Though the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, we don’t see spring coming all too quickly around many parts of the country.
In fact, it’s still pretty chilly in a lot of places, and cold weather can play havoc upon our skin and hair. But have no fear—I am about to fill you in on a number of tips and products to keep your skin baby’s butt-smooth and your mane luxurious.
First off, let’s talk about dry skin. In the winter, our skin loses over 25% of its capability to retain moisture. During the colder months, humidity levels drop outside. This cold, dry air makes the water in our skin evaporate quicker, resulting in sometimes painfully cracked skin.
We might think we’re safer inside where it’s warm. But that’s not true—indoor heating is dry, so it dries out our mucus membranes, resulting in dry throats, noses, and lips. This is why a humidifier is helpful because it replaces the air’s moisture.
What can you do about it? Here are four tips.
I always thought to avoid any exfoliation for my face during the winter. My face gets very dry this time of year, and exfoliators would just tear it up, right? Wrong.
A recent Cosmo article says that a gentle facial scrub or chemical exfoliator helps to break up the dead skin that can trap oil under the skin and cause bumps. The article suggests an exfoliation followed by hydrating lotion every two or three days to guarantee that your skin is absorbing hydrating serums adequately.
2. Use the Right Lotion
Nothing feels better than standing in a piping hot shower for 45 minutes after a day out in the frigid cold. However, this is really not so great for our skin. The hot water can strip oils off of the skin, leaving it extra dry afterwards. It’s not bad to take a hot shower like this every so often, but definitely make sure you cover your body in lotion afterward.
Glycerin is a key ingredient to look for in lotions to lock the moisture in your skin. Be sure to constantly be applying hand lotion too! Hand washing is detrimental and can lead to cracked skin, but definitely still wash them; just be sure to reapply hand cream whenever you remember.
3. Drink That Water
Another key factor to dried out skin is dehydration. In the warmer times of the year, it’s easy to remember to drink water because we’re thirsty. However, during the winter, I feel like I can go for hours without a sip of water. This is not only bad for your internal body, but also for your skin. Hydration is necessary for keeping skin cells healthy.
Unfortunately, caffeine is not the best way to get liquids down. In fact, caffeine can dry us out, so it’s best to stick with decaf, or balance out your caffeine intake with double the amount of H2O.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Hair
As for the hair, there are many ways to keep your locks looking lovely during the wintertime. One thing to remember is to monitor how often you wash your hair. When we shampoo, we strip our scalps of natural oils that keep our hair healthy and moisturized. Also, it’s important to dry your hair with a blow dryer instead of air-drying—moisture in the hair when exposed to cold air makes your hair brittle. Static is also a huge problem with all the wool layers we use to keep warm.
To fight static, try wrapping your hair in a silk scarf before donning wool or knit beanie. Another trick I use is to comb through the bottom of your hair with your fingers after you just put some hand lotion on. Don’t put the lotion itself on your hair, but your damp fingers help tame that static. There are also several products on the market that fight static, such as “shine sprays.”
Though we may not be dealing with any sort of heat-caused rashes or perfuse sweating like we often deal with (especially in the high times of summer in Florida), winter can really screw up our skin. So keep these tips in mind over the next couple months while we await a sunny springtime!