Beauty Care for the Winter Bride

Shahnaz Husain
The winter season means two things: a chill in the air and the start of the wedding season. When it comes to a winter wedding, we generally assume that winter weddings are fuss free.
No humidity so no frizzy hair, no sweaty makeup , no make up meltdown during wedding functions. But the season brings along problems like flakey skin, cakey makeup, chapped lips, limp hair and pedicure running out too soon during marriage celebrations . Dry and patchy skin can be a nightmare when it comes to makeup application as everything you apply flakes off or creases.
Looking beautiful on the wedding day is not merely a matter of make-up and dress. It needs weeks of care. If a skin care programme is followed a few weeks before the wedding, it can really help. The skin type and the season should also be taken into consideration. For instance, in winter, even oily skins may feel dry, while dry skins need more moisturisation and nourishment with creams and oils.
For your daily facial care routine, cleanse your skin twice a day. It’s not just the skin on your face that’s prone to dryness in the winter-your hands are often left vulnerable to the same environmental elements as your complexion. Same goes for the rest of your body!
Night time cleansing is more important, in order to remove pollutants and make up before bedtime. So, cleanse the skin daily at night and apply a layer of moisturizer before you sleep. You can also apply an all-night mask for your skin. . For normal to dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel. Or, take half a cup of cold milk and add five drops of any vegetable oil (til, olive or sunflower oil). Put this in a bottle and shake well. Cleanse the skin with it, using cotton wool. Keep left-over mixture in the fridge. If the skin is oily, use a cleansing lotion or face wash for oily skins. Oily skins also need deep pore cleansing. Mix rice powder with curd and apply on the face once or twice a week. Rub gently with small circular movements and wash off with water. Ready-to-use scrubs are also easily available. In winter, an oily skin may be prone to blackheads. You can have “clean-up” at a beauty parlour and have blackheads extracted. One of the easiest ways to prevent dry hands is by adding a hand cream to your skin care routine
An oily skin may also feel dry in winter, but when cream is applied, it can lead to pimples. So, mix one teaspoon pure glycerine with 100 ml rose water and keep in a bottle in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion to relieve dryness. It will soften the skin, without making it oily.
Aloe vera gel or honey may be applied on all skin types, to moisturise and soften the skin. Apply on the face and wash off with plain water after 20 minutes.
For all skin types, tone the skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Wipe and stroke the skin with them. Then, pat briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads. This adds a glow to the skin.
The daily nourishing of normal to dry skin can be done at night, with a nourishing cream. After cleansing, apply the cream and massage on the face with a few drops of warer, with outward and slightly upward movements, for 2 minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.
The skin on the lips is thin and lacks oil producing glands. It becomes dry and chaps easily. Even if you are using the moistest lipstick you cannot apply it on your lips without a coat of lip balm or petroleum jelly. For plump looking lips give them a base coat of lip balm.After cleansing, apply almond oil or almond cream on the lips daily and leave it on all night. Sun-protective lip balms are also useful.
Protect the skin from moisture loss during the day. Apply SPF rich sunscreen, before going out in the sun. Ultra violet rays are weaker in winter and you don’t get tanned easily. But, it tends to cause wrinkles, premature ageing, dryness, and damage the skin. Most sunscreens have built-in moisturizers. Moisturizers are available in cream and liquid form. For extreme dryness, use a cream. A liquid moisturizer should also be used under make-up. Keep the skin well moisturised.
During winter, opt for water-resistant sunscreens free from fragrance and parabens. This practice will make you glow on your wedding day and even before after.
In winter, the skin of the body also needs nourishing with oils. In the olden days, “ubtan” was made at home for skin care. First the body was massaged with “til” oil. Then home made “ubtan” was applied. This usually consisted of wheat bran (choker), gram flour (besan), yogurt (dahi) or cream of milk (malai) and a pinch of turmeric (haldi). All these were mixed together and applied on the face and body, before bathing. The “ubtan” was washed off after half an hour, while bathing. It helped to clear the skin of dead cells, leaving it smooth and bright, with a translucent quality.
In winter, the hair also needs to be nourished with oils. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, leave on for 2 minutes and wash off with plain water. Or, you can apply a leave-on conditioner or hair serum for shine and protection. Oil them every week and get a hair spa atleast once a month prior to your wedding. Add a little olive oil to whichever oil you apply to give it a little touch of moisture.
You can also give your hair a quick conditioning treatment before shampoo. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and almond oil with one egg. Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Leave on the mixture for half an hour and then wash your hair. If you do not wish to use egg, add more almond oil.
You must keep your self hydrated by drinking 8-10 glass of water daily which will help flush out toxins, improves skin tone, healthy and glowing skin. You can add fruit juice, coconut water, watermelon, green tea and lassis in your daily routine. Make sure these do not contain too much sugar or sodium. Eating the right kinds of food will help your skin glow even in the winter months. Have a small box of dry fruits when you are travelling. Try to include regional and seasonal fruits, vegetables in your diet on a daily basis. Snacking on naturally hydrating food will keep your body hydrated. Opt for a diet that is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
All brides go through some kind of stress. Do not stress. It can ruin all your winter skincare efforts . To deal with this kind of mental stress, it is essential to learn to relax. It has been proved that physical exercise actually helps the body to cope with stress. A few weeks before the wedding, start taking a little exercise, like going for a walk. In fact, walking is good for both body and mind. Yoga and meditation are also helpful, in terms of calming the mind and inducing relaxation.You must ensure Eight hours sleep daily to rejuvenate your skin . If you sleep late and aren’t getting enough rest, take mini naps between the day. Even a couple of 30 minute naps through the day will help you and your skin!
(The author is beauty expert)