5 skin mistakes to avoid in cold weather

The balmy weather and the nip in the air might be soothing your soul, but it will cause havoc to your skin if proper care is not taken. Here are five mistakes that you must avoid during winter:

Using hot water for a shower
We agree there’s no greater pleasure than sinking your body in a tub of warm water and staying put for as long as you can in winter. But, remember that the longer you expose your skin to hot water, the faster it will get depleted of natural oils. Says Paromita Chatterjee, a salon expert, “Exposure to hot water makes your skin dry. It’s advisable to finish your bath within 10 minutes. Instead of rubbing yourself with a towel, just pat dry and apply a moisturising lotion or body oil.”

Cranking up the heater
If you feel the cold, warm yourself with cosy, comfortable wool or thermal clothes. Do not crank up the heater to its maximum limit. Says Dr Neha Shetty, a dermatologist, “Overuse of room heaters can dry your skin and even cause blisters. It’s an unnatural way of staying warm and will have an adverse effect on your skin. The best bet would be to wear layers of clothing. Also, when you wear rough woollen clothes, make sure you wear something in cotton first so that the wool doesn’t rub against your skin, causing roughness.”

Ignoring sunscreen
Just because you can hardly feel the harsh rays of the sun on your body does not mean you can completely skip using sunscreen. Adds Paromita, “Irrespective of the temperature outside, the sun emits UV rays which harm your skin and cause irritation, redness, sagging skin and wrinkles. You must use a sunscreen lotion or gel with mild SPF, say 15 or 30, depending on your skin type. Re-apply the lotion once every three hours at least.”

Not staying hydrated
Agreed, water is the last thing you might want to have on cold days. But, staying hydrated during winter is as important as it is in summer. Adds Neha, “You might not be sweating, but you still lose water from the body in the form of cold breath. You also tend to pass a lot of urine because of the body’s internal adjustments and also because of the temperature outside. Drink at least eight glasses of lukewarm water. If plain water is not your cup of tea, add jeera powder, elaichi or other flavours for better taste. You can also have fruits and vegetables that have a lot of water content. Avoid coffee/tea and alcohol during winters. This way, you will keep your skin hydrated.”

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