Dr. BL Jangid,
Skin Specialist, SkinQure
Winter can play havoc on your skin, stripping it off the moisture. The cold weather and low humidity levels rob the skin off its moisture. When aggravated, dry skin can lead to itching, rashes, cracking and in severe cases, even bleeding. If you think your skin is protected within the home because of air heaters etc, you couldn’t be more wrong. Indoor heat further robs the air of moisture, as do hot showers or baths and harsh soaps and cleansers.
While moisturising is a solution, it is a temporary one. What you need to do is to keep the skin looking youthful and smooth. Here are five most important tips to keep your skin healthy and comfortable in the winter…
1. Wash in Lukewarm Water
Hot showers and baths may feel comforting in the winter, but as far as possible, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.
2. Avoid Soaps
While on the subject of washing, it is important to assert that instead of soaps, body washes are a better option to stay clean in winters. If they are glycerine-based, even better. These will not allow your skin to dry , will maintain the skin oil to keep your skin moisturised. Cleansers can be extremely drying to the skin. If you’re used to using options that contain glycolic or salicylic acid, rotate with a more hydrating version that contains moisturizing ingredients. After cleansing, don’t leave the skin naked for more than 30 seconds, as this can dehydrate it, leading to increased dryness. Apply a hydrating toner and moisturizer to seal in moisture.
3. Moisturize Frequently
In winters, skin needs moisture more often and also mostly right after you wash your skin. In fact, the best time to apply moisture to the skin when it is damp. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower stall, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash. Also, one must choose moisturizer carefully. Some over-the-counter moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months. Choose a product that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, as it’s more likely to help your skin retain moisture in the winter. Opt for creamy formulations other than lotions. A cream-based moisturizer must be used at least 3-4 times in a day.
We all love to sunbathe and step out in the warm winter sun. But do remember that the winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun. So if you choose to step out in the sun, do wear gloves and scarves to protect the skin. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas. Also, when it comes to skin, it is important to choose the clothes you wear carefully. Wearing synthetics or wool right next to the skin is not a good idea. Wear warm clothes, but prefer to wear cotton within – especially right next to your skin.
5. Drink and hydrate
Water consumption reduces considerably in winters and we tend to drink warmer fluids like tea or coffee. But do remember that the skin needs to be hydrated from within, more so in winters. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time. Green tea is also a good idea because it contains antioxidants. This highlights the importance of proper nutrition to nourish your body from within. Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try fresh winter fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. In addition, also have Omega3 fatty acids, cod liver oil etc. to keep the skin supple from within. Omega3 fatty acids in diets and tablets to improve skin integrity
About Dr B L Jangid
Dr B L Jangid, MD Skin is one the top dermatologists of Delhi, with more than 10 years of experience in new treatments, technology and research into skin and hair problems, skin surgeries, hair transplant surgeries, Lasers and anti-ageing. He practices at SkinQure in Saket.