Foggy weather, intensely cold temperatures, drying heaters, harsh winds and dry air – no, this isn’t some version of Middle Earth, but winters in Delhi. Not only is the weather out to get you, but it also saps your hair and skin, leaving them dry, stressed and unhealthy.
What’s more, you end up eating differently, your routines change, your sleeping patterns change and your system ends up struggling to deal with it all.
Here are hacks that we’ve found works for almost everyone, divided into five broad categories.
Five steps to better skin and hair
A winter’s feast
You know winter is here – but have you consciously made a change to your eating and care rituals? Our mantra: fresh. Eat fresh organic foods, especially winter-specific veggies like exotic green leafies and ensure that your body can cope with the changes. Avoid fried foods as much as possible – we completely understand the urge to tuck into hot food, but go for the healthiest, lightest options. Adding flaxseed oil to your diet, either directly or in salads also ups the omega-3 fatty acid component which helps hair thrive.
December showers lead to January glowers
Hot showers? Do we hear you sigh? Stop that at once – the showers, not the sighing. Hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and makes it dry; and in winters, the desire to stand under a pulsating hot stream is strong indeed. Resist all temptation and choose warm or lukewarm water, restricting the duration of your shower to a few minutes. Switch to moisturising twice a day – after your shower and before bed. Organic apricot oil is a great moisturiser for the entire body.
You could also make your own fragrant body oil with organic sunflower oil. Pick a strongly fragrant flower like ylang ylang or jasmine. Heat the oil for a few minutes – not till boiling, but till it’s quite hot. Place the flowers in a dark glass bottle and pour the oil over the flowers. Close and store in a dark corner for a week or so. Check how fragrant the oil is. You can repeat with more flowers for another week if you’d like stronger fragrance.
E-CTM and OCM
E-CTM is not new tech but a winter variation on the classic skin care routine of cleanse, tone, moisturise – now with exfoliation. Switch to organic besan for your body – it exfoliates and preserves skin’s natural oils. For your face, remove makeup with the OCM or oil cleansing method. Massage a thin layer of organic extravirgin coconut oil all over your face – remove with washable, soft muslin or cotton towel. Soak the towel in warm water and spread on your face for two minutes – at least twice. Gently, wipe off the oil with the towel. Rinse and tone with water or rosewater, depending on your skin type. Moisturise with a drop or two of organic apricot oil to finish.
Hair today, amazing tomorrow
Dry, limp hair is one of winter’s biggest curses. The first thing you should do is buy silk or satin pillowcases. No, we’re not pretending to be royal; silk and satin don’t tangle hair or absorb moisture from it – and hair stays shinier for longer. Try to minimise the number of – times you wash your hair – and always blow-dry on the lowest temperature possible. A dab of coconut oil on wet hair simply stroked through your mane also prevents damage from hair dryers.
Make it a Mask-erade Winter
Hair and skin masks are your greatest tools in your winter arsenal. These intensive rituals give you system boosts of care, helping minimise the damage from the weather.
Coconut oil is great as an intensive moisturiser – apply an hour or two before showering on hair and skin; let soak in and rub off excess with besan.
Combine coconut or olive oil with honey and mix well. Apply on skin and hair for softness and lustre. You could also combine honey with bananas or avocados for a hydrating hair pack.
You could also soak methi seeds overnight, grind to a paste and mix with two teaspoons of mustard oil – apply the pack on your scalp for up to an hour and wash off to alleviate dry scalp and dandruff.
Organic winter cheat sheet
- Coconut oil – use as makeup remover and intensive moisturizer for skin and hair
- Apricot oil – daily moisturiser after showers, makeup removal and at night
- Sunflower oil is the best for making fragrant body oil and is great for daily use
- Honey – use in skin and hair masks with coconut and olive oil
- Besan – use as daily exfoliant and soap substitute
- Flaxseed oil – take a teaspoon or two everyday
- Fresh organic fruits and veggies – every day, every meal to nourish from the inside-out