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How to protect skin this winter?

Posted Oct 26 2010 11:30am
Autumn is giving way to winter. By the time Diwali would come, winter would officially declare itself. Its time to change your beauty routines to accommodate the change in climate and lifestyle. Whether you live in tropical, dry, temperate or cold climate, the air in winter is drier as compared to that of the summer in the respective areas. Thus, you need to lavish more pampering on to your skin.

Your skin care starts with taking baths. Remember what I said about bathing too much . A must follow advice or you will see the repercussions soon enough. And, an advise from me would be to couple your baths with oil massages . That would prevent your skin from drying. In case oil massages become too much time taking and demanding, you can pour 2 teaspoon of your favorite oil to your bath. The oil will keep your skin moisturized. Follow with moisturizing your body on the damp skin. Keep the temperature of water low. Do not take long baths in any case how so ever tempting they might be.

Do not stick to the heaters and blowers in winters in case you live in cold climate. Exercise well to make your body tolerant to cold. That would also bring a pink glow on your face. Wear a lot of clothes to protect yourself from cold. Heating equipments burn the oxygen in the room and deprive you from all your moisture.Always avoid extreme temperatures as they simply lead to cracking of your skin and trust me you do not want to see the worst of it. People living in hilly regions would be knowing about that.
The air in the winter is really drying for the skin no matter where you live. The dryness generates a lot of static electricity in the skin and wearing woolens worsens the situation. So, invest in a good humidifier.Or, place a mug full of water in the room.
Drink lots of water. No one feels like drinking water in winters. But, that will surely lead to dehydration. Compensate with drinking fruit and vegetable juices instead of just plain water. Add lots of fatty acids and oils to your diet. That will keep your skin moisturized from inside. 
Moisturize the skin a lot. In  the instant you feel dryness, apply moisturizer or oil immediately. At night, you can also compensate with milk cream or white butter. Coconut oil is the best if you go for oils. Buy heavy moisturizers. look for products rich in shea butter and cocoa butter. In case you do get pure unrefined shea butter, nothing is better than that. Pay special attention to your elbows and knees otherwise the skin around them would get rough and darker.
Cleansing and exfoliation are two things which should be done properly in winters. Anything excess would make your skin dry and less would make your skin dull. Go for homemade products in exfoliation. Do not exfoliate more than twice if you go outside regularly and once is enough if you rarely venture out. For cleansing, either stick to your favorite cleanser or go for homemade ones. Oil cleansers are good idea in winters even for oily skin.

In winters, you would find sometimes (especially at very low temperatures) that you feel like scratching your skin. I have seen my mom do it many times. That is because of the excessive dehydration of your skin. At that time, apply a moisturizer or oil and massage it slowly into your body. Oil is always better as it gives fatty acids into your body and keeps it nourished from inside instead of outside. And, improve your diet as indicated. Food is the only thing which can keep you well in winters. Eat lots of eggs and fish if you can. Otherwise, depend on lots of seeds of every kind. Do not forget nuts, any kind of them. You can go on a binging spree without any qualms.
Skin tends to get darker in winters. There are various reasons for it. The first on my list is excess exposure to sun. People love to bask in the heat of sun in winters. Do not forget a sunscreen if you are one of them. The second is dry air. It sucks out the moisture from your skin. You can do nothing except keep the water levels inside your body at a high and nutrition very controlled. Avoid junk foods which we do binge more in winters. Do not go for bike riding or long car drives in open. The third is obviously the friction and static electricity which I mentioned above also. This can be avoided by wearing cotton clothes first and then covering with woolens. Wearing multiple layers of clothing also helps prevent cold than a simple jacket. The fourth reason is excess exposure to heat. So, stay away from heaters, save electricity and keep yourself in check by exercising regularly. Use more blankets. The last reason is over application of moisturizers. If you just keep on slathering moisturizer in layers on your skin, the pores will get clogged and your skin starts to look dull. 
[These tips are for everyone no matter what climate you live in. I am sure you would be able to relate to something or other here. I would surely love to hear any ideas which you might have for winter skin protection.]
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