Getting married this winter? Here are hair & skincare tips for you

Winter is here and it is time to prepare for the wedding nuptials. It’s a day that will forever etch in your heart, a string of moments you will hold dear for the rest of your life! Yes, the wedding day — the magical 24 hours that nudges your soul with love, pomp, and care towards a dream living.

Who doesn’t want to look gorgeous at a party or a wedding? When it comes to a winter wedding, we generally assume that winter weddings are fuss-free. There is no humidity so no frizzy hair, sweaty makeup, or makeup meltdown during wedding functions. But the season brings in problems like flaky skin, cakey makeup, chapped lips, limp hair and the pedicure running out too soon during marriage celebrations. Dry and patchy skin can be a nightmare when it comes to makeup application as everything you apply flakes off or creases.


Looking beautiful on the wedding day is not merely a matter of make-up and dress. It needs weeks of care. If a skin care programme is followed a few weeks before the wedding, it can help. The skin type and the season should also be taken into consideration. For instance, even oily skin may feel dry in winter, while dry skin needs more moisturisation and nourishment with creams and oils.

For your daily facial care routine, cleanse your skin twice a day. It’s not just the skin on your face that’s prone to dryness in the winter — your hands are often left vulnerable to the same environmental elements as your complexion. The same goes for the rest of your body.

Night-time cleansing is more important to remove pollutants and makeup before bedtime. So, cleanse the skin daily at night and apply a layer of moisturiser before you sleep. You can also apply an all-night mask for your skin. For normal to dry skin, use a cleansing cream or gel. Or, take half a cup of cold milk and add five drops of any vegetable oil (til, olive or sunflower oil). Put this in a bottle and shake well. Cleanse the skin with it, using cotton wool. Keep the leftover mixture in the fridge.

If the skin is oily, use a cleansing lotion or face wash for oily skin. Oily skin also needs deep pore cleansing. Mix rice powder with curd and apply on the face once or twice a week. Rub gently with small circular movements and wash off with water. Ready-to-use scrubs are also easily available. In winter, oily skin may be prone to blackheads. You can have a clean-up at a beauty parlour and have blackheads extracted. One of the easiest ways to prevent dry hands is by adding a hand cream to your skincare routine.

An oily skin may also feel dry in winter, but when cream is applied, it can lead to pimples. So, mix one teaspoon of pure glycerine with 100 ml rose water and keep it in a bottle in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion to relieve dryness. It will soften the skin without making it oily.

Aloe vera gel or honey may be applied on all skin types, to moisturise and soften the skin. Apply on the face and wash off with plain water after 20 minutes.

For all skin types, tone the skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Wipe and stroke the skin with them. Then, pat briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads. This adds a glow to the skin.

The daily nourishing of normal to dry skin can be done at night, with a nourishing cream. After cleansing, apply the cream and massage on the face with a few drops of water, with outward and slightly upward movements, for 2 minutes. Wipe off with moist cotton wool.

For the face, mix a mask at home and use it two or three times a week. For normal to dry skin, mix two teaspoons of wheat bran (choker) with one teaspoon each of almond meal (badaam), curd, honey and rose water.

Mix three teaspoons of oats with curd, honey, egg white, or rose water for oily or combination skin. Mix everything into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around the eyes. Wash it off after 20 minutes.

After applying the face mask, soak two cotton wool pads in rose water and use them as eye pads. Lie down and relax. This is extremely relaxing and refreshing and a great restorer of both body and mind. Rose water has a relaxing effect, helps to remove fatigue and brightens the eyes.

The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate. It acquires lines and wrinkles easily. Apply an under-eye cream and wipe it off after 15 minutes with moist cotton wool. Or, daily apply pure almond oil sparingly and massage lightly, using only the ring finger, for one minute under each eye. Massage in one direction only.

The skin on the lips is also thin and lacks oil-producing glands. It becomes dry and chaps easily. Even if you are using the moistest lipstick you cannot apply it on your lips without a coat of lip balm or petroleum jelly. For plump-looking lips, give them a base coat of lip balm. After cleansing, apply almond oil or almond cream on the lips daily and leave it on all night. Sun-protective lip balms are also useful.

Protect the skin from moisture loss during the day. Apply SPF-rich sunscreen before going out in the sun. Ultra-violet rays are weaker in winter and you don’t get tanned easily. But it tends to cause wrinkles, premature ageing, dryness and it damages skin. Most sunscreens have built-in moisturisers. Moisturisers are available in cream and liquid form. For extreme dryness, use a cream. A liquid moisturiser should also be used under make-up. Keep the skin well moisturised.

During winter, opt for water-resistant sunscreens free from fragrance and parabens. This practice will make you glow on your wedding day and even after.

In winter, the skin of the body also needs nourishing with oils. In the olden days, ubtan was made at home for skin care. First, the body was massaged with sesame oil. Then home-made ubtan was applied. This usually consisted of wheat bran (choker), gram flour (besan), yogurt (dahi) or cream of milk (malai) and a pinch of turmeric (haldi). All these were mixed and applied on the face and body before bathing. The ubtan was washed off after half an hour while bathing. It helped to clear the skin of dead cells, leaving it smooth and bright, with a translucent quality.

Another ideal way for glowing skin on the body is to tie ingredients in a clean cloth, wet slightly and then rub the cloth bag on the skin while bathing. Mix powdered milk, ground almonds (badaam), rice powder and rose petals. The ingredients work on your skin, gently cleansing it and leaving it soft, smooth and vibrant. It also leaves the body naturally perfumed and refreshed, feeling as smooth as silk.

In winter, the hair also needs to be nourished with oils. Heat pure coconut oil and apply it to the hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. After shampooing, apply a creamy conditioner, leave on for 2 minutes and wash off with plain water. Or, you can apply a leave-on conditioner or hair serum for shine and protection. Oil them every week and get a hair spa at least once a month before your wedding. Add a little olive oil to whichever oil you apply to give it a little touch of moisture.

You can also give your hair a quick conditioning treatment before shampooing. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and almond oil with one egg. Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Leave on the mixture for half an hour and then wash your hair. If you do not wish to use eggs, add more almond oil.

You must keep yourself hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily which will help flush out toxins and improve skin tone. You can add fruit juice, coconut water, watermelon, green tea and lassis to your daily routine. Make sure these do not contain too much sugar or sodium. Eating the right kinds of food will help your skin glow even in the winter months.

Have a small box of dry fruits when you are travelling. Try to include regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables in your diet. Snacking on naturally hydrating food will keep your body hydrated. Opt for a diet that is rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

All brides go through some kind of stress. Do not stress. It can ruin all your winter skincare efforts. To deal with this kind of mental stress, it is essential to learn to relax. It has been proved that physical exercise helps the body to cope with stress. A few weeks before the wedding, start a little exercise, like going for a walk. Walking is good for both body and mind.

Yoga and meditation are also helpful in terms of calming the mind and inducing relaxation. You must ensure Eight hours of sleep daily to rejuvenate your skin. If you sleep late and aren’t getting enough rest, take mini naps during the day. Even a couple of 30-minute naps during the day will help you and your skin.

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