Everything You Must Know About Winter Skincare
Winter Skin Story: From Tight to Bright
So today’s post is going to be all about winter skin care.
Now, as you’re aware, it’s winter in India & I can already feel the stretch on my skin & so, I thought it’d be really helpful to incorporate a blog post about winter skincare essentials.
To be true, if you take care of your skin religiously, all year round, winter shouldn’t pose as a hazardous moment in your life. A healthy skin (skin well taken care of) is already armed with the power to defend environmental aggressions. So, it’s actually very important to follow a certain skincare routine daily, no matter what the season is.
Usually in India, I’d see TV shows are highly interrupted with advertisements of body lotions, petroleum jelly, lip balms, creams only during the winters. It is very sad to realize that 90% of Indian women care to use those products mentioned above, only in this very season while I find these them the basics that your beauty cabinet should be equipped with all year round.
However, let’s stop complaining & talk about winter skincare.
According to me, winter doesn’t come with liabilities that you’d have to change every other product you’d use otherwise but in fact, ideally it should be incorporation of just a few ingredients & if you take good care of your skin all year round, winter will be no different.
So let’s start with the basics of a skincare routine;
· Cleansing:Cleansing is the most important part in a beauty routine no matter what the season is. Please don’t assume I’m talking about the face only. Anything I mention in this post is about your body skin too, but alas, we neglect it so much that I’d have to remind you of that.
Proper cleansing is important for all skin types & becomes mandatory after you’ve come home from the outdoors. Ideally you should use a moisturizing body wash or a soap during the winters. While it may not be important for your face to change facewash in this season, but your body requires more moisture & tends to dry more after a wash & thus incorporation of a moisturizer in your regular body wash or soap is so important.
Generally I don’t recommend glycerin soaps that are so popular in India because according to me, they don’t cleanse properly. Get any soap/liquid wash with moisturizer in it. You can also add ½ tsp coconut oil in the water you’re bathing in.
Replacing your facewash for a more moisturizing one is not mandatory for oily skin types but it may be important to those with normal to dry skin. So act accordingly.
· Toning: Toning is important for those with mature skin. But especially at this time of the year, avoid any toner with an alcohol content at any cost,
Look for ingredients like White/Green Tea, Vitamin C/Q10 etc. for an antioxidant action. Serums can replace toners easily but since toners tighten pores, it may seem like a good option for those with oily skin too.
You can always use face serums with antioxidants like Vitamin C /E or hyaluronic acid.
· Moisturization: Moisturization is the second most important skincare ritual after cleansing & this is also mandatory. Usually a thicker cream is recommended for the winters.
Alternatively you can also add tamanu oil (a bit on the heavier side) in your regular cream/moisturizer to up it’s moisture content & as an added benefit, tamanu oil also helps in fading scars, skin brightening, nourishing and anti ageing.
Face oils can also replace regular creams if they’re moisturizing enough. I make my own by taking a carrier oil as a base oil (such as cucumber oil, watermelon seed oil etc.) & adding an array of my favourite essential oils in it. It not only brightens my skin but also works as a makeup primer.
Then, for body, cocoa butter or shea butter based body lotions give great results. Alternatively you can use plain olive oil as body oil. I love it & I always add vitamin E from a vitamin E capsule in my body oil & shake it well to add in some antioxidant benefits.
***Do not try this on your face because vitamin E is super oily & it smells like shit.
· Hydration:Many people confuse hydration with moisturization & it’s not their fault. It’s the mainstream media that feeds us a similar meaning & the words are used synonymously.
Usually moisture refers to the oil content & hydration refers to the water content. Have you ever come across a situation where your skin felt tight & dry but you’ve just applied a moisturizer, or maybe no matter how much moisturizer you apply your skin would feel tight, dry & uncomfortable????
Maybe yes & in most such cases, it was due to the fact that your skin was saturated with moisture (oil) but lacking water (dehydrated). This is the hallmark of skin dehydration.
There’s also a simple test of skin dehydration you can do. You can pinch your skin with two of your fingers & observe if it’s talking too long to get back to its tight self from the wrinkle formed from pinching. If it’s so, your skin is probably dehydrated. It is so, that if you’re terribly dehydrated, you may even see wrinkles on your skin (fret not, its temporary) temporarily.
Dehydration is a huge problem which becomes bigger during the winters because we tend to drink less water. Two ways can be employed to conquer such a situation:
1. Drink enough water & stay hydrated. Water requirement becomes greater if you work out a lot.
2. Apply a hydrating product (no, I’m not talking about a moisturizer). One such great thing is Hyaluronic Acid, which restores hydration & keeps it that way for real long. So if your moisturizer contains this magic ingredient, you’re fixed for now. If not, get a hyaluronic acid serum. Usually in serums, it is found in 1-1.5% concentration & it is enough to keep your skin in a good shape. These days, even some foundations & compacts are equipped with hyaluronic acid.
There is another traditional Indian way of incorporating some H20 in your skin. This is by taking direct steam on your face after cleansing it properly. You can boil some water & get that steam hit your face for 10 minutes (best done with a towel covering your face & the hot water bowl together to keep the steam from escaping). This has an added benefit.
Steam taken this way not only force feeds your skin with water, but also opens up your pores. So anything you apply on your face after this session would penetrate your skin better. So, apply a very nourishing cream after this. Although, I prefer a face oil.
· Exfoliation: Those with dry skin may not think it’s important at this time in the year but trust me, it’ll help you a lot. Dead skin build up doesn’t care what season it is & this is why you may feel your skin even more dry during the winters.
The same reason is why the label of a glycolic acid ointment reads that it helps conquer dry skin. You may incorporate this ingredient in your skincare routine. Now a days you may find glycolic acid in skin serums & creams & as this also fights signs of ageing, it’ll revamp your skincare routine this season for sure.
You can also try facewashes based on glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
For body skin, you may try this scrubàMix1/4 cup freshly crushed coconut with ½ cup flour & add ½ tsp milk. Mix well & rub this on your body skin. Keep this on for 10 minutes or until almost dry. Now slowly rub this off (don’t use water at this point) & you’d be surprised to see the amount of dirt coming out.
Now wash off with warm water & moisturize. So this atleast once a week & you’ll see the difference soon.
Also there is one DIY tip for feet & hands. Mix 1 tsp brown sugar with ½ tso olive oil & rub your hands & feet with this. Keep it for 10 minutes & wash off with lukewarm water. Always moisturize after mask applications.
Secondly you may incorporate the following ingredients in your regular face/body masks:
2. almond paste
3. peanut paste
4. olive oil
5. milk cream/malai
6. Essential oils like lavender oil, hazelnut oil, sandalwood oil, amber oil, myrrh oil, benzoin oil, sweet almond oil etc.
Also whatever you do, DO NOT FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF A SUNBLOCK. It is mandatory even when you’re indoors or wearing jacket/sweaters. Reapply every 3 hours. Ideally apply sunscreen on a clean face after applying a moisturizer of your choice.
So that was it & hope you enjoyed the post & I’d welcome you if you want to add more information on winter skin care & I’d ask you to kindly write them on the comments box below.
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