Care for your skin and eyes in the winter! 2

Winter season beholds an irritating problem to many people – dry skin and eyes. Cold air has much less moisture than warm air and the humidity in winter tends to fall tremendously. Winter seems harsh on our skin and eyes as we age too. The skin becomes rough, flaky and itchy and the eyes red and irritated. This in turn leads to infections and injuries (you might scratch your corneas off!), and exacerbates pre-existing conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Normally the skin absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and tries to get well hydrated. In winter the cold air has much less moisture and thus there is no opportunity for the skin to do this. Added to this as we age the moisturizing properties of the skin is also reduced. What is the solution to prevent dry skin in winter?

1. Take short showers with warm water and stay no more than 10 minutes under the shower. Do not use hot water as it strips the skin off its moisturizing oils.
2. Creamy cleansers: Use milkier-looking face and body washes. Use mild detergents with the name sodium laureth sulfate on the label.
3. Use an oily moisturizer after the bath. Dry your skin and apply the moisturizer. Try to have the moisturizing lotion with the container warmed for 5 minutes in a bath of warm water.
4. Moisturize the body before retiring for the night. Twice daily is a good idea in winter.
5. Use gloves and socks at night to make the moisturizer penetrate the skin better.

Eyes need to be bathed constantly in tears. However in winters due to the drying effect the tears are reduced. Also around the age of 40 onwards tear production diminishes.

1. Minimize the drying effect on eyes by wearing wraparound sunglasses. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate the eyes.
2. Replenish wetness of the eyes by using a mild artificial tears.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease dryness of eyes. (Tuna, salmon, flaxseed, canola oil and walnuts are good sources.) Nowadays you also get Omega-3 fatty acid capsules.
4. Use a lubricating eye ointment at bedtime.

Follow these simple steps and keep dry skin and eyes in winter at bay.