The Mandarins Tea Party soap from Lush has mandarin oil, orange juice, crystallised ginger and dried orange slices
Tis the season to be jolly… and extra careful about your skin and hair. The good thing though, is that while winter does spell trouble for the skin (dryness, flakiness, roughness, and what not) it also brings along the remedies — in the form of a whole lot of juicy and nutrient-laden fruits. Oranges, lemons, pomegranates, apples — the fruits of winter can work wonders for your body, complexion and hair.
The problem, as explained by Dr. Sangeeta Amladi, head of medical services, Kaya Skin Clinic, is that the low humidity has a drying effect on the skin. Exposure to dry wind, cold water or soaps also increases dryness, she says. Internally, she adds, blood vessels under the skin become constricted due to low temperatures. This reduces blood flow to the skin and sweat glands and oil producing glands in the body.
When the water content of the skin diminishes both inside and outside, the skin cells become shrunken and dry, thus causing flaking of the superficial skin cells. So, drinking lots of water or fruit juices is a must during winter.
Nutritionist Hena Nafis agrees: In winter people reduce their water intake because they perspire less and feel less thirsty. But fruits are a good source of water and they play a huge role in keeping the skin hydrated.
Besides, fruits are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that keep skin healthy from within. For instance, she says: Lack of Vitamin A and C causes dryness and flaky skin. To combat this, have lot of oranges and pears. Also, try and have dry fruits or nuts as they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce dryness and keep the skin moisturised.
According to Nafis, weight-watchers should go for whole fruits and avoid fruit juices because when converted into juices, fruits lose fibre content that balances out the sugar content in them.
If watching your diet doesnt appeal to you, use fruits to make masks or scrubs for the face and hair. Some fruits are actually better for your skin than your waistline, says Suparna Trikha Dewan, beauty expert and Graphiti columnist. Bananas, for instance, are an excellent source of Vitamin B-6, fibre, potassium and Vitamin C. So, in effect bananas nourish and tighten the skin while also helping to cleanse the pores.
Dewan recommends that you make a face-pack of 1tsp whole-wheat flour, 1 mashed banana and 10-12 drops of lemon juice. Leave on for 10 minutes before washing off. The same pack with milk instead of lemon is great for softening rough hands and feet. Leave on till dry before washing off.
Pomegranates, rich in Vitamin A and C, have astringent properties. Massage the juice of the fruit on to tired, dull-looking skin and see it glow. Oranges make for great skin toners and softeners. Boil the peel of one whole orange in 200ml of water, reduce to half, cool and strain. Use this as skin toner. Apples, too, make for great toners and astringents, especially for sensitive skin. Mash one apple and add 2tsp honey to it and apply to the face. Leave for 10 minutes before washing off.
If youre all for the exotic, try avocado. High in vitamins A, E and D, this fruit is great for nourishing dry skin and also has anti-ageing properties. Mix half a mashed avocado with 1tsp China clay, 1tsp honey and half a cup fresh cream. Apply on cleansed skin and leave on for 15 minutes before washing off with tepid water. Dewan adds that nourishing face masks work just as well for the lips.
But if youre not terribly keen on home remedies, most top-notch cosmetic brands offer a vast range of fruity products.
The Body Shops winter fare has a Sweet Lemon collection of body butter, body scrub, body lotion, and lip butter. These are all enriched with ingredients like lemon seed oil, lemon peel, organic sugar, cocoa butter, and organic honey.
And when you step in for a nice warm bath after a gruelling day, try the Mandarins Tea Party soap from Lush. This fruity, refreshing soap has mandarin oil, orange juice, crystallised ginger and dried orange slices.
Or check out Lushs Snow Globe soap with a citrusy lemon myrtle, grapefruit and lemon grass blend. The whole soap is in the shape of a snow globe, with white circles to imitate the snowflakes. Or you could sample the Glögg shower gel, also from Lush, with fresh orange and lemon juices, red wine, brandy, cinnamon and clove, which promises to improve circulation and fend off cold.
If you want to go herbal, pick up Irayas Green Apple Lip Balm which, along with green apple, contains jojoba oil, castor oil, beeswax, wheatgerm oil and no synthetic fragrance or colourants or Tathaastus strawberry or green apple lip balms.
Lakme and Garnier too have fruit-based skincare products. Garniers Gentle Soothing Face Wash is a soap-free gel with orange fruit extract, perfect for winter. Lakmé has also introduced the new Lakmé Fruit Moisture winter range inspired by exotic fruits. Take your pick from the Peach and Plum Daily Glow Moisturiser, Honey & Avocado Winter Perfect Day Lotion, Honey & Avocado Winter Perfect Day or the Strawberry, Kiwi & Passion Fruit Skin Renewal Night Crème. Lakmés range of fruit-based face washes includes Berry Lush Fruit Energizing Facewash, with strawberries and raspberry extracts and Citrus Rain Fruit Detox Facewash, enriched with a concoction of fresh mandarin and sweet orange.
In other words, whatever you do, fruits are the way to go in winters. Eat them, turn them into masks or peels, or pick up fruit-based products — the goodness of fruits is at your service whichever way you want.