All of us want to look good, no matter what the season. Coping with the daily ravages of the skin calls for an awareness of its needs and some knowledge about the treatment it deserves to look its best. After winter and during the change in the season, you may find that your skin has become rough and flaky or that it has an uneven colour tone and dark patches.
During winter, we love to bask in the sun. This not only causes the skin to become tanned, but exposure to ultra-violet rays can also lead to dark patches or pigmentation, because the melanin is transferred in an uneven manner. The cause may be an internal one, but sun-exposure makes it visible on the face in the form of dark patches. Repeated exposure to the sun causes the patches to become more apparent and persistent.
The first aspect of the treatment is protection from the sun. Actually, as part of the treatment, one should try to avoid sun-exposure as far as possible. Physical protection is the only answer by applying a sunscreen before going out in the sun.
Select a sunscreen with SPF of at least 20. The sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun-exposure, to allow it time to be absorbed by the skin. It should be reapplied if you are in the sun for longer than an hour. The effects of the sun increase near water bodies and snow, as they reflect the sun’s radiation. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to protect the skin and re-apply the sun screen after 20 to 30 minutes.
If the skin is dry, it should be kept moisturised at all times. At night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it into the skin with a few drops of water. This helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
The use of scrubs and masks also help to remove dead skin cells and their contained pigment. This helps dark patches to gradually become lighter. External care itself can remove pigmentation permanently, provided protective care is followed afterwards. Even when the pigmented patches disappear, one should continue to use a sunscreen. In fact, the use of a sunscreen has become an important part of modern cosmetic-care, to protect the skin from problems and premature ageing.
In winters, a dry skin may become dehydrated, with rough reddish patches. Avoid soap and use a cleansing gel morning and night. Apart from daily cleansing, give the skin some nourishment. As a home remedy, you can try applying a little sesame seed (til) oil and pat the skin with a hot moist towel. Or, apply a little milk, with a few drops of honey, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and wash off with water. If you wish to make a cleanser at home, add 5 drops of oil to one tablespoon cold milk. Mix it well. Using cotton wool, use this mixture to wipe the skin. You will find that milk is very soothing for dry skin.
If you have an oily skin, add one teaspoon pure glycerin to 50 ml rosewater. Put it in a bottle and shake well. Apply this on the face. You will find that glycerin and rosewater provide enough moisture to the skin. You can also apply honey on an oily skin. Honey is a powerful natural moisturiser and also softens the skin. You can apply honey daily on the face and wash it off after 15 minutes. This will help to remove the effects of winter dryness on the skin.
If you have a combination skin, it will probably have an oily T-zone, which consists of the forehead, nose and chin, while the rest of the face is dry. The glycerin and rosewater treatment can easily be used on a combination skin, as it will benefit both the dry and oily areas.
Here Are Some Home Remedies for Pigmentation (Dark Patches)
Scrub: Mix 3 tablespoons almond meal (ground almonds) with half-cup yogurt (curd). Apply on the face and neck. Rub gently, especially on the dark patches and wash off. It also helps to remove tan. Scrubs should not be applied on dry or sensitive skin. For dry skin, add half teaspoon “til” (sesame) oil to a little milk and apply on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes.
For sunburn: Actually, cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps to soothe the skin, but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily.
For dark patches: Mix together a big pinch of coarse salt with a cream. Apply only on the areas with the dark patches or spots and rub gently. Wash off. Then apply cold milk and wash off after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week.
For dark spots: Add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) to curd and apply daily on the entire face. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Mask: Mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal with ripe papaya pulp and one teaspoon curd into a thick paste. Apply and wash off after 20 minutes. This mask suits both dry and oily skins.