With the promise of steaming cups of tea on foggy mornings, pearly dews collecting on grass and of leaves turning yellow and descending gently on the earth, winter has arrived with its own brand of beauty. Thanks to global warming, extreme weather conditions can lead to an abrupt drop in temperature adversely stripping the skin of moisture. While it might seem like a dream come true, keeping your skin baby-soft throughout winter is not unachievable.
We ladies often find ourselves in a wardrobe quandary at the advent of winter as the air gets drier. A useful trick to remember is to layer up as much as possible, instead of wearing just one baggy piece of apparel for warmth. When you are wearing several layers of clothing, what you are actually doing is locking the heat in several layers and maintaining a good skin temperature, which just one layer of garment cannot do, no matter how heavy it is. That being said, do not give up on fashion. Embrace the beautiful pashminas and fabulous woollen turtlenecks in all the spectrum of fall and winter colours that you love.
Pamper the pout
One of the biggest problems in winter is dry and cracked lips as we often forget about this particular body part which is the most vulnerable during winter. Using a lip balm all day might help, however the application of too much artificial chemicals such as lipsticks (particularly matte ones) can be drying. Using natural ingredients such as honey, coconut/olive oil and palm sugar on the lips is a better way to naturally exfoliate it while keeping in its suppleness; however any kind of petroleum jelly is most effective for every skin type.
Avoid licking or biting your lips as it is extremely dehydrating. Lastly, drink as much water as you can to fill in the moisture the cold wind will bare you from.
Fight the scaly heels
The toughest part of the body to secure moisture in — the feet must be tended to on a daily basis. Before going to bed, apply a generous coat of cream-based lotion/moisturiser and wear a sock to lock the moisture in. Twice a month, cleanse the feet in lukewarm water mixed with conditioner and coconut/olive oil. When the feet have softened in the mixture, use pumice stones to peel off the patchy skin and apply lotion while it is still damp. However, if your skin is super-dry, apply petroleum jelly/glycerine under the heels. Follow this regime religiously for a month or two and you will be surprised with the changes yourself!
Although a long hot bath can seem tempting after spending the day in the whipping winds, it should be avoided at all cost. Hot water strips the skin of moisture. Opt for short baths in lukewarm water, after every two/three days, with a moisturising soap (avoid harsh body soaps with alcoholic content) and an exfoliating shower gel in the end. While using a towel, gently pat the skin dry instead of rigorously rubbing it. Slather on a layer of baby oil or a moisturising lotion immediately afterward, while the skin is still damp. Applying natural moisturisers such as yoghurt or olive oil all over the body just before taking a shower can be beneficial for those with dry skin.
The make-up regime
Putting on makeup in winter can be surprisingly difficult if your skin gets dry all the time. The trick is to apply baby-oil or any genuine non-greasy oil with your favourite foundation. This will keep you hydrated all day long, stopping the skin from flaking. You can also apply tinted moisturisers if you want to keep your skin as light as possible.
While out and about, apply sunscreen. Avoid using oil/cream-based lotion during outdoor sessions, as the dust paired with grease can be especially harmful to your skin. Use an alcohol-free moisturising toner to take off the makeup at night before bed, and then moisturise thoroughly to retain its healthy glow.
As Mother Nature brings back the chilling winds from the heavens above, it is that season during which you need to take extra good care of your body to preserve the glow in your skin to keeping it away from getting parched. Embrace the challenges winter thrusts upon you: make a promise to your skin of protecting and preserving its softness.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed/LS Archive