Winters are our favourite time to bask in the sun. More than fun, it gives us skin problems.
Sun exposure not only causes the skin to become tanned, but its ultra violet rays can lead to dark patches or pigmentation of the skin, because the melanin is transferred in an uneven manner.
The cause may be an internal one, but sun exposure makes it visible on the face in the form of dark patches. Repeated exposure to the sun causes the patches to become more apparent.
In winters, the skin also loses moisture. This makes the patches even more visible.
The first aspect of the treatment is protection from the sun. Physical protection is the only answer, with an umbrella or hat, and also by applying a sunscreen.
Select a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20. The number is related to the duration of sun exposure. The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure. It should be reapplied if you are in the sun for longer than an hour.
The effects of the sun increase near water bodies and snow, as they reflect the sun's radiation. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to protect the skin and re-apply the sun screen after 20 to 30 minutes.
During winters, the skin should be kept moisturized, especially if it is a normal to dry skin. At night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water.
Scrubs and masks-
The use of scrubs and masks also help to remove dead skin cells and their contained pigment. This helps the dark patches to gradually become lighter. It also improves the skin's cell renewal function. External care, itself, can remove pigmentation.
To remove tan after sun exposure, you can use a facial scrub after washing or cleansing the skin. For dry skins, use a scrub only once a week. Then apply milk to soothe the skin.
Scrub: Mix three tablespoons almond meal (ground almonds) with half cup yogurt (curd). Apply on the face and neck. Rub gently, especially on the dark patches. It also helps to remove tan.
For dry skin, add half teaspoon til (sesame) oil to a little milk and apply on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes. Til oil is actually a treatment for sun-damage. It helps dark patches to gradually become lighter.
For sunburn: Cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps soothe the skin, but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily.
Another remedy to soothe sunburn and protect the skin is by using sesame seed, or "til". Take a handful of sesame seeds, crush them and add half a cup of water. Let it stand for two hours. Strain the liquid and use it to wash your face.
For dark patches: Mix together a big pinch of coarse salt with a cream. Apply only on the areas with the dark patches and rub gently. Wash off. Then apply cold milk and wash off after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week.
Or mix cucumber juice and lemon juice and apply only on the dark patches daily. Wash off after 15 minutes. This suits oily skin more.
You can also add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) to curd and apply daily. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. This helps to lighten dark spots. For dry skin, mix one teaspoon honey with milk and apply daily on the face, washing it off with plain water after 20 minutes.
Mask: Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with ripe papaya pulp and one teaspoon of curd into a thick paste. Apply and wash off after 20 minutes. This mask suits both dry and oily skins.
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