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Skincare experts share tips on preventing dryness amid pollution and humidity

Updated on: 02 December,2022 11:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sukanya Datta |

Dust, pollution and low humidity levels in the city can cause havoc on your skin and hair. Experts share tips to beat dryness

Skincare experts share tips on preventing dryness amid pollution and humidity

Ensure your moisturiser is ideal for winters

Winter is coming. But your hair and skin will tell you that the Mumbai pre-winter season is already here. If you have noticed your skin feeling extra-dry, or your hair looking dull, blame the low humidity. That, along with increased dust and post-festival pollution, can further dehydrate your skin and scalp, cautions Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics. “Dry weather leads to the loss of moisture in your skin, causing dry and flaky skin. Dryness also leads to the absorption of moisture from the scalp and hair follicles, which leaves us with brittle and weak hair. This causes hairfall,” elaborates Dr Shareefa Chause, dermatologist, Apollo Spectra Mumbai.

Oil your hair twice or thrice a week use a leave-in serum to keep sun damage and pollution away
Oil your hair twice or thrice a week use a leave-in serum to keep sun damage and pollution away

Watch the signs

Apart from dry hair and scalp, Dr Kapoor shares that some of the common dermatological concerns during this period include an increase in eczema, psoriasis, atopic eczema in kids, and flare-ups of skin or contact allergies. “With people working out of AC offices and not drinking enough water, the hydration level dips further,” she adds.

Dr Chause notes that dry, scaly skin also means more dandruff accumulation, which can cause forehead and truncal acne. “If dryness is ignored for long, it can lead to rashes or inflamed skin, apart from scarring and secondary infections,” she tells us.

Care for your skin

The duo suggests handy pointers to keep in mind:

>> Strictly maintain your hydration levels.

Cover your hair while stepping out
Cover your hair while stepping out

>> Tweak your skincare regimen for the season. Those who have dry skin or are prone to dryness, use the right kind of cleansing, toning, moisturising and sunscreen (CTMS) routine. In this weather, use cleansers that are not too foaming or lathering, but are hydrating, such as soap-free cleansers. Foaming takes away moisture from the skin. 

>> Soak oats in water, and use the water to grind them. Use it as a cleanser. It’s great for skin hydration, and recommended for people with skin problems like dryness or allergies. You can add some honey to this. Body washes and soaps made with natural oat extracts also work well. 

>> Don’t wash your face too often, as it dries out the skin. Limit it to twice a day. 

>> Use a heavy-duty moisturiser if you have extremely dry skin; if not, use a light moisturiser. Winter moisturisers should have ceramides, squalane, hyaluronic acid, in addition to Vitamin E. It helps to strengthen the barrier of the skin against damage.

>> A sunscreen of at least SPF 30 is mandatory. Check if the sunscreen blocks all UV rays, UVA, UVB, infrared rays and blue light in addition to being anti-pollution. The anti-pollution ones are beneficial for people who spend more time outdoors. Sunscreens with a blue light filter are recommended for people who spend a lot of time in AC rooms.

Soaked oatmeal with honey makes for a gentle cleanser
Soaked oatmeal with honey makes for a gentle cleanser

>> Apply aloe vera on the skin to soothe it; or mix it with glycerin before your bath. Follow up with moisturiser. Or use glycerin for 10 to 15 minutes before you bathe. Follow up with coconut oil after taking a bath. 

>> Include food rich in antioxidants, like green vegetables, berries and fruits, in your diet to reduce oxidative stress.

>> Don’t use water that’s too hot or cold while bathing; keep it lukewarm.

>> To tackle cracked feet, exfoliate the skin twice or thrice a week to remove dead skin. Apply petroleum jelly and wear socks to lock in the moisture.

(From left) Dr Shareefa Chause and Dr Rinky Kapoor(From left) Dr Shareefa Chause and Dr Rinky Kapoor

For healthy hair

Dr Chause and Dr Kapoor share tips and tricks to tackle dry, frizzy hair:

>> In the outdoors, cover the head with a scarf or hat to maintain moisture levels and keep the dust particles away. 

>> Reduce chemical treatments during this season; avoid using excessive heat on the hair for styling or drying.

>> Oil your hair twice or thrice a week.

>> If your hair feels too dry, pre-condition it with coconut oil or preconditioners for 15 to 20 minutes before you wash it off. Use hydrating shampoos. Follow up with a post-wash conditioner. You can apply leave-in serums to keep sun damage, pollution and dryness at bay. 

>> Use a moisturising hair mask. You can also mix drops of lemon in curd and apply the hair mask twice a week before washing your hair. Lemon reduces scaling and curd is moisturising, so the mask helps to combat dandruff and dryness. A curd mask will also add shine to your tresses.

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