Prepare for Winter

Shahnaz Husain
Seasonal changes influence the skin. As winter approaches, the humidity in the air starts decreasing. When humidity is low, the skin loses moisture to the atmosphere and it becomes necessary to adjust the daily skin-care routine. People with normal to dry skin start feeling taut immediately after cleansing. Those with oily skin complain that the skin feels dry after washing, but becomes oily, or gets eruptions, when creams and moisturizers are applied. They wonder how to tackle dryness without getting pimples. Actually, oily skins can also be short of moisture during winter, which affects the outermost layer of the skin. Some areas of the skin may also acquire tiny white flakes.
The skin absorbs moisture in the form of an emulsion of oil and water. It cannot absorb either water or oil by itself. Therefore, the only way of protecting the skin from moisture loss is to use moisturizers daily, to replenish the loss of moisture and keep the skin soft and moist.
Moisturizers are available in both liquid and cream forms. During the dry season, for normal to dry skin, it is better to use a creamy moisturizer, applying it after cleansing and toning the skin. For a dry skin, a moisturizer should also be applied under make-up. A liquid moisturizer may be adequate during the humid season.
Use a cleansing milk to cleanse the skin morning and night. Apply it on the face and wipe off with moist cotton wool. Apply a light moisturizing lotion if there is dryness. Add a drop or two of water before application, to provide lighter coverage. Or, mix one teaspoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion after cleansing. This moisturizes the skin, without making it oily. Apply honey on the face daily for 10 minutes and wash off with water. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, the gel, found in the inner portion of the leaves, can be applied on the face to moisturize it.
For normal to dry skin, cleanse twice a day, with a cleansing cream or gel. Massage the cleanser lightly into the skin and remove it with moist cotton wool. Using moist cotton wool helps to prevent further dryness, as it does not absorb any more moisture from the skin. During the day, use a sunscreen, before going out in the sun. Or, use moisturizer, if you are indoors. Moisturisers are available in cream and liquid form. Apply a liquid moisturiser under make-up, before using foundation.
After cleansing at night, apply almond cream, or pure almond oil on the lips and leave it on all night. In fact, lip balms are also very helpful in preventing chapped lips and keeping them soft and smooth.
Here are some home remedies:
Honey is a powerful humectant (i.e. it attracts moisture to the skin). For oily skin, mix honey with egg white or lemon juice and apply on the skin daily, washing it off after 15 minutes with plain water. Both lemon juice and egg white have cleansing effects, reducing oiliness, while honey softens and nourishes the skin. If you have a combination skin, apply honey by itself on the entire face, as it would suit both oily and dry areas. For dry skin, add egg yolk or a little almond oil to honey and apply on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes.
Avocado is a powerful moisturizer and also nourishes the skin. Avocado pulp can be mixed with yogurt and honey and applied on the skin to make it soft, smooth and glowing.
Take one peeled and cored apple and puree it in a blender. Add one tablespoon honey. Apply this on the face like a mask and keep it on for 15 minutes. Then, rinse off with cool water. This is a powerful skin toner for all skin types.
Mix half a teaspoon honey, one teaspoon rose water and one teaspoon dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Remove after 20 minutes with water.