Feeling the cold air on my face is one thing that I love in winter, it brings a nice rosy glow to my cheeks. But for most people, winter is dreaded as it causes havoc to sensitive skin and hair. Cold dry air, artificial heat, and hot water baths bring uncomfortable dryness to skin and hair, which sometimes results in itchy skin, and in more severe cases, eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.
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So, what happens to our skin in dry winter months? 'When it's very cold, there is less moisture in the environment. This lack of moisture is compounded by wind, which blows moisture away from the skin, and central heating' says consultant dermatologist Dr Susan Mayou in a Daily Mail Australia interview.
Moisture is the keyword if you want to protect your skin from drying out and keep it supple. Here are a few inexpensive steps that will help keep a nice glow on your skin, and protect your hair against dryness.
First and foremost, it is important to drink lots of water to keep the body well hydrated. Try drinking warm water or sipping on hot water.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will also bring the essential oils and vitamins to your skin, thus helping in cell restoration and healthy hair growth. Snack on almonds, indulge in avocados, or turn them into face masks, and favour intense-coloured vegetables and hydration-boosting fruits.
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Lips, hands and feet are usually the first to experience dryness. The best way to lock in moisture is to gently smear lip balm or foot balm over them at night.
While regular use of moisturiser is recommended by most dermatologists, they can be really expensive and loaded with chemicals. Baby lotion is wonderful for replenishing moisture if you do not feel like going through the painful task of preparing a home-made face mask.
Opt for lukewarm water for your bath. Hot water, though comforting, will leave your skin dry. Use a baby lotion on your skin after your bath or try a warm mustard oil massage before your bath.
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Exercise is the best way to sweat and unblock your pores. Natural oils, essential for hydration, will be produced naturally for the best skin hydration.
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The simplest trick that I have found that really works is to rub my whole body lightly with olive oil before going to sleep. This, not only keeps me warm all through the night, but also leaves my skin smooth in the morning.
From dry frizz to hair static electricity, icy cold winds, rain and snow will cause great damage to your hair if proper care is not taken. The best way to keep hair shining and supple without spending a small fortune on hair products, is to deeply massage the scalp of your head and hair with a heated mixture of equal amount of almond and olive oil. This will help in saturating your hair in moisture and will also coat its damaged outer layers, giving it a super soft and healthy appearance.
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