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Silky smooth & youthful

Here are some natural oils that will keep your hair and skin in the pink of their health during winter…

The winter breeze may feel good and enjoyable for many ways, but cold weather conditions make your body vulnerable to several diseases, viruses and bacteria, as well as a variety of skin and hair problems as well. Oils have been used since ancient times for beauty care. The Ayurvedic system contains thousands of prescriptions using oil.

Here we are referring to pressed oils, like olive, sesame seed (til), mustard, coconut, almond, sunflower, castor, etc. They have been commonly used to nourish the skin and hair. According to Ayurveda, sesame seed (til) oil is said to be good during winters. Sesame seed oil is light, free of odour and is easily absorbed by the skin. It is rich in nutrients and has healing properties too. Research has revealed that sesame seed has natural sunscreen properties of SPF 6. Applied on the skin, it can soothe sunburn. It is also rich in Vitamin E, minerals, protein and lecithin. As far as the face is concerned, sesame seed oil can be massaged on the face to relieve dryness.

Olive oil popularly called 'liquid gold' is the natural oil extracted from olives, the fruit of the olive tree.

Pure olive oil particularly extra-virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious and is popular for body massage, mainly to soften the skin and provide nourishment. Olive oil contains many vitamins and minerals, is an all-around natural moisturiser and recommended by dermatologist for dehydrated skin particularly in winters. Olive oil can be used as moisturisers during winters to treat the troublesome areas of our body as they get very dry and flaky. Massage oil on partially damp skin to keep flakiness at bay. Add some lemon juice to the oil to get rid of itchy skin in extremely dry conditions.

It is also an antioxidant, helps to prevent oxidation or free radical damage and degeneration, caused by exposure to the sun and chemical pollutants. Like sesame seed and sunflower oils, olive oil can protect from the sun's UV rays. Pure olive oil can be used to massage a baby's tender skin. For the hair too, olive oil is useful. Since it helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp, it can be useful for oily hair with dandruff.

Almond oil is particularly beneficial for very dry skin and helps to relieve itching, soreness and dryness during winters. It is reported to be soothing, healing, lubricating, softening, revitalizing and nourishing. Almond oil contains fatty acids which help your skin retain moisture and can heal chapped and irritated skin during winters. It can be added to face packs for dry skin. Or, it can be mixed with egg yolk and applied on the skin to nourish it and soften skin texture. It can also be massaged into the hard skin of elbows and knees. Almond oil is also very nourishing for extremely dry hair. For the nails, heat almond oil and massage the nails and cuticles (skin around the nails).

Coconut oil, body-friendly foodstuff that is heart-healthy, great for oral health, and other health benefits. is probably the most popular oil for the hair in India. It is said to strengthen the hair and make it thick and shiny. The application of oil with a light massage helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles and also softens hair texture. The hair should not be rubbed vigorously. Only the fingertips should be used, to move the scalp with small rotary movements. Hot oil therapy with coconut oil is said to be very beneficial. Heat coconut oil and apply it on the scalp at night, leaving on overnight. It is said to restore health to damaged hair and prevent split ends. Coconut oil is also said to be beneficial for the skin, as it soothes sun-damage and has a healing effect. It softens the skin and gives it a smoother and more youthful appearance. Coconut is good for the skin, especially in the treatment of wounds, burns, and dermatitis. It also acts as a sunblock, and as a moisturiser for the skin.

Castor oil is used mainly for hair conditions such as dry, brittle and damaged hair. It is a thick and sticky oil, so after application of the oil, shampoo the hair and rinse well with water, so that oily residues do not remain on the scalp.

In cases of excessive dryness, mix one part of castor oil with two parts coconut oil. Heat and apply. Remember to apply on the ends too. Massage the scalp gently, using only the fingertips. Move the scalp in small circular movements. This helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles. Keep the oil on overnight and wash the hair the next day, using a mild herbal shampoo. Avoid very hot water.

Apricot kernel oil can be used for skincare during winters. It is rich in Vitamins A, C and E. It also contains fatty acids and is a source of unsaturated fats. As it is easily absorbed by the skin, it is used in many cosmetic products and also indirect external applications on the skin. It is gentle on the skin and is easily absorbed. It helps to nourish and moisturize the skin and thus relieve dryness. It also helps the skin to retain moisture. It contains antioxidants, which delay ageing signs and degeneration, keeping the skin soft, smooth and youthful.

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