When the days shorten and the temperature dips, your psyche and your skin may both rebel against the changes. Seasonal changes are normal, and one way to boost your psyche is to pamper and nurture your skin back into its natural healthful, glowing state.Without a change in your skin care routine, skin tends to dry and flake in the winter, regardless of your skin type. Moisture in the air is scarce, and even scarcer inside thanks to artificial heat. The cold wind beating against unprotected skin results in windburn, and you can get sunburn in the winter as well. Skin was not meant to withstand continual assault for three or more months each year.There are steps you can take to protect your skin. You’re protecting more than your beauty, you’re protecting the body’s largest organ. Follow the tips and tricks below to normalize your skin during the year’s harshest season.
1. Start your day with an ancient Ayurvedic ritual: drink a hot glass of water with lemon juice to assist your body in removing toxins.
2. Nourish your skin from the inside. Eat right, take proper vitamin and mineral supplementation, exercise regularly, and sleep right. It’s winter for heaven’s sake—nature hibernates. Crawl into bed an hour early with a hot beverage and a good read.
3. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin and offset the lack of humidity. Alcohol, coffee and tea dehydrate the body, so while your liquid intake may be higher in the winter, make a special effort to include hydrating beverages. If you really don’t like the taste of water, add lemon or lime juice, or eat more foods with a high water content.
4. Incorporate another Ayurvedic practice: brush your dry skin with a skin brush before your daily shower or bath. Not only does this practice remove dead debris from the outer layer of the skin, it encourages toxin release as well.
5. Limit your exposure to hot water. Warm water will cleanse the skin just as well as hot water without the drying effect. A hot bath every now and then isn’t going to damage your skin, especially if you’re soaking in a pampering bath with sea minerals or pure essential oils, but avoid regular hot baths. Quick showers in warm water help minimize excessive drying. End your bathing routine with a skin oil, lotion, or butter.
6. Switch to a heavier, richer facial moisturizer to lock out winter’s harsh elements and to seal in moisture in over-heated rooms lacking in humidity. A moisturizer with humectants attracts moisture, while one with emollients locks in the moisture. Moisturizers with humectants are lighter than emollient-rich moisturizers, so your skin type will dictate which one you should use. If you’re still using products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), discontinue their use during the winter, and replace them with enriched products containing vitamins and botanicals. You might also need to change to a richer makeup foundation. Even in the winter, your foundation should contain at least some Sun Protection Factor (SPF).
7. Wear lip protection. Forget any nonsense you may have heard about your lips “becoming addicted to moisture.” They require moisture, because they contain no oil glands. If your lips chap before you switch to a more emollient lip balm, exfoliate with one of the new lip exfoliants. A lip balm with any of the butters, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, etc., is a good choice. A waxy lip balm serves a dual purpose; it keeps lipstick in place as well as sealing in moisture. Reapply as often as necessary.
8. If you like your environment on the warm side, run a humidifier to add moisture to the air. The warmer you keep your environment, the less moisture in your air.
9. Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week and your face as needed to remove dead, flakey skin. Hands and feet require more frequent exfoliation in the winter. You’ll find that your heels flake and crack more in the winter. Follow exfoliation with a rich moisturizer. You don’t need to spend a king’s ransom on special hand and feet exfoliants. You can create your own concoction with salt or sugar and a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil. This blend exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time. Add a little essential oil, and you have your own high-priced product for pennies on the dollar. Rub into your hands and feet in a gentle circular motion, and rinse well. For extra-deep conditioning, exfoliate right before bedtime, moisturize, and don gloves and socks while you sleep.
10. Protect your skin from the elements. If you spend time outdoors, particularly skiing, add a sunscreen to your regimen. In the winter, brisk winds add to the damage from the elements. Your body may not feel warm, but you can still get a sunburn. Studies show that we receive more ultraviolet rays in the winter than was previously thought.
You may find that your winter skin-care rituals require more time, and that you must be more vigilant in caring for and nurturing your skin in the winter months. The good news is that proper care and feeding of your skin during the winter months will pay off in skin that’s summer-ready when the seasons change.
This series has been sponsored by Depilex F-8 Islamabad, join their social media: