Dry skin can be very sensitive as it is low on sebum levels. Especially so when the weather is cold and the oil glands do not supply enough lubrication to the skin. As a result, in winter, the skin takes on a parched look and feel, as it is not able to absorb and retain moisture. After a wash the skin feels uncomfortably tight and seems to pull in all directions. On such skin types, it is advisable to apply some moisturiser immediately after a shower.
One may also experience chapping and cracking up of the skin and this means that the skin is extremely dehydrated. The condition worsens when you go out in windy and extreme temperatures. The skin becomes flaky and dull and lines and spots become more visible around the eyes and mouth. Considering that the last remnants of winter are still prevalent in parts of India , it is good to know how to deal with the problem of dry skin in cold conditions as well as under normal circumstances.
Nutritional deficiencies can make things worse as can environmental factors. Skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and seborrhea can also affect the person.
Medical reasons can also contribute to dry skin. Of these the most common are an underactive thyroid, skin complications because of diabetes and drug-induced dry skin drugs like diuretics, antispasmodics and antihistamines are known to affect the skin. Genes can also be responsible for your dry skin.
Care of Dry Skin
- Avoid using very hot or very cold water when cleansing dry skin
- Try not to use tap water as it may have deposits that can harm the skin. At least for the face use a splash of mineral water.
- Do not use a cloth or jute scrub on the face. The rough texture will harm the skin. Mist your face by spraying your face with mineral water. Never rub the facial skin. Simply pat it dry.
- Cleansing with soap removes more than just dirt all the natural oils that protect the skin also get removed leaving the skin dull and listless. Use a moisturiser immediately to counteract this. It will increase the water content in the outer layers of the skin and give it a soft dewy look. One could use cleansing creams for the face instead of harsh soaps.
- Use of baby oil after a bath is also known to have beneficial effects.
- Massage with a nourishing cream at night paying attention to the eye area.
- Make a beauty mask in the following manner and apply on your skin at least once a week. Mix 1 egg, 1 tsp honey, ˝ tsp olive oil and a few drops of rose water and apply it on your skin before you go for your bath.
- Fancy yourself a royal treatment? All you have to do is to lie (a la Cleopatra), totally relaxed in a tub of warm water to which 250 gms of milk powder has been added along with a few drops of rose water and a spritz of your favourite perfume. Come out in half an hour all refreshed and sweet smelling and see for yourself the magical results on your dry skin!
- Cracked, sore lips? Massage them at bedtime with malai to which a few drops of rose water and lime juice have been added. A bit of Vaseline rubbed on the lips after applying lipstick will keep them from drying.
- During cold winter, avoid going out in the wind without applying a strong moisturiser. The wind can cause extensive damage to your fragile facial skin
- Aloevera gel has a beneficial effect on dry chapped fingers. Apply generously at bedtime and wear gloves.
- Avoid going out in the harsh sun without a sunscreen protection as it will cause burning, dryness, wrinkles and rashes.