Though winters are known to be a healthy season, the dry, rough and cool winds of these months have a harsh effect on our skin, making it to appear dry, flaky and chapped said Dr D M Mahajan, Senior Consultant – Dermatology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.He said that winter season requires a dedicated daily regimen, which should include some steps to take care of the skin also. The outer layer of the skin called epidermis constantly peels off and rejuvenates.It is the most easy target of the vagaries of the environment. In order to preserve its delicacy and to prevent any problem arising due to cold weather, here are some important tips which, if followed, can help a better skin care in winters:The winter air due to low humidity can be very harsh and drying on some types of skin. Avoid exposing skin to freezing temperatures and drying cold winds. While going out, one should adequately wear warm clothing. Care should be taken to cover the hands, feet, ears and the head.It is tempting to take a hot and long shower when it is too cold. Remember, very hot water can strip the skin of its natural moisture. Warm water is skin-friendly, but if you ever want to bathe in hot water use it for a shorter period. Do not use any harsh soap. Instead, select a mild one which suits your skin.Ayurveda has since long stressed the need to adopt body massage as a part of the daily routine, and there is no better season than winter to gain its numerous benefits.
A 10 - 15 minutes’ pre-bath massage with oils like that of mustard, coconut or olive improves the texture and tonicity of the skin, removes dryness and maintains the youthfulness of the body. Those who are emaciated or have got their skin parched due to excessive dryness can use simple desi ghee for a pre-shower massage.Take special care to nourish the skin of the face, hands and elbows. Apply moisturizers to the skin immediately after a bath or shower while the skin is still wet.A cream, ointment or lotion, if put soon after the bath, spreads well and helps trap water in the upper layers of the skin and decreases dryness and itching. In dry chilly weather, wearing a light layer of natural balm like the clarified butter on the lips prevents their cracking.The skin of the feet tends to get dry and crack more in the winters. Treating it with a relaxing soak of warm water at night not only keeps the feet looking good but also facilitates a sound sleep. Applying the famous "jatyadi tail" on the hard and cracked crevices of the soles makes them soft and helps a faster healing. In extreme cold conditions and to prevent the chill blains it is better to cover the hands and feet in woollen gloves and socks.To provide nutritional support from within, Ayurvedic texts advise the use of a rich, wholesome and unctuous diet in winters. It should include a reasonable amount of milk, butter and cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables. Regular use of amla (Indian gooseberry), the richest natural source of Vitamin-C, promotes immunity, clears the toxins and provides good nourishment to the skin.