Adverse effects of the winter season on one’s skin can be minimised if you prepare for it in the right manner, says an expert.
Kiran Lohia, Medical Director, Lumiere Dermatology, lists precautions one can take for keeping your skin healthy during winter:
Precautions during the day
* Take brief showers: Keep the shower as brief as possible and use lukewarm, not hot water. Switch to less aggressive, moisturising solutions instead of soaps since the pH of soap is 7.5, which is greater than that of skin — 5.5. This high pH may cause the breakdown, leaking out natural moisture, lipids and nutrients from the skin. This increases dryness and can even result in rashes and worse eczema.
* Look for hydrating agents in skin-care products: Try to look for skin-care products that include ingredients known as natural moisturising factors. Look for constituents such as Hyaluronic acid, glycerin and humectants — a substance, especially a skin lotion or a food additive, used to reduce the loss of moisture — in skin products that promote the increase of natural moisture present in the skin.
* Use sunblock: Perhaps the most common skin care myth during winter months is that you can’t get sunburned. UV exposure is usual part of the process when your skin is exposed to sunlight, regardless of the season. Therefore, a winter sunscreen is a must. A broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 (or more) should be used always, regardless of whether you are indoors out outdoors.
Precautions during the night
* Use a humidifier in your room: During winter, the air dries out. The dryer the air, the more it steals moisture from your skin. If you live in a dry climate, use a humidifier, particularly in your bedroom at night.
* Choose your cleanser carefully: Cleansers can strip your skin of natural oils, dry it out, and over time, lead to more visible lines and wrinkles. To prevent chapped and parched skin, embrace wipe-off, soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitisers at night.
* Eat a healthy dinner: To protect your skin against damage in winter, watch your diet at night and include foods rich in Omega fatty acids such as nuts, avocados, and flax-seed. These essential nutrients act by reinforcing the skin barrier, making your epidermis more moist and supple.