Our body needs hydration both inside out. But our water intake tends to reduce during the winter season, thus resulting in lifeless skin, says Vandana Luthra.
Winters are loved for cozying up in a fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate.
Though unfortunately, winters are not nearly as much for our skin as it is for us.
The drop in temperature lowers humidity levels in the atmosphere, thus stripping away our skin’s natural moisture every second of the day.
With no or limited care, the skin has a tendency to look dull, dry and in extreme cases, result in its cracking and bleeding.
All this can be avoided by making small changes in your skincare routine.
Here are some simple and easy tips to keep your skin soft and supple this winter season:
1. Smack on a lip balm
Our lips are probably the worst hit body part during winters.
This is because the protective layer on our lips, stratum corneum, is thinnest on our lips as compared to the rest of our body, making them more vulnerable to damage.
A good lip balm is a saviour for scaly, cracked lips as it infuses moisture back into them.
Ideally, opt for a lip balm which contains ingredients such as cocoa butter and SPF to shield your lips against harmful UV rays of the sun.
2. Say NO to long, hot showers
As much as a hot shower on a winter day sounds like a great idea, it’s really quite the opposite.
Our skin is shielded by watertight barriers in the form of fatty acids and ceramides that aid our skin cells by preventing it from losing moisture.
Hot showers strip away these natural lipids on our skin, thus making it more susceptible to dryness and irritation.
One simple advice is to replace hot with lukewarm water to wash your face and when bathing. Also, try to keep your shower time not exceeding 15 minutes -- it saves water too!
Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash.
Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin.
3. Sunscreen is your saviour
One myth people believe is true is that sunscreens are only for summers, which couldn’t be more untrue.
Sun exposure directly correlates to sun damage, be it summers, winters or any other season.
It is crucial to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen all year-round because the ultraviolet (UV) rays radiated by the sun are damaging to the skin, despite the low temperatures or overcast weather.
Opt for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above and apply it diligently every day to keep your skin safe and protected.
One of the best hacks to have a glowing and healthy skin during the winter season is to invest in a moisturiser, preferably one with natural and nourishing ingredients.
We need to moisturise our skin throughout the year and even more so in winters, due to lack of moisture in the air.
If you have a dry skin type, go for an oil-based moisturiser over a water-based one to give that extra dose of hydration to your skin.
Use a moisturiser with natural oils, as they tend to have natural, hydrating ingredients like lavender, chamomile, jojoba and aloe.
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body.
Consider some dollops of deep moisturising balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
Wake up to a glowing and supple skin next day!
5. Make water your best friend
It may seem that water is the solution to all problems and rightly so.
Our body needs hydration both inside out. But our water intake tends to reduce during the winter season, thus resulting in lifeless skin.
To solve this problem, make water your best friend. Carry a bottle everywhere you go.
You can also set reminders on your phone to drink water and set a limit to the number of beverages you consume.
Water is also in foods you eat; so, consuming food high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out.
Try apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots.
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin.
Vandana Luthra is founder and co-chairperson of VLCC group, an Indian beauty and wellness company that also offers skills training. Vandana can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.