Cleanse: Wash your skin thoroughly on a daily basis to remove the dirt, debris, pollutants, and perspiration that have accumulated. If you have dry or sensitive skin, use only warm water to wash your skin and use a mild natural cleanser every few days. If you have normal or oily skin, be sure to wash with a gentle cleanser on a daily basis. Be sure to brush your teeth before washing your face, as toothpaste residue can irritate sensitive facial skin.
Moisturize: Unless your skin is very oily, you will want to use a moisturizer everyday to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Your skin needs moisturizer all year long as both the indoor winter heat, and summer sun can be equally damaging to your skin.
Protect: Use a natural sunscreen when possible, regardless of whether or not you plan on spending much time in the sun. The sun’s rays are very damaging and if you get in the habit of applying sunscreen everyday, you will never be left without protection. The sun’s most beneficial rays occur at sunrise and sunset.Never drink Tap Water.
Show Eczema the exit door – Eczema is an umbrella term for different kinds of skin inflammation. It is marked by dry, reddened skin that itches or burns. When skin becomes dry and irritated in winter, eczema can flare. Stay one step ahead by moisturizing frequently with an oil-based ointment that contains sunscreen. Sweating and overheating can also trigger the itch/scratch cycle, so dress in easy-to-peel-off layers. Ask your dermatologist about prescription treatments.
Put on lip balm or lipstick with sunscreen every time you go outside. Avoid being in the sun and wind too much. Don’t lick your lips — it may feel better briefly, but it only makes chapped lips worse.
An eye cream is normally quite safe for your eye area. Better choose a fragrance free eye cream, since they also tend to be more emollient than regular moisturizers.
Skiers and other winter athletes are at special risk of sunburn, because snow reflects sunlight. In fact, it bounces 80% of the sun’s rays back to us, compared to less than 20% for sand and surf. Even if you’re not hitting the slopes, you still need the protection of a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply daily, and reapply at least every two hours if you’re outside.
Citrus fruits are one of the healthiest foods. Their thick peel reduces the amount of pesticides and nitrates, which can otherwise penetrate it easily and are found in higher amounts in any other fruit. Citrus fruits are most commonly thought of a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, containing a particularly high amount of Vitamin C, which makes them the best defense for the immune system. Consuming several citrus fruits a day prevents flu and colds during the winter months. And best of all fruits makes your skin glow.
When the temperatures change, a change in your skincare routine is necessary. Get to know your skin a little, how it works and the effects of winter conditions on the skin. Then adjust your usual skincare routine a little and it will make a difference to your complexion during winter and help to improve the overall health of your skin.
With inputs from Dr.Satish Bhatia, Board Certified Dermatologist at the Indian Cancer Society Mumbai.