From chapped lips to cracked heels: An expert guide to winter hydration

01 February,2023 10:50 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Maitrai Agarwal

Dermatologist shares actionable tips to combat dry skin, chapped lips, and cracked heels this winter

Image for representational purpose only. Photo courtesy: istock

As lovely as respite from the hot and humid Indian summer is, winter brings along myriad issues - from skincare to hair care. Owing to the drop in humidity, the winter months can be especially challenging for those suffering from dry skin as it struggles to maintain hydration. Along with flaky skin, chapped lips, and cracked heels are also common during the winter months which also indicated the need to modify your regimen with change in seasons. While a quick search can reveal thousands of tips, it can be overwhelming to determine what actually works. We*ve asked Dr. Mahesh Shahane, dermatologist at Sparsh Skin Clinic to share actionable solutions that are effective.


Drink at least 2.5 litres of water

The moment we talk about hydration, we think of water because this is one of the utmost natural ways to keep yourself and your skin hydrated. Keep a track of the amount of water you are consuming every day and it should not be less than 2.5 litres a day.

Do not skip SPF indoors

Sunscreens are sacrosanct in your skincare. While it protects your skin from harmful UV rays coming from the sun, it also locks in moisture in your skin to keep it hydrated. Excess exposure to blue light because of screen time can be one of the reasons for skin dehydration and dullness. Use SPF 50+ even indoors that will act as a shield to protect your skin from any damage.

Use a gentle cleanser

Treat your skin gently with a face wash or cleanser that suits your skin type. Your daily cleanser should be free of any fragrance or alcohol to leave your skin away from any harmful substance. A gentle cleanser will protect skin barrier, remove dirt and impurities, maintain glow and avoid dehydration. Avoid over cleansing, I would recommend twice a day, once in the morning and once before you sleep to keep your skin clean.

Avoid hot showers

If you are someone who likes to shower under hot water, then you might want to reconsider it. Hot showers will take away natural oil from skin, hence causing barrier damage and dehydration, while lukewarm or cool water will aid increased blood flow, reduce puffiness, and soothe your skin.

Hyaluronic acid is the key

Hyaluronic acid as a part of your morning routine every day will ensure a healthier, dewy and supple skin by retaining moisture to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful yet safe ingredient that will bind the water to collage, keeping it intact in the skin.

Moisturise your skin

Moisturisers are a must in your skincare routine. You must moisturise your skin twice a day - morning after cleansing and night before calling it a day. It helps your skin avoid irritation and dryness by protecting it from pollutants and it also holds the water in your skin. There are plenty of options available in the market for all skin types.


Re-apply that balm regularly

One of the easiest ways to prevent chapped lips and heal dryness is applying a hydrating lip balm or chapstick every 2 to 3 hours during the winter season. The layer of the balm will act as a protective barrier as lips are more sensitive than the rest of your skin.

SPF for lips

Your lips need to be protected from harmful rays as much as your skin. Use any lip care product that provides SPF of minimum 30, a recommended amount, guarding the skin.

Do not pick

Stop pulling or peeling your chapped lips as that will make the matter worse, causing soreness, bleeding and flaky. Some easily available products with ingredients like shea butter, petroleum jelly, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and aloe-vera gel are good for lips.

Wipe them clean before you snooze

There*s no way you should sleep with your lipstick on, you should allow your lip to breathe. Remove the makeup with either a remover or damp cotton and wipe it clean.


Exfoliate gently

Gently exfoliate your feet to remove dead skin for a smooth and softer heel after soaking it in a lukewarm water for over 10 to 15 minutes.

Try products with urea

Urea is a great ingredient for cracked heels. It draws moisture to the skin and hydrates dry areas, making it a soothing moisturiser and exfoliator. Strengthening skin barriers, urea keeps the skin*s barrier strong and healthy by renewing and regenerating skin cells.

Ceramide-forward creams

You can also use foot cream products that are enriched with ceramide as it helps restore your skin barriers and traps water in the skin.

Comfort is crucial

Avoid heels, open shoes like flip flops, sandals and opt for closed heel footwear with comfort cushioning that will let the crack heal.

Read More: An expert*s guide to winter hair care

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