As the winter chills set in, the need for covers and layers rule the wardrobes too. Then there are cosy sessions with warm and rich foods, heaters and fireplaces….well, you get the picture!!
While you look for respite from the winter woes, slot in a rescue plan for the skin too.
Before we get into exploring the wonders of nature for optimum skin health, let’s get a few basics sorted first.
Opt for a heavier moisturiser
The skin needs heavier moisturisers to find relief from the winter chills. Richer textures help to protect and nourish the skin better against the cold, dry winds.
Look for ingredients like Silicones, Shea Butter, Honey, lipids and ceramides in your winter moisturisers.
Aloe Vera is an all- rounder, whether it’s in the moisturiser or serums, any time of the year.
It helps to ask for professional advice for the perfect option for your skin type before investing your hard-earned dollar in just any moisturiser.
Nourish the skin with layers
Build the barrier through layers. Just like you layer the body with clothes for protection against the cold, the skin also benefits by layering nourishing serums under the richer moisturisers.
There are plenty of well-performing serums on the market today. A few of my favourites are serums with Vitamin C, almond oil, rosehip oil, jojoba and hyaluronic acid.
Oilier and younger skins need lesser layers than dry and mature skins.
Regular weekly exfoliation and mask
Layers and rich textures offer great relief and protection from the cold weather. But the downside is that it can lead up to a build-up on the surface of the skin.
Exfoliation clears up the build- up of dead skin cells and refreshes the performance rate of the skin.
A mask right after exfoliation seals in this freshness in the skin.
Oxygenate skin cells through exercise
Breathe freshness in the skin cells through exercise. Daily exercise not only keeps the sluggish feeling away from the body, but also helps to increase circulation and oxygenation in the topical layers of the skin; a sure shot way to enhance skin radiance from within!
It gets harder to keep up the water intake in the winter months. Yes, there is hydration through the foods, salads, herbal teas etc., but water, pure and simple, has no substitute as such.
Try adding a few drops of lemon in your water. Vitamin C helps to build the immunity against colds and helps with skin radiance at the same time.
Room temperature water is the best for the body.
Warm (not hot), water; few minutes after the meals, helps to digest the food better. It aids in the nutritional absorption of the food better, which will reflect on the skin too.
Rich foods and sugars are compelling comforts against the winter blues. But these comforts come with glorious calories and, sometimes, as breakouts on the face!
Trick is to eat with a smaller spoon and swirl longer in the mouth….you will satisfy the craving better even with a smaller intake.
Try to minimise the intake of such foods in the evening, so that the skin (organ of elimination) doesn’t have to work too hard in throwing toxins away, in case of breakouts.
Regular exercise will help minimise cravings due to the increased endorphins.
On the same note, regular skincare will help to keep breakouts at bay too.
If breakouts appear, do not squeeze (it spreads the infection in the layers).
Try topical spot applications with Salicylic acid for faster and effective healing.
Milk has lactic acid. It can work wonders on skin sensitivity.
Milk will help to increase hydration levels in the skin and add a gentle exfoliating property to your cleanser.
Try adding it to your cleanser at night time, two to three times a week for an added oomph to the skin. But make sure the cleanser has no AHAs or BHAs or any exfoliating properties to start with.
Turmeric has been the buzz word in the health and beauty industry for centuries. It has immense anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, amongst its multitude benefits.
It helps to heal and strengthen the body from within, which reflects through the skin.
Try adding a fat pinch of turmeric powder in ½ a cup of warm milk as a night cap. Sip the warmth for a relaxed, comforted sleep through the winter months, and wake up to a healthier happier YOU! (Better sleep slows down the ageing process too).
If you are lactose intolerant, try it with warm water.
Avoid or minimise alcohol intake, and check for contraindications with any medication while trying the above (try for a 3 week period to see if it is for you).
Honey has natural humectants. It binds the moisture from other ingredients to the skin and helps give topical antioxidants to the skin.
Add a few drops of this natural nectar to your mask through the winter months and see the difference! Again, please check that the mask has no exfoliating properties, charcoal or retinol added to it, before adding honey.
Now something for the body too!
Massage the entire body with 1 tablespoon each of honey and chickpea flour (or plain flour); and 2tablespoons each of aloe vera, milk and warm olive oil before shower once a week. Rinse and pat dry all over. Moisturise according to your skin type. Enjoy the invigorating, nourishing smoothness.
(Increase the amount of milk and avoid olive oil if you have an oily skin or are prone to breakouts)
So, go on, crack the winter code!!