Dealing with winter dry skin

KEEP IT SOFT

Dealing with winter dry skin
Winter season brings with it dry skin that feels hard and itchy. Dryness of the skin is also caused by under-activity of the sebaceous, or oil-producing glands of the skin. Due to a lack of oil, the skin’s ability to hold moisture is hampered.

Seasonal changes, atmospheric conditions, exposure to the sun, air conditioning and heating, soaps and chlorinated water, cosmetics and air pollution can aggravate the problem, by causing further moisture loss.

Moisture is most important to the skin as it keeps it soft, smooth and supple. Moisturising your skin should play an important role in your skincare routine. The skin absorbs moisture in the form of an emulsion of oil and water. Therefore, the only way of dealing with the problem is to apply moisturisers daily. Dry skin also needs daily nourishment by way of application of rich creams, so that the skin receives emollients and is able to hold moisture better.

For dry skin, hydrating packs containing natural ingredients like honey, orange juice, aloe vera, cream of milk (malai), curd, pure almond oil, egg yolk, etc can be used. Fruit packs are also useful. Honey and aloe vera are powerful moisturisers. Honey attracts moisture to the skin, while aloe vera softens and moisturises it.

To help your skin deal with the winter dryness, here are some rejuvenating face packs that can be made at home:

Aloe vera effect

Aloe vera is a natural moisturiser and helps the skin retain moisture effectively. It is an antioxidant and protects the skin from oxidation damage, thus delaying the visible signs of ageing. It also keeps the skin soft and has many healing properties. Aloe vera gel or juice can be applied directly on the skin daily. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with plain water. 

Avocado glow

Avocados are extremely beneficial for the skin. They contain vitamins and fatty acids, which nourish the skin and improve its texture. Olive oil also nourishes the skin and provides emollients (that soften or soothes the skin) in winter. Curd helps to restore the normal pH balance and honey is a humectant — it attracts moisture to the skin. Mix together one ripe avocado with one teaspoon each of olive oil, curd and honey. Apply on the face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash off. 

Nuts & more

Wheat bran and ground almonds help to soften and remove dead cells. This helps the skin’s ability to absorb products.

Almonds and egg both nourish the skin and this helps the skin’s moisture retention. Take two teaspoons choker (wheat bran), one teaspoon each of ground almonds, honey, curd and egg yolk or rose water. Mix them together and apply on the skin, washing it off after 30 minutes.

Milk magic

Dried milk powder nourishes and softens the skin. Mix half a teaspoon honey with one teaspoon pure almond oil and one teaspoon dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Remove after 20 minutes with plain water. Almond oil provides the emollients and is known to possess excellent nourishing properties. 
 
Traditional touch

Oily and acne-prone skin can also suffer from lack of moisture in winter. Egg white reduces oiliness, cleanses and nourishes the skin, while honey moisturises and softens the skin. Curd contains lactic acid and good bacteria, which helps acne-prone skin, keeps the skin healthy and also reduces inflammation. Our very own multani mitti reduces oil and clarifies the skin.

Mix half teaspoon honey with egg white and one teaspoon curd. Add multani mitti and mix into a paste. Apply and remove after 20 minutes with water.

Fruit appeal

Banana hydrates, nourishes and tightens the skin. So, mash a banana and add a little rose water. Apply on the face and wash off after 20 minutes. Rose water tones and moisturises the skin.

Veggie power

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and are of particular benefit for nourishing dry skin in winter. They have a soothing effect on the skin, making it soft, smooth and supple. In fact, they can be applied to soothe dry, sensitive skin. Boil them in a little water. Cool and mash. Apply the pulp on the face like a pack and wash off with plain water after half hour.

(The author is a beauty expert)
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