The nip in the air is a signal that winter is truly here. The onsetof the season is accompanied with dry, itchy and flaky skin and dry hair. With the festive and wedding season in full swing, it’s time to dress up and flaunt your beauty; at such times, dull skin and hair can be distressing. Read on to find ways to get the skin and hair you always craved for.
>> Dryness of skin is basically aggravated due to exposure to extreme climates, wrong eating habits and mental stress. Drink plenty of water or coconut water, fruit and vegetable juices (carrots, tomatoes, beetroot, spinach), flax seeds, dry fruits (almonds, walnuts, dates, figs) and salads, which will help hydrate
>> Apply fresh aloe vera gel, almond oil, fresh cream and saffron on your skin to look radiant.
>> For your hair, use a mixture of almond, mustard and coconut oil. For excessively dry hair, castor oil works wonders. Try to use natural and herbal shampoos that can be prepared at home by mixing soaked reetha, shikakai pods and dried amla. This concoction helps retain moisture in the hair cuticles.
Ensure you sleep for eight hours and take short naps to keep the skin revived. Nothing beats a good jog, walk, exercise or a session of yoga. Ensure you sweat it out even if you feel lazy on foggy winter mornings.
Skin expert Dr Jayanti Rudra says, “Milk and dates supply the necessary minerals required for healthy growth. Dates are cleansing as they contain tanin and help keep the intestines healthy and benefit the skin. Saffron is one the most expensive and exclusive skin foods that makes the skin glow. It can be had with milk, either for internal or even external application. It has anti-carcinogenic as well antioxidant properties.”
Dr Rudra adds that carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and fibre. “And they protect you against skin cancer caused due to prolonged exposure to ultra-violet rays of the sun. Sprouted green gram has easily digestible quality of proteins and helps in the maintenance of cells and thus improves skin. The best way to consume it is in its raw form or it may be mildly steamed. Two tablespoons a day is good enough.”
Soy foods are also ideal as they help delay the ageing process and reduce wrinkles and dry skin. “Soy foods are rich in vitamin E, which helps in the formation of new cells. Include tomatoes which are rich in lycopene which refills antioxidant levels in the skin and helps fight wrinkles. Have green tea which is rich in flavonoids that protect skin against winter acne, pigmentation or wrinkles. Garlic increases the immune function of the skin, so make it a part of your diet.”
Dr Rudra observes that probiotic curd is also great for skin because it improves the immune system and kills bacteria that cause skin problems. “I also recommend wheatgrass which is a good source of essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols, Vitamin E, complex carbohydrates and proteins. About five grams daily is sufficient. Include whey because of it has easily digestible protein content and helps to control sugar levels, thus promoting tissue repair and damage.”
You can get your glow from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and mandarins which contain two compounds that are needed for healthy skin: vitamin C and limonene. Even plant and seed oils from olives, nuts and avocados in the diet can provide skin with a nourishing glow.
“The presence of vitamin E in these oils ensures the productionof new cells, keeping skin supple, smooth and moist. Avoid caking up your skin with too much make-up during winter, lest you see clogged or dry skin. Let you skin breathe easy. Light, natural skin applications are ideal.”
For hair care, protect the hair from the heat of the dryer. “Using a finishing product or natural serum to make your hair shiny is ideal. In addition, protein-based masks help achieve glossy hair. Avoid using too many products at the same time,” concludes Dr Rudra.
Says beauty expert Shon from Shonelle, “To combat flaky skin, E capsules are helpful. Dab a little amount of this capsule after moisturising. You will be surprised to find soft and fine skin in a week’s time. Winter causes dryness of the scalp and hence, dandruff and hair fall. Take some table salt in a salt shaker and sprinkle it on your scalp. Now, wet your fingers and start massaging your scalp or you can ask someone to massage your scalp for 10-15 minutes so that dead skin flakes are completely removed from your scalp. After massaging, wash your hair with regular or anti-dandruff shampoo, followed by a protein