Representative image; Dr Renita Rajan
Representative image; Dr Renita Rajan

Exploring skincare that works best this winter season

We open the day with a shower. The question of whether a body wash is better than soap is best answered with a ‘Yes’ this season. The best body wash for this season is a pH-balanced, mild, moisturising body wash – the simplest way to pick the best body wash for winter is to go with a baby range body wash.

CHENNAI: We covered scalp care in the previous article in this column, with tips on managing dandruff for this season. Now, let’s proceed with a simple body care routine for this weather.

We open the day with a shower. The question of whether a body wash is better than soap is best answered with a ‘Yes’ this season. The best body wash for this season is a pH-balanced, mild, moisturising body wash – the simplest way to pick the best body wash for winter is to go with a baby range body wash. This is mild by default, mostly pH balanced and leaves behind a moisturised feel, all of which is very beneficial for your skin. In dry and cold climates, the skin gets dry, dry skin gets sensitive, sensitive skin gets itchy and uncomfortable – and body washes with a lot of fragrance, parfum, and colours and too much lather can make the skin more sensitive in this weather. So it is best to go with a mild, baby-safe body wash even for adults.

The water temperature can make a lot of difference to your skin’s sensitivity. Very hot showers make the skin reactive, so it is best to use lukewarm water for showering, even though it feels great to have a hot shower in this weather.

While it is perfectly okay for adults to use baby range body care products, it is not a great idea to follow this hack for hair care products. Baby hair care products have a higher pH than those of adults and will frizz out adult hair easily.

Following through on the shower, make sure to moisturise the body. There is a rule for this, called the 3-minute rule. Moisturisers work their best when applied within 3 minutes of a shower. This traps the moisture well and keeps the skin hydrated and supple for a long time.

The next point of focus is the kind of clothes we wear. Wool and flannel may be uncomfortable for those with sensitive skin, but we also need warmer wear for this season. The best way to manage this is to go for the layering technique. Wear a thin cotton shirt first, before adding layers with your woollen cardigan, for example.

Going forward with the day, the exposed parts of the body, hands, forearms, feet, and neck, need some top-up moisturising depending on your circumstances. If you have to travel and need sun protection as well, make sure to use the moisturiser first, and then layer the sunscreen on. If you have acne-prone skin, you can skip extra moisturiser for the face, or choose a moisturising sunscreen.

We conclude with a bedtime routine, where you wash off the dirt and residue, again with a lukewarm bath or shower. Follow through with the moisturiser again, this time choose a deep moisturising cream, while for the mornings a moisturising lotion would be easier to use.

You can also add an extra layer of occlusive moisturising by wearing socks after your moisturiser settles in. This is especially useful for those with dry, cracked heels, who also benefit from using closed footwear with soft insoles, even at home.

So those are the basic changes that you need to consider, to get your body winter proofed and ready for the cold and the haze.

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