Winters are truly magical with the warmth it brings and the Christmas movies we binge or the New Year parties that keep us up all night but they can turn out to be an unruly affair if our skin is not taken care of since with the drop in the temperature, our skin becomes dehydrated, unhappy and dry. Hence, having a skincare routine that is well suited to the winter season is of primary importance.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dermatologist Dr Aparna Santhanam, Dermafique Skin Expert, shared, “In winter, our skin is especially dehydrated; one needs to mould one’s skincare routine to enhance the skin barrier. Ideally, one should hydrate and moisturise adequately, resulting in the skin looking great but everyone’s skin is unique and the weather conditions affect each person differently, so finding the correct balance between both is essential. Ask the following questions to make this process easier – Is your skin dehydrated, as in does it feel tight and stretchy, especially in the mornings? Does your skin need moisture, as in: are your pores and fine lines visible, especially when you wash your face? Are you both dehydrated and lacking moisture? If your answer to all of the above questions is yes, then your skin is trying to send signals for nourishment, to rediscover your natural, healthy glow and to step up your hydration and moisturisation efforts equally.”
She suggested, “A smart practice is to apply products on top of cleansed, damp skin to actually lock the moisture in the skin and reinforcing it with your skincare but this needs to be carried out in an effortless, easy to do manner. Keep your skincare products in the bathroom; after a shower is the best time to apply moisturiser to damp skin, whether it is your face or your body. The benefits multiply manifold when your moisturiser contains a humectant (something that pulls in and locks in moisture like hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid or glycerine) along with enriching ingredients like Niacinamide and Vitamin E. These simple changes will help prepare your skin for change in temperature and be winter ready with dewy, well hydrated and moisturised skin.”
According to Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, Aesthetic Physician and Founder of ISAAC Luxe (International Skin and Anti-Aging Centre), to overcome this whole menace and to make our skin and health happy, one should always maintain a healthy and a balanced diet. She recommended, “Include seasonal fruits and vegetables that will help build your metabolism. While this may seem as an obvious thing to do, it is one of the most important and underrated qualities that will help build you and your skin. Afterall, if you are healthy, your skin will glow and shine. Include multivitamin supplements in your diet to maintain moisture and hydration of skin. People always had a preconceived notion when it comes to multivitamin supplements that it is a medicine. As the name suggests, it is a supplement to your diet that helps in accentuating your health.”
She added, “Invest in a creamy or a hydrating cleanser to remove dirt and impurities away. Include serums with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C and follow sandwich and moisturize with ingredients like glycerine, ceramide and hyaluronic acid. Exfoliation is a must to give your skin an extra boost and shine. Hydration is a key. Have warm green teas or other potent ingredients that help boost your immune system. Avoid caffeinated drinks.”
Swagatika Das, Founder of Nat Habit, said, “Winter comes with its set of specialties and challenges. While the layering on clothes, hot chocolate and bonfires are winter specialties that we love, winter also comes with its set of self-care challenges. On one hand, excessive coldness brings rigidity in the body and muscles, disturbing blood circulation and dropping down the temperature of the body. On the other hand, excessive dryness increases water evaporation from skin, making our skin dry and dehydrated. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends special winter-rituals during the season.”
She advised some absolute must-haves during winters:
1. Hydrate the layers of the skin with a good body moisturiser
Hydrating the skin layers with butters and oils and making sure that the moisture is locked in will ensure the skin feels hydrated. We recommend choosing moisturisers that are either water based or heavy oils and butters based along with spices, herbs and seeds. Glycerin content in reality is an alcohol. It is a humectant and so applying glycerin on skin makes you feel like there is moisture on your skin. However, it tends to bring out not just water but lipids out of your skin leaving your skin dry too soon. Instead, opt for natural ingredients such as milk, curd etc that are a great moisturisers.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate your face!
Our face has a more complicated cellular structure. So that’s why face creams and body moisturizers are usually different. The face mostly needs a slightly lighter moisturizer than the body. Also, different age groups have different concerns, for instance older age group might need to focus on fine lines while younger age group may want to tackle acne. Opting for light moisturiser may mean that you are not providing enough moisturisation. Also choosing a moisturiser not suitable for your age may mean right concern is not addressed.
3. Don’t forget the part most exposed to surfaces – your hands!
Our hands are that part of our body that is most exposed to rough surfaces, water and dirt. The layers of the skin therefore is more prone to dryness and roughness. Early signs of ageing of skin such as wrinkles and fine lines also start appearing on our hands way before the rest of the body for the same reason. Look for a good hand cream that will help keep the moisture intact under the hand’s epidermis. A butter based moisturiser will also help in preventing brittle nails.
4. Warming your oil or using an oil warming in nature
Most ritual-followers of haircare warm their oil on double boiler before applying. It increases absorption and penetration. Blood circulation also increases, reducing hairfall. Alternatively, using base oils that have a warming effect on scalp will help during winters. People wash their hair lesser during winters, leading to more and more use of dry shampoos and in-parlour washes. You could also add in a leave-in serum or post-wash hair balms to help in managing frizz caused from caps, mufflers and hot-water hair-wash. They will also provide moisturization and doesn’t require washing it off.
5. Ghee based moisturisation for chapped lips
Chapped and dry lips during winters need extra moisturisation as compared to the rest of the year. Ghee is not just a great source of hydration, but also provides the required nourishment. Add to that, honey, a natural humectant, will help seal the moisture in.