It’s that time of year again when we wrap ourselves in woollens and consider murder in exchange for a hot cup of tea. The annual dance of the seasons has resulted in winter, and along with all its joys, it also brings a change in another routine – that of your skin care.
Why should skin care be different in winter?
Winter skin care is about keeping your skin healthy and glowing – and dare we say, a little bit about pampering it too. Now is when you can pat in all the oils and ghee and your skin will soak it all up without guilt. As Indians, our connection to oil in massages and moisturising is ancient and irrevocable. Winter is the perfect time to invoke that bond and enjoy a little bit of deep nourishing.
Dry or flaky skin is just one of the problems you might face during this season. But with all the chemicals in lotions and creams, are you sure you’re not actually harming your skin? Many creams are bound together with emulsifiers, catalyst agents that keep the oil and water mixed. These chemicals might leave a residue on your skin’s lipid barrier, letting water evaporate faster and drying the skin. You then feel like using more lotion, leading to more dryness and so on.
Why go organic?
Organic skin care means you’re nourishing your largest organ from the inside out, it also means that your skin is getting the absolute best of all nutrients from its daily food. Well-nourished skin doesn’t age as fast, break out or itch – meaning you’re not just comfortable but glowing too. Organic skin care offers more intense nourishment and is more protective of your skin.
Organic skin care is simple too. Use everyday ingredients from your kitchen cabinet – oils, oatmeal, brown sugar, besan, salt and essential oils. If you can eat them, then why not put them on your skin? Experiment with different oils like Apricot, Mustard, and Sesame. Try different oils and the one you feel doesn’t suit your unique skin type, finish in your cooking!
Moisturise with Oils
Apricot Oil is light and absorbs well, making it a fantastic moisturizer for winter. Full of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as Omega-3 essential acids, apricot oil also has antioxidants that fight signs of aging and sun damage. Deeply nourishing, apricot oil soothes and revitalizes your skin, no matter your face or body.
Flaxseed Oil has 8000 times more antioxidants than other plant derivatives. Bursting with Omega 3 acids, flaxseed is great for your hair. It promotes hair growth, reduces hair fall and eliminates dryness in the scalp. Enjoy a hot oil massage or add 2 teaspoons to your conditioner.
Mustard Oil has been used for massages for aeons. Said to improve blood circulation, muscle development and skin texture, mustard oil is also great for relieving colds and blocked noses. A pungent oil, it is better applied just before a bath and is recommended as a weekend indulgence rather than a daily tool.
Sesame Oil is a great daily moisturizer. With an abundance of Vitamin E, it acts as a natural sunscreen, gently protecting your skin against sun rays in winter. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it also prevents bacterial infections and skin conditions like eczema. Sesame oil is an ideal base to be combined with essential oils, so that you get a great smelling natural moisturiser.
Use just a few drops, warm between your hands and rub in gently. A good thumb rule of how much to apply is, if it hasn’t absorbed after 3 minutes or so, reduce the quantity.
Take some basic precautions
- Do not dry out your skin by using extremely hot water which could burn your skin, lead to capillary damage or even break down the skin’s natural lipid barrier.
- Consider using gentle body washes or even natural ingredients like besan instead of soap.
- Exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead or dry skin. Remember to moisturize after.
- Stop licking your lips; this makes them dryer. Use ghee as a natural lip balm – you’ll be surprised as to how soft, pink and luscious your lips will look with just a few applications.
- Drink more water and eat a balanced diet rich in essential fatty acids.
- Consider investing in a humidifier to combat the drying effects of heaters.
Pedi-soak and cure
Fill a basin with warm or hot water, according to your tolerance. Add a few drops of gentle soap or baby shampoo and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to alleviate any odour. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
Combine oatmeal or besan with a tablespoon of oil. Add lemon juice for a mild bleaching effect. Mix and use on feet. Scrub gently, especially around the heels, toes and any other rough spots. Rinse and pat dry.
I Say Organic Quickie!
Simply place a jar of honey in a pot of hot water for a few minutes till it’s warm. Check the temperature and gently apply the warm honey on a clean face. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and then wash or sponge off. Enjoy your glowing skin.