Winter – ah...I love this time of the year, when the cold air blows on me straight. But winter can also play havoc with your skin leading to dry, flaky skin and chapped lips, if adequate care is not taken. This becomes especially important for young brides, whose weddings are around the corner. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your skin hydrated and glowing through winter.

Winter Care For All Types of Skin

Dry skin suffers more than oily skin and should follow the following more religiously. However, the following measures are helpful for all types of skin.

1. Your skin texture depends not only on external treatments, but also on the intake. A proper nutritious intake helps in rejuvenating the skin from within. Water is essential for our body systems and a good intake of 3-4 litres daily should be maintained by all. This helps in retaining the moisture of your skin as well keeping skin disorders at bay. Fruits and vegetables in your daily diet release a lot of water also to your system. Primrose syrup / capsules and olive oil in your diet also aids in softening your skin.  

2. Cold weather and cool winds aggravate dry skin condition. Moisturizers and cold creams are a must in the winters. Tone and moisture after each cleansing to preserve and replenish the moisture in your skin. Use a moisturizing night nourisher every evening. Apply a daytime moisturizer around your eyes and on dry-skin areas each morning after a dermatologists opinion preferably for the best suited brand for your skin type.       

3. Use the paste of ground green gram powder instead of soap to work your way to a soft and supple skin if you to believe in going natural. You can sometimes also mix it with curd / raw milk.  

4. Pamper your skin with a little coconut oil before bath to heal dryness and chaps. Use a creamy soap that renders that extra suppleness to your skin.  

5. Wait 30 minutes after bathing, or washing your face, before going out into frigid air. Splash your face with cool water when you come back inside as it’s known that extreme temperature changes can burst capillaries near the skin's surface.    

6.  Add a few drops of oil to the water that you are using to bath. This will help retain the moisture lost when bathing. In fact, go for a pre-bath warm oil self-massage, called Abhyanga. Avoid using very hot water during winter as it can decrease the natural oils of your skin. Instead shorten your bath time preferably.

7. Although it doesn't taste very great, flaxseed oil can moisturize your body from the inside. Since it is rich in vital fatty acids it can do a lot for your overall health. It is available in oil form as well as in capsule form. 

8. Give your skin lipid support from within by including soaked and blanched almonds, soaked walnuts, whole milk, fresh cheese, and ghee (clarified butter) in your diet which will definitely add wonders to your skin.  

9.  The Amla fruit (Indian Gooseberry) is the richest known natural source of vitamin C. Herbs such as Amla provide concentrated nourishment to the deeper layers of the skin. Take Amla, also known as Amalaki, on a regular basis to replenish skin from within. 

10.  Avoid licking your lips and don't bite the skin on the surface of your lips. The skin will never have a chance to heal if you chew on it and end up becoming thicker and black coloured lips. This is a hard habit to break but well worth the effort. 

11. Keep them covered with a good lip balm applied several times during the day. Lip balms are now commonly available with an SPF factor as well to protect them from the harmful rays. Make sure the lip balm contains SPF 15 or 20. Other ingredients to look out for while buying a lip balm or chapstick are vitamin E and Shea butter. 

12. Massaging lips with ghee (clarified butter) and leaving a thin layer of it on lips overnight acts as a natural protection for lips.

13. Don't go outside with your hair wet, you risk breakage; your hair will freeze if it's cold enough outside and may break.

14. Avoid using blow dryers and curling irons on your hair. Even if you are using those equipments apply conditioner before using them. 

Lastly, who said sunscreen is only for the summers? The sun is out 365 days a year and be it summer, rain or winter, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Even from the thick black clouds we see beaming sun rays and photodamage, early wrinkling increase in pigmentation can occur if one does not wear the sunscreen during winters.