Nourish and replenish


SAFEGUARD YOUR SKIN : A moisturiser that contains wheatgerm, carrot seed and  almond is your best bet against the harmful effects of winter on skin.

There is very little we hate about winter. And from that list of few is dry skin. Dryness of the skin is caused by underactivity of oil glands. If there is a shortage of emollients in the body, the skin’s ability to hold moisture is affected.

Dry skin lacks both oil and moisture. The amount of moisture that the skin holds determines its texture — soft and smooth or dry and rough. Dry skin is usually coarse, fragile and also tends to flake easily.

So before the winter is upon us, we might as well take good care of our skin. The secret to glowing skin lies in the right kind of care.

The first sign of dry skin is through the appearance of tiny lines. In some individuals, these lines could be rough, red, flaky patches. Hence, a daily  moisturising routine is important. This also helps delay signs of ageing.

If your skin is very dry, avoid using soap while washing your face. A cleansing cream or gel containing aloe vera should be used instead. Aloe vera is a powerful moisturiser and an antioxidant.

Use a rich moisturising cream instead of a lotion. Apply sunscreen with high SPF (30 or 40) before stepping out. Keep the skin moisturised at all times and apply a layer of moisturiser under your make-up.

The next step to focus on in nourishment. Every night, after cleansing your skin, use a nourishing  night cream. Pick up a nourishing cream that contains ingredients like wheatgerm oil, carrot seeds and almonds as these are rich in vitamins A and E. Spread the cream lightly on the face. Adding a few drops of water to the cream can work up a lather while massaging your face or body.

While massaging, use gentle strokes, without pulling or stretching the skin.  Here is a routine for the different areas of the face:

Cheeks: With the index and middle fingers, massage the laughter lines upwards, across the cheek bones. These are on the sides, from the nose to mouth. Follow this with a massage for the sides of your face, till the temples.

Brows: With four fingers, start from the centre of the forehead, lifting the eyebrows, up to the temple.

Temples: With the index and middle finger, gently circle the temples, with eyes closed.
Eyes: With the lightest touch, use the ring finger to stroke the eye lid. Continue the massage routine for skin under the eyes.

Neck: Use both hands to lightly massage the neck in slow but firm movements.
Chin: Hold your chin between the thumb and index finger. Slide your fingers outward, towards the jawline.

Forehead: Massage your temples with three fingers in circular motion.

Once you are done with massaging your face, gently dab your face with a moist wad of cotton. The area around eyes is vulnerable to early lines and wrinkles as the skin is thin and delicate. After a light massage, apply an outer-eye cream around the eyes and wipe it off after 10 minutes, with moist cotton wool.

Make sure that you clear out all cream around the eyes before you go to bed. Cream, if left on overnight, can cause puffiness. The skin on the lips is also very thin and lacks sebaceous (oil producing) glands. To avoid chapped lips, remove lipstick and gloss from your lips every night.

Use a cleansing gel for this. Some lipsticks have a drying effect on the skin. After cleansing, apply an almond cream on the lips and leave it on all night. This helps soften the skin. A lip balm can also do the same for the lips. Apply almond oil, or milk cream (malai) for best results. 

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