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Skin Care Essentials for the Harsh Winter

The cold winds, low humidity and the need to wear warm clothes often leave the skin feeling rough and dry. Take a look at how you should keep your skin looking vibrant and radiant this winter.

Fashion & Beauty By Dr. Sirisha Singh / Dec 24, 2014

Maintaining Great Skin This Winter

The harsh winter has kicked in and everyone is feeling the chill, and as we all know, changing seasons always play havoc with the skin. The cold winds, low humidity and the need to wear warm clothes often leave the skin feeling rough and dry. As the skin becomes sensitive, there is an increased risk of rashes and allergies this time of the year. Here are some easy tips to make your skin look vibrant and radiant this winter.

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Cleanse your Skin

It is imperative to cleanse the skin, but using the right cleanser is the most crucial decision to avoid causing excessive dryness. As the skin is naturally acidic with pH around 5.5, a pH neutral cleanser would be ideal for this time of the year. If you wish to use a non-medicated cleanser, then opting for a cleanser containing glycerin or mineral oils would be best.
Quick Tip: For those who prefer using natural cleansers, oatmeal, milk, gram flour mixed in yoghurt or raw milk are your options as they work as a very good cleanser and have the added benefit of hydrating the skin. Oils like olive oil, jojoba or almond oil may be used as make-up removers. Those who suffer from acne can use thermal spring water based make-up removers which are non-comedogenic.

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Moisturize your Skin

Moisturizing the skin is probably the most important part of skincare in winters. Those who have dry or extremely sensitive skin, using body butters or a moisturizer containing urea, lactic acid, 4-5 times a day would be ideal. People with normal skin may use moisturizers containing liquid paraffin, mineral oil or glycerin. Pure glycerin is also very good for the skin.
Quick Tip: During winter, lips, feet, elbows and knuckles need extra attention. While Petrolatum is very good for the lips, moisturizers containing glycolic acid can be used to gently take away the dead layer of skin cells around the heel and elbow.

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Scrub off the Dead Skin

Using a gentle exfoliating scrub will help you get rid of the dead layer of cells and enhance the benefits of the moisturizer. However, a scrub should be used only 2 times a week at best.
Quick Tip: Lightly powdered sugar in honey works as a good natural scrub, as the sugar exfoliates the skin and honey hydrates the skin.

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Apply Sunscreen

It’s a common myth that sunscreens can be avoided during winters as the visible light index is low and hence, one does not need to use a sunscreen. Exposure to UV light can cause premature ageing and pigmentation of the skin, so it’s advisable to use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
Quick Tip: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out and repeat it after every 2 hours. Using a lotion or cream-based sunscreen would be best as it will give you the benefits of UV protection and moisturizing the skin at the same time.

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Steer Clear of Toning

Avoid using a toner during winters as most toners are alcohol-based. It may result in excessive dryness of the skin. If you suffer from a particularly oily T-zone, a toner may be used only in this area.

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Revise your Skincare Routine

Changing your regular skin care products is important during winters, especially for those who use anti-ageing creams, which contain glycolic acid or retinoids, as they make the skin dry. You may have to mix it with a good moisturizer or the quantity applied may need to be reduced to give best results.
Quick Tip: It is advisable to see your dermatologist for a day time and night time routine suitable for this season.

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Face Packs

To keep dryness at bay, using a facepack is essential. A pack made of honey, fullers earth and rose water can provide you with deep cleansing and hydrating potential. The pack may be used 2 times a week.
Quick Tip: Lemon, vinegar and yoghurt can be used as fruit peels as they contain natural fruit acids. You can even add a bit of lemon juice to your regular facepack to peel away the dead layer of cells and also lay down collagen in the skin.

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Replenish your Anti-oxidants

The general body processes and exposure to UV light and environmental toxins produces free radicals in the body, which cause damage to cells and destroy them. Anti-oxidants are nutrients which quench these free radicals and thus prevent damage to the cells. Plant sources like fruits and vegetables are the best sources of anti-oxidants. The brighter the fruits and vegetables, the higher is the amount of anti-oxidants in them.
Quick Tip: Include tomatoes with lettuce, blueberries and yellow pepper in your diet, along with plenty of salads and vegetable juices. You can blend beetroot, carrot, leek, cucumber and aloe vera.

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