Winter is here; time to put away your summer items and make room for winter; get out your long sleeves shirts and T-shirts, your corduroy pants and boots. But keep your sunscreen, sunglasses and hats handy. If you think the cold and the snow will keep at harms length from the UV rays you are wrong; you can still get sunburns, the cold temperatures do not block the UV rays. If you are in a region where it snows, you can still get snow blindness and the higher the altitudes the worse it gets. You can cause yourself severe long-term damage if you are not protecting yourself in the winters.
Dry, itchy, cracked and flaky skin goes hand in hand in the winters. The change in temperature, hot water baths and showers, indoor heating causes the skin to lose important oils and moisture from the skin making it dry, flaky and cracked. Read on below for some tips to help you take care of your skin in the winters.
Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself from the winter sun:
1) Limit your time in the afternoon sun: The sunrays are the strongest in the afternoon, hence limit your exposure whenever possible during the afternoons.
2) Wear a hat: Give protection to areas that are particularly prone to overexposure to the sun like your eyes, face, ears and the back of your neck. Wear a wide brim hat that can offer you good protection.
3) Cover yourself up: Wear loose-fitting, tightly woven and full length clothing like sweaters, jackets, coats to protect your skin from the UV rays.
4) Wear Sunglasses: Choose a pair of sunglasses that will give your eyes 99% to 100% protection from UVA and UVB.
5) Always wear sunscreen: When you are going out in the sun, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15 or higher. Reapply after every two hours especially when you are spending extended periods of time outside.
6) Avoid Tanning beds and parlors: Tanning beds, tanning parlors and sun lamps are a new in, however the light source from these can damage the skin and eyes. Avoid any kind of artificial source of UV light.
Here are some TLC tips for your skin in the winter:
1) Hot water baths: Hot water breaks the natural body oils which get washed away. If you are taking hot water baths add bath oils to the water like almond, olive, lavender or sesame. You can also add milk to your bath water, as it will restore the oils leaving your skin soft and supple.
2) Exfoliate & Cleanse: Exfoliate your skin before you take a bath. You can find various ways to exfoliate your skin on the internet. Choose a way which avoids the use of strong ingredients and methods; choose mild and gentle moisturizing products.
3) Drink plenty of water: Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water to keep the skin hydrated. Keeping the skin hydrated will keep away the dryness, itchiness and rashes. Avoid drinking too much caffeine as it strips the skin of moisture.
4) Moisturize: Moisturizing the skin regularly will help the skin stay soft and supple throughout the cold. Choose a moisturizer with essential vitamins and have hydrating properties. Apply a moisturizer within a minute or so taking a shower or bath, the damp skin will trap the water and decrease itching and dryness.
5) Petroleum Jelly: Always keep petroleum jelly with you. Just dab on areas that are dry; it will seal in the moisture and heal dry skin. Petroleum jelly is soothing and is the perfect substitute for expensive creams and moisturizers.
6) Vitamins: To keep you away from the cold and flu pop in some vitamins those are rich in B, C & E. Check with your doctor before taking any kind of pills and do not overdose on vitamins.
7) Spa it up: If you can, go to a spa and try one of the rejuvenating treatments recommended for winter. These treatments will keep your skin hydrated and away from dryness.
The Winter Daily Routine:
1. Delight your taste buds with sweet, sour and salty dishes.
2. Gratify your appetite with milk, hot soups and a balanced diet.
3. Indulge your body with a mild oil massage.
4. Remember to always wear warm clothes.
Natural Homemade scrub for winter:
Mix yellow gram (channa) dal, green gram (moong) dal, fenugreek seeds (methi) in equal parts. Grind these into a fine powder. Use the powder as a scrub while taking a bath instead of using body washes and soap.
Take a few drops of coconut oil and mix it in a little water. Rub the oil all over the body at the end of your bath or shower. Dab the body with towel. It helps to naturally increase the moisture content of the skin.