Cool regimen

THANKS ONCE again to all of you who have taken pains to write to me to clear doubts on problems regarding hair and skin. Climatic conditions bring about changes in the requirements of your skin. It's winter-time now and though we do not have much of a winter in Chennai, it is dry and the skin needs a special routine, especially lips.

So, here is the routine to be followed during this season.

Winter brings its own problems for our skin. As the air gets cooler, glands just below the surface of the skin gets drier and you feel your skin go dry and flaky with a stretchy sensation.

Skin-care routine

Cleansing: In order to counteract dryness, avoid using soap. Most soaps cause extreme dryness during this season. Use a gentle cleansing lotion or cleansing cream. Switch to a face wash to suit your skin type. If you do want to use soap, choose a mild one, which has a more moisturising base of glycerine. Moisturising: Moisturising is the next step, since in winter the skin usually loses moisture to the environment more quickly than it can replenish. So, it needs to be protected with extra rich emollients. Your routine should include using a moisturiser twice-a-day - once in the morning and once before you go to bed (after cleansing and toning).

Night care is very important during the winter months. Every night, before you go to bed, do the following:

* Take one tablespoon of milk cream and mix a few drops each of glycerine, castor oil and rose water. Mix well and apply over the face, neck and hands. Leave overnight and rinse off with water in the morning.

* Do not use facial masks and products containing alcohol or lotions as astringent. If you use make-up regularly, make sure you use a foundation, which includes a moisturiser.

Lip care

— Winter is the time when most of us suffer from chapped lips. This happens as lips have no oil glands of their own, making them more prone to chapping and cracking, even leading to bleeding and infection in some cases. Follow these tips:

* Clean your lips to remove all make up - lipstick etc.

* Apply either vaseline overnight or if you also suffer from dark lips, apply almond cream and leave it on overnight. It helps to soften the lips and also improves its colour tone.

* In the morning apply lip balm or lip-gloss. If you cannot do without your lipstick, apply lip balm and then apply lipstick.

* Do not apply lipstick to chapped lips; it will dry them more.

* Use a moisturiser on your lips several times a day; then apply lip-gloss to protect them from chapping.

* Do not lick your lips with your tongue too often as it dries the lips.

Home remedy for cracked lips:

Crush rose petals and mix with a little white butter or pure ghee. Apply generously on the lips at bed-time. This will keep the lips soft.

Queries answered

Padma wants to know what is meant by frizzy hair. She wants to know what shampoo and conditioner to use because of itchy scalp, but has no dandruff. She also wants to know what is hair serum and how to remove the brown spots on her face and whether she can always use a foundation for casual make-up.

Padma - frizzy hair is generally unmanageable, difficult to discipline and appears wiry. It is usually hereditary. Frizzy hair requires regular care for smoothening and moisturising for better control and discipline.

A number of companies manufacture shampoo and conditioners for specific hair types. Special shampoos are today available for frizzy hair in India too. A very effective one is the Liss Extreme shampoo and Liss Extreme Masque from L'oreal professional which contains an amino acid-essence complex and Ceramide to smoothen the hair fibre. It also contains an active ingredient to moisturise and comfort the scalp. This is available at all L'oreal salons.

Your itchy scalp may be the beginning of dandruff. It is also a sign of your scalp losing its acid mantle.

1. Try using boric acid 1 tsp. (you can buy it at the chemist. We use it to wash our eyes), add warm coconut oil to it and mix so that it dissolves. Section your hair and massage it. Leave it on for 2-3 hours and shampoo.

2. After washing your hair - for the last rinse, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 mug of water and rinse your scalp. This gives back the hair its acid mantel and is also a very good conditioner.

3. Hair serum is a styling product and is usually used for smoothness and control of curly or frizzy hair. It usually contains silicone gum for smoothness.

About your small brown spots on your face, see a beautician to check if they are freckles, pigmentation or moles. Then only I can suggest what you can do. For casual make up, I suggest you can alternatively use Lacto Calamine lotion and foundation and see what suits your skin best.


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