Are you suffering from dry skin, rough elbows, knees, chapped lips & flaky face? It is believed that when the air starts to chill, the human body adapts to hold in heat by narrowing the blood vessels. As a result, the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) starts drying up and the skin becomes dull, leading to flaking and cracking.

Here are some tips to keep your skin glowing and hydrated in the winters:

1. Moisturize! Moisturize! Moisturize!

Keeping your skin moisturized is the foremost tip. It is important to use a moisturizer according to your skin type. For normal to dry skin, a cream-based moisturizer is best suited to lock in moisture. Gel-based moisturizers are used to refresh and hydrate oily skin. Vitamin C based moisturizers or antioxidant serums help in collagen (the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix found in the body's various connective tissues) and elastin (a key protein of the extracellular matrix) production that reduces dullness and also brightens up your skin.

2. Cleanse, But Do Not Dry Out Your Skin!

Cleansing is the method of removal of dirt or other substances from the skin. As excess cleansing may dry out your skin, always use essential oil and a moisturizer-based face wash. Do not use hard drying soaps or scrubbers that can strip off the essential oils produced by the skin. Further, glycerine-based body washes should be used as they lock the skin’s natural moisture.

3. Sunscreens are a Must!

It is a common myth that sunscreens are not required in winters. However, we all require sunscreen for 365 days. Though UVB (ultraviolet B-rays) decreases around the winter season, levels for UVA (ultraviolet A-rays) are still significant, which is responsible for the aging of your skin. So, always apply sunscreen.

4. Keep Yourself Hydrated

The skin has the tendency to dry out and become furthermore sensitive in winters. Make it a point to keep yourself hydrated internally as well. Drinking a lot of water is always advisable. Further swapping your tea and coffee with green tea is recommended, as it has amazing antioxidant effects that help in preventing acne and skin cancer. 

5. Protect Your Parched Lips 

To prevent dry and cracked lips always use a hydrating lip balm throughout the day. Lip balms containing coconut oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter are highly recommended. You can avoid long-lasting matt lipsticks as they can dry out your lips. Lip balms with a minimum of 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) can help prevent the development of skin cancer.

6. Take Care of  Your Palms and Soles

Patching and cracking of the heels are common in winters. To prevent it, dip your feet in lukewarm water for about 15-20 minutes and then apply a paraffin-based gel. You can also use a urea-based thick moisturizer on your hands and feet as it heals cracked heels and softens them.

7. Treasure in Your Own Kitchen

You might not be aware but your kitchen is your treasure house. Sneak in to find out remedies to soothe the winter tortured skin. The best source of lactic acid – yogurt, aids in exfoliation along with calming down the irritated skin because of its anti-inflammatory ingredient which is vitamin E.

Looking for an easy way to lock in moisture? Oatmeal bath is the best as it removes dirt and also locks moisture and hydrates your skin. The best natural moisturizer is honey which has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Last but not the least, an evergreen solution to dryness is coconut oil which keeps your skin hydrated and soft.

In spite of all these precautions if you still have itchy, dry, and flaky skin, consult your dermatologist before it worsens up to eczema or dermatitis. 

Stay hydrated and keep glowing! Happy winters! 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.