By Nivedita Dadu
Are you pregnant and suffering from super dry skin, rough elbows, knees, chapped lips and flaky complexion? Say hello to winters, when every expecting mother faces similar challenges. It is believed that when the air starts to chill, the human body adapts to hold in heat by narrowing blood vessels, as a result of which the epidermis starts drying up and the skin becomes dull, leading to problems such as flaking and cracking of the skin.
So, here are some golden tips to snap the cold and keep your skin glowing and hydrated in winters, from head to toe.
The first and foremost important tip is to moisturise your skin well. Now, the biggest task is to decide the best moisturiser for your skin type. It completely depends on your skin type. For normal to dry skin, a cream-based moisturiser is best suited to lock in moisture, whereas in the case of oily skin it is advised to use gel-based moisturisers. Vitamin C-based moisturisers or antioxidant serums support building blocks of your skin, help in collagen and elastin production, thus reducing dullness and brightening up the skin.
Cleanse but not dry out your skin
Always use an essential oil and moisturiser-based face-wash. Do not use hard drying soaps or scrubbers that can strip off the essential oils produced by the skin. Further, opt for glycerine-based body washes in winter.
No matter what, SPF is a must
It’s winter, but you still need sunscreen. It’s a myth that one doesn’t need sunscreen in winter. We require sunscreen throughout the year. Though UVB decreases around winter, levels for UVA are still significant, which is responsible for ageing effects on the skin. So, always apply sunscreen.
Keep yourself hydrated internally too
The skin has the tendency to dry out and become more sensitive in winters. Also being an expecting mother, make it a point to keep yourself hydrated internally as well. Drinking a lot of water is always advisable. Further swapping your tea and coffee with green tea is recommended, as it has amazing anti-oxidant effects.
Protect your parched lips
To prevent dry and cracked lips, always use a hydrating lip balm as many times as you want in a day. Lip balms containing coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter are highly recommended. You can avoid long-lasting matt lipsticks as they can dry out your lips. Lips balms with correct SPF should always be used.
Do not forget your palms and soles
Parching and cracking of heels are common in winters. To prevent it, you can dip your feet in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes and then apply paraffin and urea-based thick moisturiser on hands and feet. Also, it will relax your soles, which tend to hurt during pregnancy, and soothe the swelling too.
Treasure your own kitchen
You might not be aware but your kitchen is a treasure house. Sneak in to find remedies to soothe skin that’s been tortured by winter. Looking for an easy way to lock in moisture? An oatmeal bath is your answer, which not only removes dirt but also locks moisture and hydrates your skin. The best natural moisturiser is honey, which is full of anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties too. Last but not least, an evergreen solution to dryness is coconut oil.
Consult your dermatologist
In spite of all these precautions, if you still have itchy, dry and flaky skin one should always consult the dermatologist before it worsens up to eczema or dermatitis. It is always advisable to prepare beforehand and plan your skin regimen and treatments to be followed so that your skin is prepared to combat winters.
(The writer is founder, chairman of Dr Nivedita Dadu’s Dermatology clinic, New Delhi.)