POST TIME: 12 November, 2017 03:12:21 PM
Cold comfort
Independent Online/ Times Of India

Cold comfort

Winter can play havoc for your skin. It's a time to rethink your skin routine. Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Saumya Shetty Hegde says, "In winter, you need to moisturise more. As the temperature drops, our skin is more likely to change or fluctuate abnormally with different humidity levels in autumn and winter months. The drier the air, the more moisture it sucks from your skin."


Hegde roots for petroleum jelly as a good and cheap moisturiser. "It is an occlusive moisturiser. Apply it after a shower to prevent your skin from drying out. You can also use it for dry nose during cold or allergy season," she suggests. Her other tips for upping your wintercare game? Opt for a fragrance-free moisturiser for best effect; avoid bubble baths and to keep your skin supple, use a humidifier in your room.


Take one brief shower per day. Prolonged or frequent exposure to water or soap will cause more dryness. Avoid a bubble bath.

Avoid hot water.

Immediately post bath, within five minutes, when your skin is a little moist, apply the moisturiser.

Use a humidifier, when you turn the heat on in your homes.

Pick a lotion depending on your skin type. You need a heavier moisturiser in winter.


Five ways petroleum jelly can up your skin game this winter

At night, soak your feet in warm water with some salt added to it. Towel-dry thoroughly and apply petroleum jelly. Wear clean cotton socks over it to lock in the moisture.

Use a little bit of petroleum jelly for your split ends and wash it off with shampoo after some time.

Mix petroleum jelly with sea salt. Apply it on your body after a bath. Interestingly, while applying, it acts as a scrub. Later, the salt gets

dissolved and coats the skin as a long-lasting lotion.

Apply jelly to soothe embroidery rashes.

A quick application of petroleum jelly can slick eyebrow hair back and keep it in place all day for a neat look that perfectly frames your face.


Q: Is petroleum jelly not absorbed by our skin? Does it form a barrier that doesn't allow moisture to penetrate, making our skin drier than before?

A: Not true. Our skin gets its moisture from the lower layers of your dermis deeper in skin not from the environment. We have a constant flow of moisture from the lower layers of the skin to the outer layer. This is called trans-epidermal water/moisture loss. Your outer most layers comprise cells that are filled with hydroscopic material called natural moisturising factor. These cells are cemented in place with a complex mixture of lipids. The cells and lipids hold on to some of this moisture coming from the lower layers to ensure the skin stays soft and pliable. In the course of your skin's exposure to the environment such as dry air, sun, hot water, washing and the sun your skin loses these lipids. When this happens, the skin can no longer hold on to the moisture needed, from the lower layers, so it dries out. Petroleum jelly does not actually penetrate skin, it fills these lipid holes, reducing the moisture loss and allowing skin to once again hold on to the moisture coming from the lower layers, returning skin to a soft and supple state.