Cosmetic dermatologist, hair transplant surgeon and founder of LeJeune Medspa, Dr. Shuba Dharmana, talks about winter beauty
Read the excerpt:
What is the impact of climate change on skin and hair?
Dr Shuba: As the season changes, climate change has big implications for skin and hair. The skin has a thermoregulatory system for temperature changes, but it takes time for the skin to adjust to sudden changes. Likewise, changes in humidity levels will impact skin hydration, strong winds can dry out the skin and during the rainy season excess humidity can lead to fungal infections. But, with the right care, these can be treated with simple changes so that the skin can adapt better and faster.
What are some common hair and skin problems in winter?
Dr Shuba: In the winter when humidity levels drop, skin hydration levels also drop, resulting in dryness of the skin which sometimes leads to more cracking. One of the main functions of the skin is the barrier function. The skin barrier is made up of the outermost layer of the skin with dead skin cells and fat that helps retain moisture and protect us from external environmental factors and microorganisms. When this layer dries out with little or no hydration, the skin barrier function is disrupted, leading to inflammation and irritation.
People with acne may find their condition worsening. There may be itching, dryness, patches, and peeling of the skin. It’s easier for environmental toxins and microorganisms to get inside and wreak havoc. Likewise, the hair also becomes dry, dull, brittle and prone to breakage.
Does winter weather affect different skin / hair types in different ways? If so, is there a common cure for all of them?
Dr. Shuba: Winter can affect different types of skin and hair differently. Those with oily skin and acne may see a flare-up when the epidermal barrier is disrupted and inflamed. Those with dry skin will see more dryness, flaking, and patchy skin.
Curly hair is more likely to become brittle, and winter weather can be tough on it. Dry hair will also see brittleness and dryness. Those who get hair color and use heat styling methods will see worsening hair condition with more dryness and brittleness.
Skin care should be changed in winter. A good moisturizer is essential in winter but be sure to choose a cream or serum that does not clog the pores. Coconut skin oil is not only non-comedogenic, but increases skin hydration levels by at least 30% as it is rich in saturated fatty acids and will penetrate the skin barrier to strengthen it. . Coconut hair oil is also rich in MCTs and lauric acid. This helps it penetrate deeper and faster, and improves hair and scalp health.
How important is a good hair and skin care routine?
Dr Shuba: Although the skin has its own regulatory mechanisms, it takes time to adapt to sudden climate changes. This, coupled with the fact that people use external factors to change the temperature, such as taking hot showers, is disturbing the skin. It is therefore important to use corrective measures in one’s skin and hair care as per the demands of the skin. Dry skin and hair in winter can be easily corrected by changing the steps in skin care. Daily cleansing of the skin is essential to remove excess sebum, dirt and skin debris. When the skin is dry, switch to a gentler cleansing lotion with oils or emollients incorporated that will not dry out the skin further. Avoid sodium lauryl sulfate cleansers and soaps which can be more drying on the skin. Moisturize with a coconut based skin serum or oil to replenish skin hydration levels. It is also important to use sunscreen in the winter to protect yourself from UV rays.
Likewise, for hair, avoid or reduce heat styling and chemical treatments in winter as this can cause further damage and make the hair more brittle. Regularly use coconut based hair oil and massage to increase penetration and circulation. Preferably use a mild shampoo without SLS and a conditioner or deep conditioning mask if the hair is dry or frizzy.
DIY masks and home remedies for hair care and skin care in winter?
Dr Shuba: Coconut hair oil can be mixed with egg whites and applied to the hair. Leave on for up to 20 minutes and rinse.
Mashed avocado or even mayonnaise can be mixed with coconut based hair oil and applied to the hair, for revitalized and shiny hair.
Coconut based hair oil can be gently warmed up and applied to the scalp for better penetration to help fight dry scalp issues. Let stand 40 minutes and rinse. This scalp and head massage will help relieve stress, improve circulation and increase the penetration of the active ingredients.
You can make your own scrub at home by mixing brown sugar with coconut-based skin oil. The consistency should be slightly grainy. You can apply on the face, leave on for 10 minutes and rub gently all over the face before rinsing. Lip scrub can be done in the same way for great exfoliation.