Summer has officially downed its shutters and has bid adieu for a while. You’re currently walking through the rustling autumn foliage which is covered in every shade of amber. Soon it’ll be replaced with harsh wintery winds, snow storms and icy sidewalks that’ll make you crank up the central heating, cover yourself in multiple layers of warm clothing and stay put (whenever possible). And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear your skin asking for a helping hand probably full of moisturizer. “Why,” you ask? Because the frigid climate is bound to unleash havoc on your skin especially because of low humidity. Icy cold outdoors and warm indoors removes moisture and natural oils from your skin which will feel dry and itchy. It might also get cracked and flaky and in some cases, may also lead to eczema. 

It is now time to make some changes to your everyday skincare routine. Just like you replace your summer wear with jackets and sweaters, your skin too needs a change of routine as well as products. What may have worked well for your skin in the hot weather, may not yield the same results when the temperature drops. Your skin’s needs change in different seasons and you must tend to it so that it doesn’t lose its luster.    

Here are some tips to keep your skin healthy and silky smooth in winters:

LONG HOT SHOWERS ARE A BIG NO

The idea of a warm, leisurely shower time when it’s all cold and grey outside sounds simply divine. It might be therapeutic for your soul but not so much for your skin. We’ll have to ask you to take it down a notch and not spend more than 10 minutes in a shower and make sure to use lukewarm water only. Hot showers will strip your skin of moisture and natural, protective oil leaving it dry. Since hot water evaporates quicker and if you don’t moisturize immediately, your skin’s cracks when exposed to the air will feel extremely itchy. 

Also, keep in mind to use a mild soap for your body. You may pick soaps with coconut, olive or palm oil in them. For your face, use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser. Avoid exfoliating your skin regularly because it can further dehydrate your skin. Once a week is just fine.

MOISTURISE IMMEDIATELY

No surprises here. It may be pouring hard, snowing, or you might be outside soaking up some sun, but you never skip moisturizing your skin at least two times a day. The best time to do it is when your skin is still damp after a shower because it’ll help seal in the moisture/hydration. So don’t forget to keep a bottle of moisturizer next to your bathtub. In winters, you must opt for an oil or a cream-based moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid for a smooth and supple skin.

If your skin is too dry, then gently massage using essential oils like jojoba, coconut, argan, olive or lavender. Coconut oil is highly recommended for its anti-bacterial, anti-oxidizing properties and makes an excellent moisturizer for your skin. You must avoid applying it directly if have oily skin which is prone to acne. In this case, you can pour a few drops of the oil in your moisturizer and use.

HYDRATE YOURSELF 

We tend to avoid drinking water in cold weather because we don’t feel that thirsty. We also substitute water with piping hot beverages like cappuccinos or hot chocolate which can dehydrate your body. There’s no perfect substitute to good ol’ H2O. When your intake of water insufficient, it’ll also show on your skin. Soups and organic teas are nutritious for you but don’t forget to keep sipping water now and then. Keep a refillable bottle right next to you wherever you go and make your skin happy and healthy. 

It is also a good time you invest in a humidifier if you haven’t already. The moisture in the air indoors is often eliminated due to various heating systems in our homes leaving it dry. A humidifier will restore the moisture in the air as well as your skin.   

WINTER FOODS FOR HEALTHY GLOW

Everyone is drawn to comfort food during this season, but don’t forget to gain the most out of seasonal veggies and fruits. Grab some carrots which are rich in beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A. It will nourish your skin as well as boost your immunity. Kale is another great vegetable which is rich in vitamin A, K, and C (boosts collagen). Broccoli is an excellent source of folate that helps in cellular repair and also helps fight fine lines and wrinkles. Remember to stock up cherries which are full of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Next in line is Omega-3 fatty acids that will keep your skin hydrated, supple and prevents wrinkles. Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are major sources of Omega-3 fats. You can also include chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts in your diet.     

What you apply on your skin and include in your diet can be overwhelming at times. If unsure of what would work best for your skin and have certain allergies, consult with your dermatologist or a physician. There are other factors too that you need to keep in mind that’ll help you stay away from skin ailments and keep it smooth and young. Like, protect your skin for your blustery winds that can leave it chafed and irritated. Wear your hand gloves and also cover other exposed parts of your body. Do exercise on a daily basis even if it includes spending 30-40 minutes on a treadmill. You’ll sweat your toxins out and increase the blood flow that’ll give you a natural glow as well.