For most of us in India, the winters bring relief from scorching sun and sweaty humid long summers. But along with it, the cold season causes uncomfortably dry skin for some of us.

In this post, we would discuss skin care tips for dry skin.

Problem of dry skin in winters


Skin becomes dry due to lack of moisture in outer layer of skin. The environmental humidity affects the hydration of skin. In winters, exposure to cold dry air with low humidity, excessive bathing in hot water and use of blowers and heaters worsens dryness of skin.

Dry skin is uncomfortable and unattractive. In a milder form, there might be a feeling of tightness, roughness, visible scaling and itching of skin. In severe form, there is flaking, cracking, fissures and even inflamed skin. If dry skin is not cared properly, it can cause early wrinkling and ageing.

Skin care tips for dry skin in winters


 

  • Avoid hot water for bathing. Hot shower strips your natural oil barrier from your skin. This oily barrier is essential to trap moisture and keeps your skin hydrated and smooth. So instead of hot water, use lukewarm water for bathing. Also, minimise your time for bathing warm water to not more than 10 minutes.
  • Use non-soap gentle skin cleanser or moisturising soap ‘syndet’ for bathing.
  • After bathing, pat your skin dry and apply moisturiser to your skin while it’s still slightly damp. It will help to trap moisture on your skin.
  • Apply a good moisturiser rich in ceramides,hyaluronic acid, glycerine, petroleum jelly, lanolin, mineral oil, stearic acid, shea butter etc. For a dry skin, moisturiser should be ointment or cream-based rather than a lotion. In our subsequent post, we would discuss all about moisturisers.
  • Make it a habit to apply moisturiser as a night cream daily.
  • Don’t forget to grease your feet with Vaseline at night.
  • Apply moisturiser on your palms everytime you wash your hands.
  • Most people have an impression that sunscreens are only for summertime. But it’s not true, as the winter sun can equally damage your skin. This is because people tend to spend more time outdoors under comfortable winter-sun. So, don’t forget to apply sunscreen of atleast 30 SPF half an hour before stepping out in sun.
  • Sunrays in snowy areas are more harmful for skin and eyes. Sunscreens and sunglasses are must in such areas.

 

 

dry skin care in winters

 

  • Don’t forget to apply Vaseline or preferably a lip balm with SPF 15 on your lips. Also try to cover your lips with scarves or hat with mask while stepping out in cold dry season.
  • While you cover your body with full clothes, pullover or jackets to protect from dry cold wind, don’t forget to wear gloves and scarves to protect your hands and face from dry cold wind that robs moisture of skin.
  • Avoid wearing wet gloves or socks. This can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or inflammation.
  • Stay warm by using woollen clothes and blankets, but avoid using blowers, heaters or fireplace. These heat sources reduce humidity of air and cause dryness of skin.
  • If your facial skin is uncomfortably dry, avoid using harsh peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners or astringents, all of which can strip vital oil from your skin. Instead of these, use cleansing milk or mild foaming cleanser, a toner with no alcohol, and hydrating face-masks. And use them a little less often.
  • Minimise shaving of skin during winters, as it can irritate dry skin and also scraps off natural oils from skin.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish, flax, walnuts, and safflower oil. Essential fatty acids can help replenish the skin’s natural oil-retaining barriers.

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Dr Monika Misra

Consultant cosmetologist at Dermacosm clinic
Dr Monika Misra is a consultant cosmetologist at Dermacosm clinic. She possesses more than 5 years of experience in dermatosurgical procedures, chemical peels, microneedling, and radiofrequency.
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