Depending on where you live, winter can bring with it extreme temperatures, cold rain, icy winds and dry weather that can take a toll on your skin. Such harsh weather often leads to itchy, irritated and rough skin, as well as damage to the capillaries in the form of blotchy, red, spidery veins and rashes. In cold weather, our skin’s sebaceous glands also become less active, leading to even more dryness. Mature skin is especially more sensitive to such problems. Today we will discuss a few effective winter skincare home remedies and tips to prevent these issues and get a natural, supple glow.
In the winter, our skin is exposed to dry and cold weather. There is little or no humidity in the air. We further damage our skin by sitting indoors in centrally heated homes and offices. As a result, the body tries to acquire moisture from its largest organ-the skin. This leads to dry, parched skin, which literally begs for moisture. Running a humidifier can help add a bit of moisture back into the air. You should especially use a humidifier at night, which will not only be great for your skin, but it will also prevent nasal dryness and sleep and respiratory issues that come with it. Remember: great sleep translates into great skin.
We cannot avoid winter conditions, but we can do many things at home to counteract these harsh effects. If your skin is regularly exposed to cold, harsh winds and sub-zero temperatures, you need to use richer moisturizers than you normally would use. Oils are great as they create a protective barrier on the skin and prevent moisture loss. Use olive or coconut oil on the face, hands and feet. Cover up with scarves, socks and gloves. Coconut oil even has an SPF factor which can be great for preventing UV ray effects.
Healthy fats like those found in olive oils, walnuts, avocados, coconut oil, etc., are very beneficial for healthy, glowing skin. Wintertime increases our need for these healthy oils so one must increase their dietary intake. Go for fatty fish like salmon and snack on nuts, seeds and dry fruits to get these essential fats inside you.
You might think that exfoliation is something you only need to do in the summer—but while that is true to an extent, you must still take care to remove dead skin layers. The difference is that you must be very gentle with your skin, which is already dry and irritated. Go for dry body brushing with a boar bristle brush. Boar bristle brushes gently stimulate lymph nodes and increase natural detoxification by throwing out sweat, toxins and other harmful ingredients that clog up the kidney, liver and excretory system. Before bathing, brush your body thoroughly with downward or upward strokes (towards the heart). This helps stimulate lymphatic drainage that give your skin a healthy glow. Do not apply any oil or cream prior to brushing. (That is the reason why it is called dry body brushing.) This is in fact an ancient ritual mentioned in Ayurveda (the centuries old Indian medical science). After brushing for about 10 minutes, take a warm bath to remove the dead, flaky skin.
Never use very hot water for bathing in the winter, as it strips natural oils off the skin, making it even more rough and irritated. Try to limit your shower/bath time. If possible, alternate between hot and cold showers as this helps stimulate blood circulation, making the skin supple and soft. You can also sink into warm baths infused with fresh or dried herbs and/or essential oils. Some of the best essential oils for winter baths are chamomile, ylang ylang, rosemary and lavender.
Water helps keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. If you hate drinking plain water, go for infused water. Try infusing seasonal fruits or simply make alkaline water by infusing 4-5 cucumbers and 2-3 lemon slices in 8 oz of water. You can also drink green tea, herbal teas or fresh juices to increase your fluid intake.
The following face masks can help add a natural glow to the skin during the wintertime:
These tighten, exfoliate and brighten dull skin. Mix egg whites with yogurt and apply to the face. Wash off after 30 minutes.
This is a great remedy for acne since honey is antibacterial and antiseptic. Raw honey can also reverse sun damage and cleanse out clogged pores. Mix organic, raw honey with any one of the following: aloe vera gel, pulp of strawberries, bananas, peaches, apricots, etc. Apply to the face and wash off after 30 minutes.
Colloidal oatmeal cleanses the skin and also gently scrubs and exfoliates pores. Oatmeal is particularly beneficial for those with dry, itchy and irritated skin. Mix ground colloidal oats with honey, yogurt, lemon juice or aloe vera gel. Apply to facial skin and wash off after half an hour.
Try out these natural winter skincare home remedies and tips to get the glowing soft and supple skin you desire.
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