The mercury has long since started dipping, and while the sun might be showing its face, there’s still a biting wind that makes you realise that this is winter, no doubt. Given that most of us are either on the recovering end of a holiday feast or in the midst of one, it’s that much more crucial to take care of our bodies. The skin can suffer greatly this time of year, so check out these spa treatments to help you deal with the cold (and the cold cuts!).
• Once the cooler weather sets it, your cuticles can begin cracking, and your nails can chip more frequently. A manicure, especially one that’s done with paraffin, will soften your skin and soothe your chapped hands. Try the same thing with a pedicure for cracked heels and feet. Wax, when warmed, forms a barrier to help lock in moisture for hours or even days after your treatment.
• Full-body scrubs are a must, and thankfully, they’re something you can do yourself at home, saving hundreds or thousands of rupees that you’d otherwise spend at the spa/salon. To help get rid of dead skin, go to town on your body with a pumice stone, but remember to moisturise afterwards. Stick to this detox regimen by dry-brushing your skin.
• Of course, there are some things the spa can’t be beat at, and one of those is the body wrap. They’re like a holiday present, especially with mud or seaweed. Both of these can fix one right up after a holiday tuck-in, which inevitably ends with feelings of bloating and gassiness. That last bit of seasonal sickness is tough to beat, but the body wrap can work wonders.
• Facials in the winter are a tricky thing. Given that our skin is more sensitive this time of year, it’s important to keep on the right track. Holiday habits tend to exacerbate and aggravate the problem, so aside from exercising moderation, be sure to eschew aggressive skin treatments. Gentle exfoliation with fruit- or herb-based products should be followed up with strong hydration and moisturisation, keeping one’s skin as supple as possible.
• Speaking of supple skin, there isn’t much that can’t be improved or fixed with coconut oil. Long since one of India’s secret weapons in the fight against all things skin-related, coconut oil has restorative and nutritional properties that just can’t be replicated by big-name cosmetic firms. Psoriasis, rashes, hives, allergic reactions – these and other skin ailments that tend to surface in the winter can be brought under control by regular application of coconut oil.
• Chocolate might not be what you want after so much turkey, pudding and potatoes, but it can do wonders for the skin. Thankfully, we don’t suggest you eat it, but rather use chocolate-based products to treat yourself to a spa day. Chocolate-infused oils and creams can be applied to the scalp and body for some much-needed relaxation, and the cocoa will leave your skin feeling richer and soothed. Failing a trip to a spa with these kinds of products, there’s always cocoa butter and cocoa-infused moisturisers.
• A lot of spas offer specialised winter treatments, so you might want to ask your local establishment about their specialties. These can range from simple soaks and baths to more exotic services, but all of these can help you feel much better after a few weeks of extended gluttony. When you go in for a skin treatment, ask your spa therapist if they have something for your insides, too. Many spas stock a range of detox products designed to eliminate waste and toxins from the digestive system.
• If all else fails, try the Christmas-related stuff. Think candy canes; peppermint is one of the best things for your skin, but be careful with the dosage when using its concentrated oil form. Frankincense is another biggie, and is included in therapies and treatments at some of the biggest and best spas around the world. Cinnamon, a key spice in Christmas puddings around Europe, can also prove useful, especially if you have problems with your breathing. ..... Ashwin