Winter is upon us. The season of dry skin, chapped lips, and the urge to load your skin with moisturiser to stay hydrated. Just like your wardrobe which needs a revamp during winter, your skincare routine needs to change as well. What worked for your skin during monsoon, need not necessarily work during the dry, cold months of winter. And, to get you winter-ready, here are some easy tips that will help your skin sail through the winter smoothly.
Note: Consult your dermatologist if you have sensitive skin or are using medicated products before beginning a new routine.
More is more: When it comes to moisturising in winter, use a moisturiser that is rich in ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, and jojoba oil. There is no golden number as to how many times you can use your moisturiser. Use it multiple times a day if you feel the need. Hyaluronic acid, urea, and lactic acid-based moisturisers can be added under regular moisturisers for an extra layer of hydration. Use a lip balm with petroleum or lanolin or beeswax multiple times a day for chapped lips.
Do away with foamy face cleansers: During winter, avoid using foam-based products or ones that lather. Instead, use a cleanser rich in cetyl with stearyl alcohol. These hydrate your skin while cleansing it. Such ingredients also offer additional hydration to the skin, not leaving your skin stripped of its natural oils. Look for words like ‘gentle’ and ‘moisturising’ on the label.
Limit hot showers: Standing under warm water might seem divine in winter, but it does more harm than good to our skin. It’s recommended to use lukewarm water and limit bathing time to five to 10 minutes.
Beware of bathing products: No harsh scrubs or exfoliants are advised in winter. These strip skin cells and make the skin prone to dehydration. Use non-particulate, gentle body wash. Alkaline soaps need to be swapped with syndet bars in winter. It is a cleansing bar or liquid-made bar with different products.
Reduce the usage of products that can cause skin irritation like retinoids and skincare acids. You don’t need to stop usage completely, cut down the amount of the products by half of what you use in summer.
Do not forget sunscreen: Even in winter, UVB radiation is strong enough to cause major skin damage. UVA radiation can accelerate ageing, and cause sun spots, pigmentation, leathery skin, etc. It’s advised that you use sunscreen with a cream base, SPF 30 and PA+++, indoors or outdoors.
Moisturisers: Since the skin on our body has fewer oil glands compared to the face, it’s more prone to dehydration. Lanolin, shea butter, mineral oil, petroleum, and hyaluronic acid are great molecules to consider in body moisturisers.
Keep hand cream handy: After every hand wash, use non-greasy hand cream to replenish lost moisture. Use hand creams which have jojoba oil, shea butter, and dimethicone.
Don’t skip exfoliation: Dead skin cells accumulate even in winter and when you moisturise, you’re rehydrating your dead skin cells. Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells. Use gentle exfoliation with salicylic acid or glycolic acid-based body washes one to two times a week.
Skin treatments to restore moisture: Gentle lactic acid peels and hydrafacial are treatments to consider in winter. The peels subtly exfoliate your skin and hydrafacial adds moisture and lustre to your skin.
Face masks: If you are fond of using face masks, the ones with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C should be considered. They brighten up your skin and give it a quick moisture boost.
[Dr. Jushya Sarin - M.B.B.S., M.D. (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy), MRCP (SCE), UK]