Winters may be your favourite season, but you cannot ignore the fact that the pollution levels are going to be on the rise during this season. And with the festive season still on with Christmas and New Year knocking at the door, It is time we take good care of our hair and skin. But how does one formulate a hair care routine during this time? Here is how you can take care of your hair and skin to combat pollution.
Keep yourself hydrated. The first visible effects of pollution are seen in dry skin and hair, dullness and lack of brightness. Dr B L Jangid, MD Skin, dermatologists from Delhi, says, “Not only must you drink at least eight to ten glasses of water, but have fresh fruits and vegetables. Follow the cleansing, toning and moisturising routine daily - once before stepping out during the day and once before you retire for bed in the night. For the hair, oil your hair with warm oil every alternate day and wrap a warm towel so the oil seeps into the scalp. Do not rub vigorously; instead, use fingertips to apply gentle pressure on the scalp.”
Start drinking lots of green tea. Aesthetic dermatologist, Dr. Kiran Sethi mentions, “The antioxidants in green tea are known to reduce oxidative stress on the skin, so drinking it throughout the day will help in withstand the partying onslaught. Wash your face with cold green tea because the natural antioxidants will help brighten your skin, while also treating all the stress your skin went under this festive season.”
Dr Sethi adds, “Drink warm water with lemon throughout the day! The lemon has lots of Vitamin C which is a great antioxidant and immune booster, and water we all know is a simple must for us all.”
Dr Jangid suggests that to create a barrier between skin and the polluted environment, occlusives which will prevent the contact of chemicals to skin and create a sort of protective layer. The same can be done for hair by applying a leave-in conditioner or hair serum. “Don't apply any unknown chemicals on skin or hair. Not only can they cause reactions as the skin is sensitive in this changing weather, but both skin and hair are dry and the chemicals can further damage the cells of both skin and hair,” adds Dr Jagnid.
Take care to remove any chemical products from skin and hair - including makeup, hair styling gels etc as soon as is possible. “Also, I strongly recommend using an oil to do this and not any chemical removers. So if you have used gel in your hair, take some coconut oil and apply it on hair strands. Let it stay for 10-15 minutes before you shampoo it off. Similarly for removing make up, simply massage your face with some coconut oil to dissolve the makeup before wiping gently with a damp muslin cloth. Wash your face with a mild face wash after that. Under no circumstances should you rub your skin or hair,” says Dr Jagnid.
Applying a Vitamin C based serum to your skin during the night to pamper your skin. Also, for your hair, break open a capsule or two of Vitamin E into warm oil before you massage your scalp. This is just a 'booster' to provide nourishment to hair that is constantly ravaged by the harmful effects of chemicals and pollutants.
Now, since all your pores are obstructed from pollution, Dr Sethi says that there is nothing more necessary than oxygenating each and every cell. Look for oxygen facials which will deep cleanse your follicles while refreshing your skin instantly. Try and keep your hair and face covered to protect it from the pollution and the harmful ultra-violet rays of the winter sun.
Dr Kiran Sethi lists down certain home remedies:
*Wash your hair with pitera – essentially soak rice in water, then drain the rice out. Leave the water out covered for 5 days – and that becomes pitera, water chock full of vitamins, minerals, and ferulic acid! Your hair will feel fresher and cleansed like no other from all the pollution of the days.
*Use Pitera as a toner- That same ferulic acid will brighten your skin, and those vitamins will give your skin the nutrition it lost during the festive season.
* Ice Cube Facial- Ice cubes used all over the face makes the pores look tighter, redness disappear, and a natural fresh glow appear.
*Massage your skin- The skin tends to get dry during this season. Massage grape seed or hempseed oil into your face and leave on overnight a few times a week as a gentle hydrating mask.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine