Winter skincare tips for the millennial working women
The days of a working millennial woman start as early as possible while they end pretty late and ‘rest’ is now considered a luxury that she rarely gets. Each day has become a challenge for her as there are so many boxes she needs to tick to accomplish the long list of things for the day – from preparing her meals to household chores, the unending pressures of work and not to forget the in and out of the heating and cooling system that she endures daily. This kind of stressful lifestyle not only affects her health but also her skin. Adding to that, living in a polluted environment coupled with so many external factors ultimately leads to change the way her skin looks and feels.
In the cold weather, skin becomes drier, especially if it’s windy, because the moisture of the skin evaporates quicker because of the wind, and the skin doesn’t produce as much oil. Apart from dry skin, other common problems encountered in winter are chapped lips, dandruff, cracked heels, exacerbation of eczemas and certain skin disorders like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis etc. Thus, it is essential to take care of your skin even more.
* Avoid hot water showers. Keep your baths short. The thought of a long, hot bath on a cold winter day can be appealing but over-exposure to hot water can dry skin out even more. The intense heat of a hot shower or bath breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture hence it is essential to moisturise your body after a bath in winters
* After a bath, apply a moisturising lotion on the entire body on slightly moist skin. Use a heavy moisturising cream (one with heavy lipids such as cocoa or shea butter) or a rich cold cream for your hands, elbows, knees and feet paying special attention to the exposed parts. Moisturising is the key to rebalancing the skin barrier and replenishing your skin’s beneficial fats. Opt for skincare products that have fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides. A damaged skin barrier can take weeks or even months to repair
* Choosing the right body lotion as per skin type is very important; for dry skin, use a rich nourishing one; for normal/oily skin, use a light hydrating one. For face dryness, use a light moisturising cream and for hand dryness, keep a hand cream with nourishing serum always handy
* Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun can still damage your skin. Apply a moisturising lotion with lower SPF like SPF 15 to your face and sun-exposed parts of the skin. Reapply frequently if you stay outside for over 2 hours
* Use a lip balm or even ghee for your lips. Do not lick your lips as this will further dry your lips
* Avoid alcohol-based toners & astringents in winter as they will further dry the skin
* Avoid the air conditioners as well as room heaters for long hours. These will make the skin drier by ripping the moisture away
* If you are developing cracks on your feet, you need to also add a footcare regime to your daily schedule instead of pedicures once in a while. At bedtime, soak your feet in warm water with a few drops of almond or coconut oil for a few minutes. Exfoliate the dead skin with a pumice stone. Apply a thick moisturising cream; night moisturisation is critical. If possible, wear cotton socks all the time.
* Drink enough water to keep yourself well hydrated. Include flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, salmon, mackerels in your diet. These are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids & will help to keep the skin hydrated.
The skin mantra in winter: Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise… and keep your skin supple and smooth.
-- By Dr Jaishree Sharad, Celebrity cosmetic dermatologist, Medical Director, Skinfiniti Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, Mumbai