There’s nothing more satisfying than gulping down a glass of water on a hot, sunny day! Have you ever noticed how gorgeous your skin looks when you get your recommended dose of H2O? Believe it or not- A tall glass of water is the solution to *all* your woes and every celebrity swears by this! But sometimes, your skin needs a little more than that. Come winter, the dip in mercury can lead to dry skin and hair. So it's important for you to go the extra mile and give your skin and hair a boost of hydration. Before we tell you our team's favourite hydrating products, we think it's best for you to know the difference between hydrating and moisturising first.
If you didn't already know, your skin is the largest organ on your body. As you age, your skin has a tough time retaining its moisture, and that leaves it feeling dry all the time. That's when you turn to products for help! While moisturisers help to lock in moisture on the skin, hydrators are packed with humectants that catch the moisture in the air and work towards keeping the layers of your skin moist and supple. And FYI, dry skin is a skin type, whereas dehydration is basically a condition that your skin is suffering from. It's not just dry skin that faces dehydration, oily skin does too - hence it's termed as a condition and not a type.
Taking a hot, warm shower during the chilly season may feel like a luxury, but it isn't! Boiling hot water can strip the natural oils and moisture from the skin. To avoid such a disaster, bathe in lukewarm water and don't spend too much time in the washroom. If you do, you could catch a cold and destroy your skin's texture at the same time! *Yikes*
Consider essential oils your BFFs during the chilly season. You can add them to your tub or bucket of lukewarm water the next time you take a bath. Jasmine, lemon, rosemary, tulsi, orange, peach, grapefruit, and warm vanilla are scents that will help calm your nerves.
When your skin is damp, it absorbs product much better. Which is why you must make the most of this opportunity! Apply cocoa butter or Vaseline to your skin soon after you step out of your tub, and don't just focus on your arms and feet. Massage your whole body! Yes, that means your stomach, butt cheeks, back, neck, chest and neck.
One way to get clean and clear skin is to exfoliate it often. Pro tip: When applying body scrub all over, add a few drops of essential oil and scrub in circular motions. Be gentle while scrubbing your body, as you don't want to damage your skin in the process. Keep it gentle and quick.
We repeat - stay away from products that contain alcohol. Alcohol dries your skin up and damages it in the long run. Witch hazel and natural ingredients are a few keywords you must keep an eye out for on the packaging. Speaking of products, you can also invest in a humidifier so that the air in your room can always be kept moist and the temperature in your room regulated.
Honey is a power ingredient! It naturally contains a humectant, helps cleanse your pores, make the skin glow and improve its texture. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Plus, it's loaded with antioxidants to help make your skin look younger and fresher.
Step 1: Layer your skin with honey
Step 2: Keep it on for a good 20 minutes
Step 3: Wash your skin with lukewarm water
Aloevera is the good stuff! Packed with nutrients like vitamin E and A, it's a perfect homemade hydrator. In case you suffer from rashes and burns, rub aloe gel over it. It will soothe the wound and heal it faster.
Step 1: Cut open an aloe plant and scoop out the gel
Step 2: Apply the gel all over your face using your fingertips
Step 3: Leave the gel to dry for about 8-10 minutes
Step 4: Cleanse your skin using plain water
Apart from hydration, if your skin is in dire need to look young and fresh again, you should make some use of buttermilk. It brightens your skin and makes it look radiant and smooth after a while.
Step 1: Dip your fingers into a bowl of buttermilk
Step 2: Spread it all over your face
Step 3: Don't wash your face with warm water until 15 minutes are up
To power through the winters, you need an avocado by your side. This power fruit (yes, it's a fruit!) is loaded with vitamins, nutrients and minerals. Avocadoes help to protect your skin and keep your pores smooth and moist.
Step 1: Slice an avocado into half
Step 2: Remove the pulp using a spoon and mash it up
Step 3: Apply the paste to your skin and leave it on for a good 20 minutes
Step 4: You can later cleanse your skin with mild soap
A dab of coconut oil is all you need for smooth and hydrated skin. The oil helps lock in moisture and cleanses your skin of makeup residue, dirt and bacteria.
Step 1: After you come out from a shower, apply coconut oil all over your damp skin
Step 2: Give yourself a good massage for about 10-15 minutes
Step 3: Rinse it off with warm water or wipe with a steamed towel
Cucumber mostly contains water and you know what? It works like a charm with it comes to soothing dry and irritated skin, hydrating it to the fullest. You can either choose to drink it or make a puree out of it. Give the latter a chance this time.
Step 1: Wash the cucumber with water well and peel off the skin
Step 2: Cut the cucumber into tiny chunks and toss the pieces into a blender
Step 3: Drizzle some honey over the slices
Step 4: Turn on the mixer and once you're done, pour the puree into a bowl
Step 5: Apply the pack all over your face and keep it on for 20 minutes
Step 6: You can later wash your skin with cold water
Not only are mangoes delicious to eat, they're also good for your skin! If applied on damp skin, it gets absorbed into your skin instantly and doesn't leave behind any greasy or oily residue. However, we have to warn you though, mango pulp is known to generate heat in the body. This may result in acne if you keep the pulp on for a too long.
Step 1: Slice one mango and scoop out the pulp
Step 2: Use the back end of the spoon to mash it up
Step 3: Pick up the pulp with your fingers and spread it all over your face
Step 4: Leave the pulp on your skin for exactly 15 minutes
Step 5: Use a mild face wash to cleanse your face after
Laneige is a Korean beauty brand and if there’s something we’ve all learnt, it is to never underestimate the power of K-Beauty! The water sleeping pack has become my absolute go-to sleepytime moisturiser. It’s an oil-free, gel-based best moisturiser for dry skin that sinks into your skin instantly. As someone with combination skin, I hate the feeling of anything oily and slippery on my skin. This moisturiser has helped bring back that lost radiance and moisture, and makes my skin look plump and so glowy! Another favourite from the brand is their lip sleeping mask. I swear by it! It is the only product that helps my perpetually chapped lips. - Nidhi Kavle, Senior Beauty Writer
This moisturiser is super light in texture and doesn’t feel too greasy. This is the one product you need to make sure your skin is well-hydrated all day long. Even oily skin needs a dose of moisture to keep your skin healthy. - Sonali Pawar, Editorial Coordinator
POPxo Recommends: The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet (Rs 1,295)
I’ve battled an oily scalp and dry hair ever since I can remember. And things only got worse when I decided to get highlights. The dryness and frizz in my hair were beyond manageable, and I tried all possible hacks: hair spas, hot oil massages, egg and curd packs, et al. It was at this point when a friend (whose hair texture was similar to mine) suggested that I give Kerastase products a try. The Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 Exceptional Nutrition Shampoo is my go-to product now. After every wash, my hair feels and looks extremely hydrated and healthy. My search for the right hair product finally came to an end! - Sakshi Budhraja, Junior Beauty Editor
POPxo Recommends: Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 Exceptional Nutrition Shampoo (Rs 2,250)
Considering I’ve always had acne since I was a teenager, thanks to my super oily skin, any moisturiser that works to regulate the sebum production and provide hydration is the best for me. This emulsion from Avene does exactly that for my skin. There is no stickiness after application, and my skin has that healthy glow all day long. I give full credit to my dermatologist for recommending this amazing product! - Srishti Gupta, Senior Lifestyle Writer
POPxo Recommends: Avene Cleanance Mat Mattifying Emulsion (Rs 1,126)
I don’t know about you, but all those matte lipstick formulas can sometimes really affect my lips. My lips are quite flaky and honestly, the lipsticks dry them out further. But everything changed wehn I picked up Burt’s Bees Lip Balm and I've never looked back since! Not only am I a big fan of the beeswax that keeps my pout moisturised, but the light tinge keeps me going too! - Manavi Siddhanti, Beauty Editor
POPxo Recommends: Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (Rs 1,599)
This is a secret I never thought I’d share but here I am! The nip’ in the air gets to my skin and it becomes flaky dry. I use Biotique’s Sandalwood Ultra Soothing Face Cream and it’s all I need under my make-up! It gives my skin a subtle sheen and protects it from the sun, ‘coz it has SPF 50! This product is a multi-tasker and I’m never it letting go! It’s a must-have for all dry skinned beauties. - Rhea Guliani, Social Media Coordinator
POPxo Recommends: Biotique Bio Sandalwood Ultra Soothing Face Cream SPF 50 UVA/UVB Sunscreen (Rs 220)
Winter is coming and so is the season of chapped lips. My lips, however, are perpetually dry, no matter the season! I have a bad habit of constantly biting my lips, and Maybelline's Baby Lips is the one lip balm that is with me, no matter where I go. It has really helped me get rid of chapped/dry lips and because it adds a hint of colour to your lips it’s perfect when you’re not in the mood for lipstick. - Manasvini Paul, Video Marketer
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline Baby Lips (Rs 175)
Some people can’t do without coffee in the morning. I, on the other hand, can’t do without this. I can go on and on about the rich formula of this body lotion, but what enchants me (I’m not even exaggerating!) most about this product is the fragrance. It’s so nice and fresh, and leaves my skin feeling super soft and me feeling extremely happy! - Manvi Malhotra, Senior Wedding Writer
POPxo Recommends: Forest Essentials Ultra Rich Body Lotion With Iced Pomegranate And Fresh Kerala Lime (Rs 1,495)
I'll keep it straight- I’m in love with this product! Each time I apply this cream, my skin instantly feels baby soft and smooth. Infused with cocoa and petroleum jelly, this skincare product is perfect for dull and dry skin. After using this non-greasy cream, I don’t think I can ever go back to using any other product. - Sharon Alphonso, Beauty Writer
POPxo Recommends: Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant Spray Moisturiser (Rs 380 )
I swear by this lip balm — you will always find it in my bag. Thanks to this product, my lips are always hydrated and moisturised. And I love how it leaves my lips looking glossy and soft. After continuous use, I noticed that my lips have come way pinker than they used to be. Plus, the smell is enchanting and lingers on for 5-6 hours after applying it. - Vatsala Vats, Brand Content Writer
POPxo Recommends: Forest Essentials Luscious Lip Balm - Sugared Rose Petal (Rs 575)
Just for a second, take a step to understand and listen to your skin. Dry and flaky skin are signs of an imbalance that's taken place. Scrubbing the cells off could irritate your skin and that could eventually lead to breakouts and acne. Trust us, no one wants to live with super sensitive skin! What you can do is learn how to clean up your act. Exfoliation is good, but like they say: Too much of anything is bad for you. What you can do as an alternative is look after your skin by using a gentle cleanser, serum, toner and moisturiser. Any product that contains SPF and hyaluronic acid is good for your skin.
Be logical about this one. Just plain water will do nothing to keep your skin moist and supple. Since water, when exposed to air, evaporates into the atmosphere, it contributes quite little to hydration. It may keep you fresh and clean your pores, but is that enough? We don't think so! If you want something that will help lock the moisture, you need to be smart about it. Add a few drops of your favourite serum or hydrating jelly into the water bottle. Give it a good shake and spray away! It's effective and will make a definitely make a difference to your skin, especially when you're travelling in an aircraft or sitting in an air-conditioned room.
To some extent this is true, but it does not directly fix your dehydration problem. What it does do is that it improves your metabolism, reduces headaches, clears toxins, relieves constipation, regulates body temperature, prevents heart diseases and so on. However, what it does not do is interfere with the dead skin cells on your face and body. To take care of that problem, you don't need just water's help, but products as well. Your cleanser, hydrator, serum, oils, creams - are your friends. Layer them correctly, and you'll have the best skin of them all!
Before buying any skincare product, please have a chat with your dermatologist. Don't make hasty decisions and pick a product up just because it promises you healthier skin. Products that feel heavier on the skin may actually do more bad than good by disrupting skin's oil balance. To prevent this, you must know your skin type first. Do you have sensitive, dry, combination, normal or oily skin? Once you know your skin type, it's easier to find products that will agree with your skin.
This is so wrong. What you eat becomes you. You need to consume foods that are rich in fatty acids to strengthen your lipid barrier. If you look carefully, you'll notice that almost every moisturiser has fatty acid listed in its ingredient list. If you're planning to take a break from products, clean up your diet. Stay away from foods that contain excess oil, salt and sugar. These ingredients make skin oily and often cause it to break out. Make sure that your bowl of food contains lots of spinach leaves, kale, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, eggs, flaxseeds, fish and walnuts. Instead of taking 3 large meals during the day, break it up into smaller meals.
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This story was updated in January 2019.