Skin & Hair Care for Winters
During the winter, cold temperatures and dry air can wreak havoc on even the healthiest skin. Keeping skin hydrated in these months can seem like an uphill task, but it’s important to follow a winter skin care regimen to prevent a potential skin problem.
- Switch to a mild face wash – If you are using a face wash that contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid, it’s time to switch to a milder face wash as exfoliating face wash can make the skin excessively dry and prone to dermatitis and breakouts.
- Don’t Skip the Sunscreen – It’s a common misconception that one can skip the sunscreen in winters. In fact, the level of Ultraviolet A is higher in winters and its UV A that is responsible for skin aging.
- Baths & Body wash – While, a hot bath is desirable in cold season, extremely hot water use or longer exposure to hot water can make the skin dehydrated. Short warm showers are recommended. Use mild fragrance free body cleansers. Also body scrubs and body washes containing exfoliants are to be avoided. Do not forget to moisturise immediately after a bath.
- Start the Moisturiser – Face, Body, Lips – Choose a good moisturiser with the help of your dermatologist in winters. There should be a separate one for face, body, palms/soles and lips. Do not use body moisturisers on face. Palms/Soles need stronger moisturisers than body. Cracked Lips and lip licking can cause lip dermatitis and pigmentation of lips.
- Cracked Feet – Cracked feet are common in winters, especially in Indian housewives. Again, prevention is better than cure. Using a strong moisturiser (containing urea and lactic acid), wearing socks after moisturising the feet, wearing slippers and not walking bare-feet in the house are some of the ways to avoid cracked feet. Once feet get cracked, it’s difficult to manage. Professional foot spas may help.
- Dry Hair – Dry Hair are a common problem in winters. Shifting to a sulfate free shampoo is a good option. Reducing the frequency of shampooing is recommended. Conditioner use after shampoo is mandatory. Using hair masque and deep conditioning can be beneficial for chemically treated hair.
- Tweak your Make up routine – Add a moisturiser to the make-up base to avoid cracking of make up in cold pressurised cabins like flights. Alternatively, spraying thermal spring water over the face adds necessary moisture to the skin without having to redo the make-up.
- Remove your Make up diligently – It’s imperative to remove make up before sleep in any season but more so in winters, because one tends to add moisturisers to make up base and leaving it overnight can cause clogging of pores and aggravate acne.
- Worsening of Eczema, Psoriasis – People who are known to have eczema or psoriasis tend to worsen in winters. Use of strong moisturisers, repeated moisturising, avoiding hot baths, avoiding air conditioned environment, avoiding visiting dry weather areas and any known potential triggers can help aggravating psoriasis or eczema.
- Tweak your skin care regimen – Visit your dermatologist to get advice on tweaking your skin care regime. If you are using a retinoic acid cream at night, you might have to reduce its concentration or duration of use. Salicylic acid or glycolic acid creams are to be avoided. Using unscented, hypoallergenic creams is advisable.
- Avoid strong Chemical peels – While peels and lasers are recommended in winters, if one has pre-existing dry skin, the stronger peels like phenol, retinoic acid and cosmelan peels are to be done with caution. Seek your dermatologist’s opinion before proceeding with skin peels.
- Professional Skin Treatments that can help you – If one has naturally dry skin, your dermatologist can offer you a host of procedures such as meso-hydration, PRP, Skin Boosters as per the skin.
- Oral moisturisers – Again, as guided by a dermatologist, there are oral preparations that contain ceramides, omega fatty acids, evening primrose oils that provide intense moisturising internally can aid those with excessively dry skin.