Winter is coming! Top 5 natural ways to keep your skin looking its best

Are you among those who envy the silky, smooth and radiant winter skin of those television and film stars and presume that its make up to console yourself?

top 5 winter skin care tips

Well, the truth is that a little bit of care, a healthy dose of food and a dash of pampering and indulging can give you a beautiful and glowing skin during the harsh, cold winters.

What’s so worrisome about skin in winters?
As the temperature plummets down, the air loses its humidity and the artificially created heat in your houses is the main culprits playing havoc with your skin. The winter weather affects all types of skin, ranging from normal to highly sensitive skin or those with a particular skin condition. Dry, itchy and red skin is the most common winter condition affecting almost all types of skin. The other most common problems are winter acne, flaky skin, chapped lips, chapped hands, and skin damaged due to sun. Some of the more serious skin problems during winters include eczema, rosacea, dermatitis, and psoriasis which may need treatment.

1. Watch what you eat! Winter foods for healthy skin
As the adage goes, what you eat shows outside. The foundation stone of a healthy and glowing skin is the nutrition that it gets. While your skin is fighting it out with the crudeness of winters, provide it with nutritious and sumptuous food to help keep it healthy, smooth, supple and free from wrinkles!

Lycopene: Grapefruit has been recommended by a research study in European journal of pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics for its lycopene content. It has been proven that lycopene promotes smoother skin. You can also eat tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, guava, pumpkin and red peppers for their lycopene content. A research study has shown that the beta carotene and lycopene present in carrots can reduce the skin reddening due to sun exposure.

Isoflavones: Eat foods that are rich in isoflavones. The antioxidant properties of isoflavones can help you fight the harmful free radicals formed due to sun exposure and are also useful in preserving collagen protein which firms the skin. Foods like Edamame, Soymilk and Tofu are rich source of isoflavones.

Carotenoids: There is increasing research evidence which has linked carotenoids like lutein to be protecting skin from the UV damage. Egg yolk has lutein which is good for skin and eyes in winters. Spinach also has good amount of carotenoids. Spinach is extremely healthy for skin because it also boasts of having Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, folate and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vitamin C: Food rich in Vitamin C can prevent the dryness and also has skin smoothening effects since it has antioxidant properties. It can remove the harmful free radicals produced by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It also forms collagen protein which plays an integral role in firming the skin. Broccoli and oranges are rich sources of Vitamin C in winters.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is considered to very good for improving dull, tired complexion of the winter skin. Foods rich in Vitamin E are carrots, sweet potato and bell peppers. Blueberries, blackberries and black grapes are also good for enhancing complexion in winter due to a pigment known as anthocyanidins.

2. Prevent your skin from harsh winter
Prevention is better than cure! There are certain winter care tips for skin which are easy to follow and can keep the dry, cracked and irritable skin away from you. 4 most important tips you can incorporate in your daily routine to make your skin pro-winters are;

Do not indulge in hot showers or baths: Even though a hot shower is something you crave for during winters, but the truth is that hot water showers remove the protective lipid barrier of the skin leading to a loss of hydration from the skin. Winter showers should be taken with warm or tepid water and for very small period of time.

Humidifier is a must: The winter months are accompanied with a lack of moisture which is one of the main causative factors for the cracked and itchy skin. Humidifiers moisturize the air in the room and prevent extreme dryness of the air. Humidifiers are also helpful in preventing conditions such as sinusitis in winters.

Exfoliate the skin: Use a smoothing exfoliator to clear off the dead or old layer of the skin to reveal a new and healthy looking skin. But, remember that peeling off dry skin will not help in revitalizing skin or creating new skin cells. Natural lip balms and lipsticks with moisturizers should be used.

Use sun block: Use moisturizing sun block creams with SPF to counteract the harmful effect of the UV rays in damaging the skin. Natural sun block offering protection against UV-A and UV-B radiation is most effective in preventing sun damage.

3. Smell the air! These essential oils are a must for winters
Come winters and your skin gears up to fight its toughest battle due to the cold and dryness. Winters are also marked with the holiday season when you get clicked all the time. So, for those exceptional pictures and flawless skin in the cold of the winters the essential oils are used for their plethora of therapeutic benefits and nutritive and healing properties. Essential oils are a potent means of skin defense for providing protection from hazards of the winter and are also a great means of regenerating and creating youthful and healthy skin. The top 4 essential oils bestowed with skin healing and defense activity for the winter skin are;

Lavender oil: Lavender can be massaged into the skin individually or in an artistic blend of essential oils taken in carrier oil such as jojoba oil. Lavender oil is known to be a wonderful essential oil used in aromatherapy for relieving winter blues, depression and stress. It also relaxes by inducing sleep and hence produces a calming effect. Lavender essential oil used in massages or baths is absorbed into the skin through the hair follicles and reaches the blood stream to cleanse and detoxify the system. Lavender oil is especially good for normal to oily skin.

Sandalwood oil: Sandalwood oil is nourishing winter oil with enriching properties. It is balancing oil for normal to dry skin. Sandalwood oil is well known for its relaxant and skin care properties. Especially useful in winters, sandalwood oil is excellent for chapped skin, dry skin, oily skin, scars, sensitive skin, stress and stretch marks of pregnancy.

Frankincense oil: Frankincense is nourishing oil beneficial for normal to dry skin. The aroma of Frankincense is useful to relieve stress, anxiety and nervous tension. Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties which make it very efficient for maintaining skin wellness and health. Frankincense essential oil used in winters provides relief from the dry, skin itching, alleviates the scars from acne, and stretch marks. It regenerates the skin and also prevents the wrinkling of skin in winters.

Cedarwood oil: Cedarwood oil is antibacterial in nature and hence prevents acne. Used for massaging on the skin during winters, it has enormous moisturizing and softening abilities. Cedarwood oil soothes the skin during winters and is nondrying in nature and hence is perfect for all types of skin from dry to oily skin. When used topically, it has to be mixed in carrier oil.

4. Pamper yourself! Use these DIY masks and face cleansers in winters
NO amount of moisturizer or spa and beauty care can moisturize your skin if your skin conditioners do not reach the skin beneath the top layer of dead dried skin cells. Exfoliating is an important step of skin care regimen in winters. Use a homemade exfoliating scrub to clear off the dead skin cells and moisturize the skin from within. You can create a good exfoliator from the mundane things in your kitchen cabinet. Mix olive oil/walnut oil/coconut oil with raw sugar or refined white sugar or coarse sea salt. To this mixture honey or citrus oil can be added as well for a relaxant effect along with scrubbing. Rub on this mixture on your skin for almost 30 seconds in circular motion and wash off with water.

Skin cleansing as a daily routine is another important regime to be followed with devotion for healthy skin. Please remember that excess use of soap further dries up the skin, so stay away from soap based face washes this season. Use a mixture of jojoba oil, almond oil and 10 drops of carrot seed essential oil on cotton pads to clean dry skin. Another natural cleanser for mature, dry skin is a blend of rose water (100 ml), vegetable glycerin (90 ml), Aloe Vera gel (90 ml), palm Rosa essential oil (5 drops) and rose essential oil (5 drops). Apply this mixture on skin, massage into the skin and then wash off with tepid water.

Natural homemade face packs and face masks are not only useful in preventing the dryness of the skin but also provide it nourishment in the form of Vitamin E and make it healthier.

Avocado face mask is prepared by mixing ripe, deseeded mashed avocado with 1 tbsp. of olive to make a fine paste. This paste is applied all over the face uniformly and left for about 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsed off with water. This face mask is a rich source of Vitamin E, and the olive oil facilitates the deeper penetration of the Vitamin E into the skin.

Honey and rose water face pack is another face pack which has excellent moisturizing benefits. 1 tbsp. of honey is mixed with 1 tbsp. of rose water and applied on face. This face pack is washed off after leaving for 10 minutes. Honey has been proven to be a very good natural moisturizer and rose water helps in toning the skin. This face pack can be used daily and has the ability to show effect after a very short term usage.

5. Moisturizing is a must! Keep your skin hydrated during the winters
Along with your wool-blends and knits, your face moisturizers should also be thickened up to provide protection to your skin and preventing it from the damage caused by the harshness of the weather. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Whether you have oily skin or dry skin, oil based skin moisturizers are a must. Use facials team to moisturize your face. Add a drop or two of lavender oil to the hot water. Wash off your face with tepid water.

Make a mixture of mashed papaya and honey and apply it evenly on your face. Leave the mask on your face for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Wash off your face with tepid water using a mild hypoallergenic soap. This face mask is an excellent moisturizer for your facial skin.

The most important natural moisturizers for your skin during winters are Grape seed oil, Olive oil, Sunflower oil and Apricot kernel oil.

With the progression of winters some of the skin problems may aggravate into a more serious skin disorder. If the skin condition such as eczema, rosacea or dermatitis persists even after following a healthy skin regime for the winters, it is advisable to see a dermatologist immediately. You may need a treatment with steroids or antibiotics to cure the more serious problem or skin flare ups.

Just take care of yourself, pamper yourself with goodness of natural beauty treatments and natural food supplements, and love yourself to turn heads with your gorgeous looks this winter!

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