When winter fades away and the day gets longer and warmer, we know spring is knocking at our doors and it’s time to put away all the warmers and the woollens. It’s the season to go sleeveless and pull out those shorts & sandal. But aren’t we forgetting something? Our skin is probably crying out for attention after what it usually goes through all winter – dry, scaly, itchy, rough, cracked heels, rough knees, toes and elbows and a stretched and undernourished skin on the face and all over the body.
Winter is probably the worst time for the human skin – low humidity, heat conditions in the house; less access to fresh air can make the skin dull, dry, rough, wrinkled and older. Areas like knees, elbows, heels, and toes often skip our attention and go neglected since they remain covered with socks and shoes. We forget to nourish and moisturise them often. In such cases, the dry cuticles that form don’t take long to worsen and become red and inflamed.
It is not very difficult to get your glowing skin back to flaunt this summer. You should begin with a head-to-toe treatment and most of these treatments are inexpensive and available at home –
- The humble petroleum jelly – Every night before going to sleep, wash your feet and pat them dry. Apply petroleum jelly very generously on the tough and rough areas of your skin, like your heels, elbows, knees and put on cotton socks. Almost overnight, you will see a marked improvement. Stick by this ritual for a few days and in no time, your skin will look good and rid of all the winter dryness.
If you’re not too fond of wearing socks, then make it a habit to apply petroleum jelly before any errand or chore. If your hands also need a similar treatment you can wear white gloves and rubber gloves before any outdoor, gardening or household chores.
- Exfoliating the skin and body-hair removal – During winter, we hardly pay any attention to body hair or its growth. Come spring, you wouldn’t want to prance around with a hairy look. You must consider a full-body gentle exfoliating scrub before any hair removal treatment. You can use the brown sugar available at home for a home scrub to loosen up and remove the dry and dead skin cells. Chemical or wax removal of hair will be easier and safer. There should be a minimum of 2 days’ gap between your scrub treatment and the hair removal exercise to ensure your skin gets some breathing space.
- Cleansing and moisturising the face – Normal exfoliating scrubs cannot be used on the face as they are harsh and can tear the just-out-of-winter skin and make it drier and worse. The face needs a cleanser or a moisturiser, sometimes both which contain alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid. Any home-made acid peels should be used with care but an Over-the-counter product may end you up with blotchy damaged skin called hyper pigmentation.
- Skin regimen in spring – One must cleanse, tone and moisturise the skin two times daily. Add to that a weekly facial steam, the facial mask is optional. But one must find the right cleanser and be aware of one’s skin type – oily, dry, sensitive, acne-prone or menopausal. One must opt for a mild cleanser in the category one fits into. The same rules apply when choosing a facial mask and what purpose it should serve – tightening pores, reducing oiliness, or moisturising.
A visit to the store will offer scores of options in creams, lotions and treatments. You must know what suits your skin with a little bit of trial and error. Home-treatments are always the safest and the mildest.