The Big Chill

The Big ChillThe winter season along with the chilling air, brings about its own problems of dryness, brittle nails, cracked feet, and all the rest of those cold discomforts. From a soft and supple skin all summer, the skin gets scaly and coarse in winter. Cold makes keratin stiffer and less flexible - you will probably be familiar with the 'tight' feeling that skin has in the winter. Another factor is that, the stratum corneum simply doesn't like the cold. In extreme cases, this constant drying effect can lead to cracking, flaking and redness. In the winter, skin tends to lose the battle against the environment. That's when it needs to be looked after most.

The sudden dip in temperature, biting winds and central heating can have a drying effect on the skin and hair, so check out these different ways to prevent winter discontent.

Cracked Heels, Corns, Bunged-Up Feet And Hairy Legs

What To Do :

Feet get tired from wearing closed shoes throughout the day and they, too, need to breathe. Because feet aren't always on display in winter, you may slack on foot care. Make sure toenails are always neatly trimmed-long ones are just too gross for words and besides, you could end up with ingrown toenails. Relax feet at the end of the day by pressing along the inside of the foot from the heel to the big toe. Point feet forward and rotate. A good foot massage will also help you sleep better.

Take time out to soak feet in warm water. (Too hot water will only dehydrate feet further). Place some marbles in a bowl full of water and rub your feet against them. Add a few drops of essential oil as well. Use a pumice stone to remove dead skin.

Massage your feet at night with brahmi oil for dry skin and castor oil for sensitive skin. For corns and callouses try dipping cotton wool pads in fresh pineapple juice or lime juice and apply as a bandage to the affected area. In time the corn should dissolve. Try Krack cream for cracked feet.

Tip: Slit open a capsule of vitamin E (easily available at the local chemist), mix the contents with a rich moisturizer and massage your feet with it, at bedtime. It's absolute heaven. Get your legs Waxed, to get rid of the layer of dead cells on the skin allowing the skin to breathe. Besides you never known when you may need to well, undress suddenly!

Rough Hands, Brittle Nails, Fuzzy Arms

What To Do:

The Big ChillGloves, are great for keeping the hands warm, and softer throughout the season. Neglected hands, will reflect not only your personality but also your age. Always keep hands clean (for purpose of hygiene as well as for reasons of beauty) and never forget the golden rule of applying a hand cream whenever your wash them.

Nails, should be neatly filed and shaped on a regular basis. For under the nail cleanliness use a nail brush and for smooth and shining nails use a nails buffer. Try a cuticle softener, for it might prove worthy.

Refrain from biting your nails. To help, kick this habit keep nails short, and paint them with a dark coloured polish. (Every-time you bite you'll be conscious of chipping the polish).

As with legs, arm too get hidden away this season. Again, waxing or using a depilatory cream will remove dead cells clinging to the surface of the skin. Don't even think about giving armpits a miss. You'll be risking a fungal infection.

Elbows, need special attention this time of the year. Try these kitchen recipes of lime juice, mixed with sugar to slough away dead skin and then massaged with almonds oil to moisturize. Another is using mashed papaya with sugar. The enzymes in the papaya will loosen the dead skin cells. If using fruit for the skin is not your thing check out the market, for a foot sloughing cream which will work just as well on your elbows.

Chapped Lips, General Body Dryness, Dry Brittle Hair.

What To Do:

The Big ChillMakeup left on-added to late-night partying- not only clogs up pores and toxifies your system, it quickens the ageing process. No matter how late you get back from that party take out 10 minutes to first remove makeup. Go for the eyes first. Use an eye makeup remover (preferably, oil based) and gently clean if off-taking care not to pull at the delicate area around the eye using only as much remover as you need. An overload of oil will clog pores further causing irritation and puffiness. Try using a cotton bud for removing traces of make-up between the lashes. Choose a creamy cleanser for the face. Cleaning milk is great for dry skin and Cleanser with fruit extract work, well for oily to normal skin. Wash face with a soap free face wash.

The cold and dry climate will chap most lips. A thin coat of mousterizer, works wonders and keeps lips soft. An alternative is using lip balm. The more you lick your lips, drier they become. A baby's tooth brush rubbed gently against the lips removes all dry flakes. Use a creamy, drenched- in-moisture lipsticks during the day.

Few things beat a good soak in the tub. To relax blend just a few drops each of essential oils such as of essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, and orange. To counteract dry skin put some baby oil in the water. If it's a shower, you use (shouldn't be too hot) rinse yourself with cooler water (pretend you're going form a sauna to a swimming pool) to close pores dab yourself dry, and apply almond oil mixed with a cream or lotion. If dryness doesn't disappear in time then perhaps a dermatologist can help.

Since it's cold outside, we can't go out with wet hair. So out comes the hairdryer-in comes brittle, dry hair. And why should hair suffer? Vigorously rubbing hair dry will strip if of its natural oils, so blot instead of rub. Try an intensive conditioning treatment once a week.

Massaging the head does improve circulation and promote healthy hair also worth a try is the traditional hot oil treatment.



Dated 12 December 2014


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