Combat dull skin during winters with these tips

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We’re at that time of year when skin starts to lose its lustre, getting that dull, tired look from hours spent in dry air and indoor heating. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

We’re at that time of year when our skin starts to lose its lustre, getting that dull, tired look from hours spent in dry air and indoor heating. But there are tricks you can use to keep your skin glowing. Add these five must-dos to your cold-weather skincare routine.

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Vitamin C is known for its skin-brightening benefits, because it not only helps lighten scars and reduce pigmentation, but it helps make skin look buffed and glowing. (Photo: Thinkstock Images)

Remember to scrub off dead skin
Even if your skin is dry or not particularly greasy, you need to exfoliate. It might seem like a lot to do in winter, but for most people living in the northern parts of India, this time of the year brings a lot of pollution-caused build-up. That dirt, in addition to the usual dead skin cells, can form a layer of grime on the skin, making it look dull. Exfoliating periodically and gently is essential to remedy the onslaught of toxins on our skin as a result of pollution.

Use vitamins C and E for a lit-from-within glow
Vitamin C is known for its skin-brightening benefits because it not only helps lighten scars and reduce pigmentation, but it helps make skin look buffed and glowing. In addition to that, it is known to help improve skin’s ability to retain moisture, thereby making it plump. This is why many use it in combination with vitamin E-rich products. Vitamin E is an emollient which actually helps maintain skin’s strength and nourishes it. So, vitamin C improves its effectiveness.

Eat/sleep smarter
Regularly drinking booze and caffeine dehydrate the skin and sugary foods break down collagen and elastin over time, dulling complexions. If you can't bring yourself to cut back on coffee or cake, drink lots of water and eat more colourful vegetables — they help balance your body's pH levels, which can make skin glow. If all of that sounds like a lot of work, take a nap. This is because skin cells turn over while you sleep, and getting rest makes a big difference.

Set a hydration routine and start layering products

The primary cause of dull skin in the winter is a lack of moisture in the air. This means, a heavy cream or oil is no more going to cut it. Creams and oils are primarily made of fats, which means they help create a protective barrier on skin and prevent moisture from escaping its deeper layers. If there is no moisture in the first place, these creams can’t do much.

All in all, you need to infuse moisture through other methods. This means applying water-rich products to your skin first, and then adding a lipid barrier like a butter, cream, or oil.

Any product which has hyaluronic acid helps promote moisture, as do aqua-based creams, gel creams, and essences. Hydrating toners also quench dehydrated skin well. As for the thick layers on top, even an old tub of Nivea creme works wonders.