Fed up of dull, dry and flaky skin this winter? Give your skin that extra care by keeping it hydrated from within and moisturised from outside, suggest experts.
"The winter season can be brutal on your skin. Cold temperatures often mean low humidity, and that dries out the skin. Dry skin looks dull and lacks lustre. The mainstay of winters is to hydrate the skin and replenish the lost moisture," Mumbai-based cosmetologist Jamuna Pai said.
Hydration is important as it makes for a healthy functioning of the system and gives a boost to youthful-looking skin. "Skin can be hydrated in two ways - internally by drinking an adequate amount of water and taking oil supplements, and externally, by using products that hydrate and moisturise," added Pai.
RS Mishra, consultant of dermatology at capital-based Moolchand Medcity, insists people must follow the three-step skincare formula of cleansing, toning and moisturising. "This daily skin care routine is very important. Cleanser should be chosen according to skin type. Toning with non-alcohol based toner is essential, and the moisturiser should also be chosen according to skin type. Moisturisers containing honey and cocoa butter are good for skin (in winter)," Mishra said.
"If the skin is oily, lotion-based moisturisers can be used. And if the skin is dry, cream-based moisturisers should be used. It is a myth that oily skin should not be moisturised because if skin is not moisturised, oil glands start producing more oil," added Mishra.
Tanning can also be an issue during the winter season as people tend to step out to soak in the sunshine.
Keep a good sunscreen handy, advises Sangeeta Amladi, head of medical services at the Kaya Skin Clinic. "Do not forget to apply sunscreen daily, when you are exposed to the sun. Sunglasses are also a must," said Amladi.
She has other winter skincare tips too. "For instant brightening, one should use a Vitamin C facial, or else try an instant hydrating mask. For lips, use a balm that has moisturising features and SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15. "Avoid antibacterial soaps, alcohol-based toners, wipes or colognes. Avoid stepping into the hot and strong sun as it evaporates the trans-epidermal water and makes skin dry. Also avoid stepping out in extremely cool and windy weather," she addd.
Pai adds consumption of right nutrients is also key for healthy skin. "Due attention should be paid to consuming supplements of vitamins A, C and E, and minerals such as selenium and zinc. They have antioxidant properties, which repair the skin and promote skin healing.
"Essential fatty acids also have a beneficial effect on skin as they help combat moisture loss that would otherwise cause dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles," she said.