Banish dry skin

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Tips for keeping your skin supple and smooth through winter

For people like me who have perennially dry skin, winter can make matters worse. Cracked and chapped lips, skin peeling off my nose and a scratchy surface on my arms and legs. Not to mention static in the hair.

Every winter, my skin starts to crack. It tightens up and this causes a burning sensation every time I stretch. I don’t know if many of you experience similar symptoms, but over the years I have created a beauty routine that more or less works to keep skin moisturised and glowing. The only thing is, you have to be disciplined about it if you want to see results.

Choose creamy rich moisturisers

If necessary, even select products with heaps of oil in them. I swear by a product that contains a lot of apricot oil, and while it feels sticky when I slather it on, it keeps my skin moist. For best results use at night. If you don’t like oily creams, just look for those that are not water-based as they are more effective in winter.

Most people forget to moisturise their necks and only look after the skin on their face. Big mistake. Whether it is a face mask or a cream, never leave your neck out of your skin routine. The skin there tends to wrinkle faster and will give away your age even if your face doesn’t.

Reach for the coconut oil

Besides warming it and using it to condition your hair, you can also use it as a body massage oil in winter. If you notice, it is the only oil which solidifies in cold weather. That is because of the rich emollient nature of the oil which is high in fat content.

It works as a natural moisturiser so you can gently rub it all over your body, then shower after an hour or so. It won’t dry out your skin, even if you shower in really hot water like I do. Experts will tell you to keep the water lukewarm if you don’t want to dry out your skin, but in winter’s freezing temperatures, a hot bath is a great way to warm up.

You can also warm up the oil and use it on your hair before you shampoo. This will lock in moisture and prevent flyaway static hair.

Lip balms should be everywhere

Keep a couple of them in your bag, keep one on your bedside table, in your bathroom cabinet and in your kitchen. Having lip balms all over the house, you can apply some every time your lips feel dry and you don’t have to deal with cracked, bleeding lips.

Keep up your fluids

Dry skin makes you look older and ages you faster too so staying moisturised from within is also important. We don’t feel as thirsty in winter so try drinking some warm green tea or black tea with lemon and honey. This will not only cleanse your system, but also keep you warm and lubricate your skin’s cells.

Avoid too much coffee. If you are out drinking or partying, drink at least a bottle of water when you get home before you sleep. Alcohol is very dehydrating and besides a hangover, you don’t want skin that is stretched and taut, with your stomach cramping due to loss of water.

Eat well

Keep your Vitamin C intake regular so you don’t fall prey to colds and coughs in winter. Eating citrus fruits is better than drinking their sugary juice versions. You can even apply some papaya and orange on your face to remove a tan and clean your skin.

Be sun safe

Always wear sun block. While you may want to stand in the sun for a bit because it is nice and mellow in the winter, its UV rays can still cause damage. Under your moisturiser, make sure you use sun block or go for makeup that contains an SPF 15-30.

Wear sun glasses and avoid crinkling your eyes too much. In winter, the weather tends to dry out our skin, and if you are creasing or crinkling your eyes against the sun, chances are the lines will stay even after winter is gone. The skin is dry and delicate around the eyes so use an effective under eye cream under your night cream to prevent crow’s feet.

Don’t forget your feet

Exfoliate every week and use a strong moisturiser to keep them supple. Cracked heels in winter are painful. In fact, you even get special creams just to moisturize the soles of your feet so go with one that works for you.