For skin that weathers

Top 6 misconceptions about caring for your skin in winter

girl stretching her hands towards the sky on a beach

1. Thick creams hydrate better

Thick creams cause dead skin cells, make-up and other dirt and grime to gather and clog the pores. This prevents the cream from penetrating deeper into the layers of the skin and doing its job. Instead, you can try serums that contain active ingredients such as retinoic acid and kojic acid along with other useful ingredients. These help in collagen regeneration and skin lightening. Such serums can be used in combination with other hydrating agents to nourish the skin.

2. Oily skin doesn’t need a moisturiser

The winter weather doesn’t spare anyone and all skin types are subject to drying in this season. Those with oily skin types just need to know the type of creams to use. Rather than using rich creams that may further aggravate problems on an oily skin, use water-based gels or lotions.

3. Exfoliating in winter worsens dry patches

Exfoliation always regenerates the lower layers of the skin and helps hydrate the skin. The dry patches in fact, appear better after exfoliating the skin. Use hydrating agents like lotions or creams immediately after. This will help penetration of their active ingredients better.

4. Applying a lot of lip balm prevents chapped lips

Loading your lips won’t help if you use the wrong products. In particular, refrain from using petroleum jelly-based products; they create an artificial layer on the lips that causes the body to stop producing natural lipids that keep the lips hydrated. Similarly fragrant, flavoured and coloured lip balms may also be ineffective. Look for balms that contain cocoa butter or other such deep hydrating agents.

Also avoid licking your lips; it causes them to dry further. Each time the saliva dries up, it also takes some moisture from within the lips with it. To remove flaky skin from the lips, rub a wet toothbrush over the lips.

5. The steamier your bath water in winter, the more it will moisturise your skin

Hot showers may feel good, but they actually dry your skin. It causes the blood vessels under the skin to dilate, which results in loss of moisture. If you like to have hot showers during winter, limit the duration to about 3 – 5 minutes and don’t use harsh soap. Also, after your shower, gently pat your skin dry and don’t rub it with a towel. Then, apply moisturiser while the skin is still damp as the open pores allow for deeper penetration and hydration.

6. In winter, you don’t need either water or sun protection

Our body’s water needs remain the same, irrespective of the outside climate. And for the skin, just external hydration isn’t enough, drinking water is also essential. Just as the body needs water, our skin too needs to be protected from the sun. Irrespective of its SPF [Sun Protection Factor], make sure you re-apply the sunscreen every few hours as it can fade away with sweat. But for the winter months try finding a sunscreen with a moisturising effect for 2-in-1 action.

Try this

  • For those with very dry skin, indulge in a warm coconut oil massage once a week. This helps cell renewal, hydration and blood supply.
  • Apply a mask of egg yolk, honey and oatmeal on the face.
  • Use a moisturising shampoo to avoid a flaky scalp.
  • Regularly consume omega-3, flaxseed oil and cod liver oil capsules to aide internal hydration.
Jamuna Pai
Jamuna Pai is a leading cosmetic physician based in Mumbai. A gifted doctor and a talented entrepreneur, she owns and runs her own clinic "Blush" in Mumbai and Pune.


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