With the winter chill setting in, it’s time to bundle up! But as you are covering yourself in layers, make sure your body’s outermost layer isn’t ignored. Skin and hair care routine differ in every season. If you want to make sure your skin is smooth and your hair shiny, here are few things you should know.

Effect of winter on skin and hair: Due to the sudden change of temperature, especially from the heated indoors and cold outdoors, your hair loses its shine and feels brittle. Increase in dandruff is a common problem along with increased hair fall (150-200 strands/day is normal).

Your skin dries out, leading to premature ageing and even exacerbation of underlying conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis. Winter can play havoc on your skin but here are expert tips to beat it!

“As a dermatologist, I’ve seen many patients ignore their skin care and hair care rituals during winter. In the winters, you feel too cold or too lazy to delay bundling up and end up skipping the cold cream at night or the oil in hair.”

However, a few small steps are all you need for a winter-friendly skin and hair -


  • Lukewarm water is your friend: While a hot bath sounds heavenly in winters, lukewarm water is exactly what you need to protect the oils from being stripped from your skin. Try swapping your 20-minute hot showers with 5-minute lukewarm ones. If nothing else, wash your hands and face with lukewarm water. 
  • Moisturize right after your bath: Damp skin seals moisture the best, so slathering yourself in moisturizer right after your bath makes for a happy, hydrated skin.
  • Exfoliate: Use a scrub, maximum 1 – 2 times a week to slough off all the dead cells, giving your new healthy cells air to“breathe” as well as the moisture they need. Exfoliate with a loofah while taking your bath.
  • Use warm oils for hair: Hot oils or even warm olive oil should be applied to the scalp 1-2 times a week for an hour or so. Massage gently so that your hair is properly moisturized.
  • Avoid blow drying: No one likes waiting for their hair to dry in the winters – brr! But blow drying ends up damaging your hair, which due to the dehydrating winter weather, is already brittle.
  • Stick to night creams without paraffin or scent (like perfumed ones): Try getting creams which have fewer preservatives which prove to be long lasting. 
  • Most importantly, hydrate, hydrate and hydrate: People tend to drink less water in winters which leads to your skin and hair being dehydrated. No amount of hot beverages or bowls of soup will replenish your skin the way water does. So, make sure you are drinking 2-3 liters of water every day.

Apart from drinking water and eating healthy fats, make sure you are protecting yourself from the cold. When leaving the house, cover yourself properly including a hat and gloves. And don’t forget the sunscreen! 

While there are ways to maintain your moisture, there are a few home remedies that help increase it. Some of the most effective remedies are:·      

  • Take a Vitamin E capsule (Evion) and burst it or cut it in half with scissors. Apply the capsule on normal, dry skin or mature skin once a week at night. If the skin is extremely dry, you can repeat the process twice a week. After 20 minutes of application, wipe your face properly. Without washing your face, apply your night cream.
  • Clean curd, straight from the fridge, can be applied to any skin rash or dry patches to make your skin healthier. After applying the curd, wait for 15 – 20 minutes before washing it with water (preferably with plain rose water). Use your night cream right after.
  • For your feet, wash them at night. Use generous amounts of cream – especially those which have lactic acid- and wear socks at night before bed. This process will help in reducing the cracks at the heels of your feet.
  • For chapped lips, make sure you use lip balms often. When at home, a vanilla scrub will un-chap those lips. Take 2 parts of sugar, 1 part olive oil and a dash of vanilla essence. Mix well and apply to your lips whenever your lips feel dehydrated. 

Your body tells you what it needs. When your nose is red, or your skin feels taut or even when getting waxed hurts more than usual, it means that your skin is dry and needs replenishing. 

So while we welcome this winter wonderland, make sure you are doing all to protect yourself – from inside and out. Eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and using moisturizers often are the first steps to making your skin and hair love the wintry weather. So bundle up in your coats, apply that cream and set off in the chilly season!