7 Must-dos for Glowing Skin & Overall Wellness in Winter as per Ayurveda (Shishir Ritucharya)


A New Year. Resolutions to stay healthy, happy & prosperous during the year and create plans of self care to ensure that they will happen. Winter. The coldest season in the northern hemisphere. Dry weather. Cold winds. Misty mornings. Foggy days. All at once!

In India, which follows the 6 season pattern, Shishir Ritu or the late winter falls immediately after Hemant, or the early Winter. It starts from mid-January or the Winter Solstice and lasts approx to mid-March. The weather varies across the whole sub-continent. But the common feature is the overall weather - cold and dry; there are chilling winds blowing howling through the dry trees, which are busy shedding leaves, and temperatures hit the lowest in the whole year. There could be an occasional shower or two, and in some parts, snow fall, too after the temperatures hit sub zero. 

Despite the cold, the weather is enjoyable, lovely for outdoor activities and basking in the sun to energise oneself. People are positive and vibrant with the advent of the New Year.  The sun starts its trajectory from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern one, and is celebrated as Uttarayan by flying kites which are colourful, as an ode to the Sun God, especially in Gujarat. 

This season is marked by some very important festivals in India. The harvest festivals of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Bihu, Pongal are celebrated across the country. They may change in form, but the core is the same. Gratitude for a fruitful harvest. Religious festivals like Shivaratri also fall during this period. 

Dry skin, itchy scalp, falling hair, crackling joints, colds - common effects of the weather on our bodies

The cold and dry weather has several effects on our body and skin. The typical changes that we observe during this season are -

1. Excessively dry skin, itchy skin

2. Cracked heels

3. Dry, chapped lips

4. Rough hands 

5. Dry scalp, itchy scalp, hair fall, dandruff, frizzy brittle hair

6. Dehydration

7. Morning stiffness in the body

8. Crackling joints

9. High levels of accumulation of air Vata

10. Colds, sneezing, flu leading to an accumulation of Kapha

11. Good digestive fire (jatharagni)

Ayurveda, the Indian science which literally means the science or knowledge of life, is a treatise on leading a healthy and long trouble-free life through food and lifestyle, prescribed as a set of daily routines (Dinacharya). These vary typically with seasons and life situations (like pregnancy, age, special conditions).

Just like a routine for every other season, Ayurveda prescribes the Shishir Ritucharya, a set of dietary and lifestyle changes to be made during this season, in order to balance the three doshas and strengthen our body and mind. These holistic changes ensure that the dry skin remains hydrated, our skin becomes healthy, beautiful and radiant inside out, and our head and scalp hair becomes nourished and strong with reduced itchiness, dandruff and hair fall. Interestingly, this season is perfect for nourishing our skin thoroughly since the skin is dry, and dry skin is more receptive to absorb any treatments that we apply to it. 

In this blog, we will highlight some important natural skincare and wellness daily routine (Dinacharya), in accordance with the Shishir Ritucharya (Ayurvedic Winter Seasonal Routine) to get a glowing skin and body healthy through this severe part of the winter season. 

Daily Routine (Dinacharya) as  recommended in Ayurveda for Shishir Ritucharya (Late Winter Seasonal Routine)

Ayurveda recommends the following daily routine for skin care winter care to maintain a healthy body and a glowing skin - by preventing the dry skin from getting aggravated or inflamed while nourishing it, preventing body stiffness and crackling joints while keeping the muscles and body supple and working well. (summarised here and details below)

  1. Daily head & body oil massage for women, men and children (abhyanga)
  2. Bath / Shower with warm water (Snana). Not hot, with a herbal scrub or non-soap exfoliating cleanser (Ubtan, Uthane). Avoid soaps that deplete the skin's natural oils and lipids
  3. Stay hydrated with warm fluids
  4. Use a humidifier at home at night if the air is too dry
  5. Wearing warm and dark coloured clothes
  6. Vigorous exercise like suryanamaskars
  7. Nutritious and warming diet (detailed dos, donts, ideas below)

1. Abhyanga (Oil massage) Routine

For skin health and hair care - Our skin, the largest organ of our body is it's first defence against the external environment. It bears the brunt of changing weather conditions like dry, chilly winds, plummeting temperature during winters. Internally, the body tries to conserve the fats to retain warmth, thus producing lesser sebum (oil) and therefore, we have excessively dry skin and itchy scalp and dandruff during winter. On the other hand, sometimes, extremely dry skin results in the body pumping out excess oil to the skin, resulting in acne and also dandruff. A dry scalp also results in hair fall.


For overall wellness - Oil massage is a lot more than just skin care. The oil massage not only moisturises your skin, and prevents hair fall but detoxifies and also nourishes it by seeping into the deepest tissues, keeping the internal tissues supple and healthy.

It is important for blood circulation, soothing and re-energising the pressure points, preventing stiffness in the back, shoulders, joints and muscles, relaxing the body and supporting sound sleep. The massage warms up your body and also strengthens and tones your muscles thus energising the body thoroughly. It is also beneficial in relieving stiffness in joints and muscles, often caused in the colder months. 

So one of the most important winter-care routines is to keep the body and head (scalp) well moisturized. Most commercially available oil-based moisturizers have very little oil, and a large amount of water in them, and very often the smoothness comes from mineral oil or chemical compounds like silicone. They give a temporary feeling of moisturizing, or if they are long-lasting, they are not nourishing for the skin and body. The best moisturizing for the body comes with time-tested oil like sesame, almond or coconut or a herb-enriched blend. So the body should be like a "well-oiled machinery". For winter care, oil massage is best with a herb or spice enriched sesame oil or mustard oil.


Abhyanga Routines with Parama Naturals (including ideas on how to incorporate these routines in a simplified manner and quick daily routines to get the benefits for busy modern lives) for skin care to get a glowing skin, for hair care to get 

A). Body

Pre-Bath Abhyanga (Apply and wait for 20 minutes before showering) or Post-Bath Moisturizer (Apply in 2-5 minutes and dress immediately)

The best morning skin care routine for a glowing skin in winter, and through the year across all seasons, is to do a full body abhyanga with Parama Naturals' Turmeric Moisturizing Oil which nourishes and repairs your skin keeping it healthy and youthful. A 100% pure blend of natural, cold-pressed oils of sesame, almond and coconut with antioxidant-rich Turmeric, it is perfect for moisturising your skin and protecting against and repairing the damage caused by the winter season. The amount of oil used may be varied for different seasons or skin types.

If you are pressed for time and are unable to have an oil massage before bath, use Parama Naturals' Turmeric Moisturizing Oil or the Lavender-Turmeric Moisturizing Face and Body Oil post-shower. It takes just 2-5 minutes of your time and gives you the benefit of the abhyanga throughout the day without any stickiness. The mild but warm and earthy fragrance of turmeric and lavender are therapeutic for your senses too. Unlike most oils, the Parama Naturals' oils are non-greasy and quick absorbing.  Both these oils will protect your skin against direct contact with the dry weather conditions and keeps the face soft throughout the day. They have natural mild sun-screening properties and also prevents from any harmful effects of the sun with Turmeric and Sesame Oil which have natural sun-protection properties, and which also allow the Vitamin D to get absorbed, while you exercise or bask in the sun.

If plagued by body stiffness, crackling joints and muscles, especially for active persons, those above the age of 45-50, or those having issues of body stiffness, aches or pains, a full body abhyanga with the Zingiber Body Oil is recommended. 

B. Foot

A daily foot massage or Padabhyanga or Foot massage is recommended. It may be done along with the full body abhyanga or preferably in the night before sleeping for sound sleep, to prevent morning stiffness, chill pains, balancing the body temperatures and keeping it in a state of homeostasis.

Pada Abhyanga, especially at night, not only helps your feet relax after the intense exercise, a hectic day but also keeps the skin moisturized and free from calluses and painful, cracked heels.

The best oil for the night routine of Padabhyanga is the Parama Naturals' Zingiber Body Oil . It supports sound sleep, and reduces body stiffness, crackling joints and muscles, aches or pains. A brisk massage of your feet with Parama Naturals' Zingiber Body Oil, which gives the benefits of the Ginger Paste Application without the mess or the stains, before going to bed  reduces any Vata accumulation, and helps you get sound sleep while keeping you snug and cozy too through the winter nights too. 


 C. Head

Oil your scalp with a herb-infused warm hair oil, preferably the night before you wash it. A head massage or Shiro-Abhyanga is recommended as part of the daily routine or Dinacharya in Ayurveda for hair care and overall wellness. In the pre-winter and winter season, with the increase in the Vata the hair and scalp become dry, leading to hair fall, frizzy hair, brittle hair and dandruff. A regular oil massage with a herb-enriched natural hair oil allows the hair oil to penetrate deep into the scalp providing the hair follicles with much-needed nourishment to make the hair stronger, while helping to reduce the hair fall. It is also helpful in releasing stress and for a deep, relaxed sleep. Apply the Parama Naturals Herb-enriched Nourishing Hair Oil in the hair roots and scalp the night before the hair wash. For better and long-lasting hair care, also apply 2-3 drops just in the roots as a leave-on hair serum daily post bath to prevent hair fall, dandruff and protect your hair against the drying effect of the environment. For frizzy control and to keep hair soft and manageable, one can also apply the hair oil on the length of the hair, like a pre-wash hair mask or like a post-wash conditioning hair serum. 

D. Lip care: parched, dry and cracked lips can be quite painful other than being unsightly. Licking dry lips, contrary to what you may believe, dries them out even more. Keep your lips soft, plump and moisturised always with Parama Naturals' Multipurpose Butter. 

2. Follow the body oil massage with a warm-water shower. Avoid very hot water for your bath as it strips your skin of its natural oils. Use a mild, natural herbal cleansing scrub (ubtan or uthane) that gently exfoliates, sloughing off the accumulated dirt and dead skin cells like the Parama Naturals' Enriching Exfoliator Face & Body Scrub. Dead skin cells get generated on the skin on a regular basis because of the natural cellular life cycle, and on account of aging, weather, sun exposure, lifestyle and use of chemical-based skin care products. Accumulation of dead skin cells or not cleansing them periodically makes the skin dull, lifeless, flaky and dry, and they also have a tendency to get deposited in the pores, resulting in black-heads. The Parama Naturals' Enriching Exfoliator Face & Body Scrub gently cleanses, exfoliates and polishes the skin to reveal a naturally radiant glowing skin. Follow this up with a hydrating face oil like the Parama Naturals' All Day Lite Moisturizing Face Oil or the Parama Naturals' Turmeric Moisturizing Oil in the winter season, or dry climate or if you have extra dry skin.

Parama Naturals' Enriching Exfoliator Face & Body Scrub, Soap Free Cleanser, pH balanced

Or you can use gentle cold-processed soaps like the Parama Naturals' Turmeric Soap or the Lavender Turmeric Soap, which do not strip your body of moisture.

Do not rub your skin dry. Instead, pat-dry with a soft towel.



3. Stay hydrated.

You may feel less thirsty during winters but it is as important to keep your body hydrated in winters as in summers. You may consume lukewarm water or warm soups to up your intake of fluids.

4. Use Humidifier, Steamer to hydrate nasal passages

The excessive dry air, any remnant mold after the rains, the increase in the body pitta, if not balanced with nourishing foods, can leave one sneezing. For very dry places, it is also recommended to use a humidifying heater/radiator to keep your rooms moist and warm. These help balance the drying effect of heaters on the skin by maintaining appropriate humidity levels. Taking steam inhalations with salt water and infused with Parama Naturals' Turmeric Essential Oil is ideal for keeping our nasal passages clear and to help us stay clear of infections.

Parama Naturals Turmeric Essential Oil Supercritical Extract

5. Protect your skin against the cold weather by wearing warm clothes made of natural and organic fibres like wool and silk. However, the first layer closest to your skin should always be made of cotton as wool can   be harsh on the already dry skin. Protect your head, hands and feet by wearing a hat/scarf, gloves and socks respectively. 

6. Exercise. Vigorous, intensive exercise routines which will make your sweat, like running, cycling, pilates or Yoga, especially Surya Namaskars

7. Eat nourishing foods

Winters are the best time for enjoying a variety of foods that are otherwise difficult to digest rest of the year. Warm, rich and spicy foods to sweet treats, there’s a whole variety of nutritious foods you can choose from like milk, ghee, nuts, seeds, dry fruit, and fruits during winters. Avoid raw foods and cold drinks. Have soups, milk seasoned with spices like Turmeric, cinnamon etc. and nuts or a masala chai to keep you warm. Choose fresh home-cooked meals over junk food or uncooked food as far as possible. Including a generous amount of cow’s ghee and coconut oil in your meals keeps your skin healthy and lubricated from within.

Foods & beverages recommended during Shishir Ritu (Late Winter Season)

According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of well-being, the digestive Agni is one of the best, and so is our appetite. It is a good time for us to eat healthy rich foods which keep the body warm and nourished. 

  • Sweet, Salty, Sour foods preferable. Avoid pungent, bitter and astringent foods.
  • Foods rich in natural fats and lipids like dry fruits, nuts and seeds, especially til (sesame)
  • Dairy fats like milk, ghee and and cold-pressed oils, especially mustard oil, sesame oil
  • Winter vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, root vegetables like yam, potato
  • Freshly harvested peas, green gram, beans
  • Grains with a warming quality like wheat, millets (bajra)
  • Dals (pulses) like Black gram (udad dal), Green gram (Mung dal), Red gram (Masoor dal). 
  • Natural sweeteners like jaggery (gud), sweet molasses (kakvi), fresh palm jaggery (nolen gur)
  • Fruits high in anti-oxidants and Vitamin C like Amla (Indian gooseberry), Guava, Oranges, Sweet Lime, Lemon, Figs. Restrict cooling fruits like banana, custard apple.
  • Warming spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, pepper, cloves, cinnamon
  • Warm water and drinks. Avoid cold water, cold drinks

Some seasonal hot favourites, keeping these in mind, are 

  • Carrot halwa, Mung dal halwa
  • Sesame seeds and jaggery based sweets like Til-gud, gajak, revadi, til laddoos, til barfi
  • Undhiyo or the Gujarati speciality made with a mix of winter vegetables
  • Ezhu Kari Kootu (7 vegetables stew) popular in Tamil Nadu for the Arudra Darshan or Thiruvathira festival or Pongal, festivals celebrated during this season
  • Fresh sugarcane juice with a dash of ginger and lime
  • Haldi-doodh or Turmeric Latte with added ginger, pepper, cinnamon, honey or sugar 

Follow the skincare routine for winter given above and we’re sure you’ll start enjoying the season more with no worries about your skin. Nature has answers to all your problems and if you stick to caring for your skin with natural products, you’ll be rewarded with a healthy glowing skin for ever. 

Explore Parama Naturals Skincare and Wellness Products


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered