Skin hydration: The doctor 's regime | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 26, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:12 AM, December 26, 2017

Skin hydration: The doctor's regime

With winter knocking at our doors, it is the perfect time to plan out the long-awaited outdoors trips, long walks/drives and catch up with the latest trends. But amid all the excitement for the rare chilly weather in this mostly tropical climatic country and the surreally pleasant weather outside, it is quite common to neglect the largest and most visible organ of our body – the skin. According to Dr Wahida Khan Chowdhury, Associate Professor and Head of Dermatology Department of Shahabuddin Medical College & Hospital, the core reasons of the dryness arises from the cold weather and low humidity, which take away the moisture from the skin and hair, resulting in flaky, dry and cracked skin that can add to your skincare miseries in winter. This is why during this season, your precious skin needs a dash of extra care and pampering to redeem its natural look and persist through the severe weather.

“Skin and hair care, for men and women, are quite similar when it comes to the basics,” Dr Chowdhury began. “The key distinctions that separate a man's skin from a woman's are the thickness, texture and facial hair. Generally, men's skin tends to be much thicker and has a rougher texture and more hair follicles. This is why their skin needs more hydration, especially before shaving. Instead of using a typical aftershave, it would be better to use a moisturising lotion or gel,” she advised.



During the day, our skin is exposed to various damaging pollutants, pollen and UV radiation. Moreover, makeup and stress are additional adversaries of the vulnerable skin. “The first step is to recognise your skin and distinguish its type – normal, dry or oily,” said Dr Chowdhury. Besides using a regular sunscreen, it is necessary to use a face cream that will help to keep the skin hydrated and protect it against its adversaries at the same time.

“It is best to pick a light and non-greasy cream that can be worn under makeup and it should be rich in SPF, antioxidants and a soothing agent,” she elaborated.

For smooth and glowing skin this winter, Dr Chowdhury recommends an easy DIY papaya face mask. To make it, you will need to mix two and a half cups of fresh ripe papaya with two tablespoons of sour yoghurt and one teaspoon of honey, and refrigerate the mixture for a few hours. The chilled mask can be applied on the face and body as well.

Besides leaving a rejuvenated look, it will also help to fade spots, reduce tanning, soften and re-hydrate your skin.



The skin's functions of repairing, re-toning, refreshing and re-generating are most active after nightfall. “Along with moisturising and recovery properties, the night cream of choice must contain anti-aging compounds,” suggested Dr Chowdhury. Furthermore, it is important for both men and women to ensure that they clean their facial pores well with a natural toner before going to bed.

Besides this, once or twice a week, you can make a gram flour (with egg white or turmeric) face pack at home and leave it on for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off.

The said ingredient is well known for its anti-blemish, anti-ageing and scrubbing properties, and will help reduce the wintry flakiness.


Dry scalp and dandruff are the banes of winter to many. In winter, the cold air and dry skin form the perfect ground for dandruff to grow and multiply.

“One common misconception is to go for regular oil massage to reduce dandruff,” admitted Dr Chowdhury and furthered that it is more beneficial to use coconut oil for hair and head massage once or twice every week. Moreover, she recommended using a good anti-dandruff shampoo and a natural ingredient shampoo alternately to relieve the dandruff problem.

Among many natural homemade remedies, a simple baking soda-vinegar rinse can work miracles for your hair. All you have to do is add one tablespoonfuls of baking soda in one cup of water. Then you should soak your hair in the mixture for a couple of minutes and rinse it with one tablespoon of vinegar mixed in water. The wash will give your hair a soft and shiny outlook.



Due to dryness of the skin, the number of skin and hair diseases tends to escalate during this season and the some of the mentionable ones are eczema, keratoderma, and other less serious conditions include itchiness, cracked toes, heels and chapped lips. If you notice any of these conditions, you should rush to a dermatologist. At that, Dr Chowdhury provided some valuable tips. “It would be wise to use lukewarm water instead of hot water to bathe,” she explained.

Proper exfoliation with a high-quality natural or fruit scrubber and moisturising with olive oil or glycerine immediately after the shower will allow the skin to hold onto its moisture for a longer period of time.

“However, if one is unsure, they should consult with a dermatologist before buying just any over-the-counter product,” she suggested.

Before concluding, Dr Wahida Khan Chowdhury advised on using protective clothing and accessories like scarves, hats, socks and sunglasses, and having Vitamin C rich foods to improve the overall outlook of your skin and hair.

All in all, any extreme weather condition can be quite damaging to your skin. So, while you prepare for upcoming events and tours, make sure to gear up with the best winter regimen to keep your body and hair healthy and hydrated this winter.



Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed  

Special thanks to Dr Wahida Khan Chowdhury, Associate Professor and Consultant Dermatologist. She can be contacted through Prescription Point Ltd., House #105, Road #12, Block-E, Banani. #9897222, 0171 3333 233-34

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