daily: Incorporate a hair care routine which uses the right shampoo-conditioner-serum combo for your hair type. Ideally, shampoo your hair daily, or at least once every two days. When washing your hair use lukewarm water for washing your hair. You can use a mild shampoo or anti-dandruff shampoo in case you have a hair concern and use a conditioner twice/thrice a week, to avoid drying out your hair and scalp.
Drinking plenty of water, going easy on tea and coffee, and eating fruits loaded with vitamin C work wonders with the skin, and hair. You should provide your hair with adequate proteins, calcium, vitamin E, and natural oil to nourish it appropriately, and provide natural moisturization. Stress can cause hair fall. So, destress and add spinach, broccoli, peanut butter, avocado, fish, and almonds to your regular diet.