Winters are harbingers of dry, flaky skin in babies and adults alike. The uppermost layer of our skin, also known as stratum corneum, acts as a protective barrier by ensuring that moisture remains locked within the inner layers of the skin. Dry and icy winter winds rob the skin of moisture, leaving it dull, rough and lifeless. Resultantly, the stratum corneum gets damaged and exacerbates winter dryness. Taking showers with scorching hot water, excessive exposure to sunlight and certain skin disorders can also contribute to this problem.
Let us look into the ways in which one can keep winter dryness at bay:
1. Stay Hydrated for Holistic Health
Although this is common knowledge, one cannot reiterate it enough. Drinking water is not just beneficial for the skin but also for holistic wellness. Individuals with naturally dry skin should make it a point to drink ample water, especially during winters. During winters, you can sip on lukewarm water or eat foods rich in water content, such as strawberries, cucumbers, and lettuce.
2. Avoid Showers with Piping-Hot Water
While submerging yourself in lukewarm bath water is fine, it is best to avoid baths or showers with piping-hot water. Intense heat breaks down the lipid barriers of the skin and strips the skin of essential natural oils, leading to rapid loss of moisture. Minimize your bath time and apply an organic moisturizer during your post-bath routine. You can also massage olive or organic virgin coconut oil on your face and body in order to make your skin soft and supple.
3. Be Wary of Skincare Products That Dehydrate Skin
Commercial soaps and cleansers have an alkaline pH that disrupts the skin’s naturally acidic surface, hence contributing to dehydration of the skin. To avoid this, use gentle products like a certified organic body wash crafted with completely natural ingredients. Once you adopt an natural skincare routine on an everyday basis, your skin will not only remain hydrated but also become soft, lovely, and radiant. Same goes for commercial exfoliators - they are harsh on sensitive skin and contribute heavily to winter dryness. You can make your own natural exfoliator using ingredients, such as coffee, ground oats, and ground sugar.
4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Your go-to moisturizer might become ineffective when faced with winter dryness - as weather conditions change, one must also change their skincare regime. Opt for a light, non-greasy formula which complements your skin type and preserves its elasticity. Moisturize up to 2-3 times a day, especially after stepping out of the shower and before going to bed. It is best to opt for an organic moisturizing lotion made with natural hydrating agents, such as jojoba oil, aloe vera gel and coconut oil.
5. Protect Yourself From Harmful UV Rays
It is a common misconception that sunscreen is necessary only during summers. The winter sun, coupled with the dry winter winds, can severely damage your skin. Apply an organic sunscreen with a high SPF 30 minutes before you venture out of the house. Reapply if you are exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your neck, hands, and other exposed areas, although it is ideal to keep yourself covered to prevent direct exposure to the winter sun.
Apart from following the above-mentioned tips, you can try out the following home remedies to combat winter dryness:
- Coconut Oil
An effective natural moisturizer, coconut oil holds the ability to improve hydration on a significant scale by increasing lipid count on the skin’s surface. Apply 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil on your face, elbows, hands, and other affected areas. Massage gently until it gets absorbed into the skin, and leave it overnight. You will be able to see a marked difference in your skin the next morning. For best results, you can do this thrice a week.
- Olive Oil
Loaded with essential antioxidants, olive oil helps soothe skin and repair damaged cells caused by excessive dryness. With consistent use, it also helps prevent age-induced wrinkles and fine lines. To treat dry skin, apply 1 tablespoon of natural olive oil on the affected areas and massage in gentle, circular motions. Allow it to get absorbed overnight. Wash off with lukewarm water the next day.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera works wonders for dehydrated skin during winters. On application, it helps form a protective barrier which shields the skin from dirt and impurities, making skin soft and luminous. Procure fresh aloe vera gel directly from the plant, or use an organic aloe vera gel. Apply it on your face and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water. Doing this on a frequent basis will keep your skin moisturized without making it greasy.
Honey is a wonderful natural remedy for winter dryness, owing to its hydrating properties and its ability to make skin soft. Honey is also loaded with essential vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial agents. You can mix 2 teaspoons of natural honey with 1 tablespoon of rose water and apply it as a face mask. Allow it to dry and rinse off with lukewarm water. Follow up with a light organic moisturizer. Applying honey thrice a week can reduce dryness and white spots to a considerable extent.
Adults are not the only ones to suffer from acute winter dryness. Owing to their delicate skin, babies are more prone to having extremely dry and flaky skin during winters. Oil massage plays a vital role in treating dry skin patches, hence pre-bath massages, using sesame, olive, or coconut oil are a must during winters. Make sure your baby’s bath water is lukewarm and do not bathe him/her frequently, as it might strip their skin of essential oils. Follow up with a mild, organic moisturizer and cover them well to prevent loss of moisture. In case dry skin patches persist or escalate into blisters, consult a pediatrician at the earliest.
Here’s hoping you bask in the beauty of the remaining winter months, minus the woes of dryness!
You Can Also Watch This YouTube Video About Combating Winter Dryness Naturally: