Are you looking a little less than your best this winter? Frigid temperatures and dry air can leave your hair and skin dull and dry. From chapped lips to red or cracked knuckles, winter may be wreaking havoc on your body. To combat Old Man Winter’s effects, here are 10 tips for winter skin and hair care.
Most people think that adults need to drink 8 cups of water per day, when in fact, our bodies require more. According to the Mayo Clinic, women need to drink 11.5 cups of water per day while men need about 15.5. If winter has left your skin feeling dry, start by hydrating from the inside out using these guidelines.
Use a Humidifier
Before you stock up on lotions and balms, try breaking out your humidifier. Rehydrating the air in your home can eliminate some of winter’s effects on your skin. Your air will feel more comfortable and you will cut down on the increased static electricity.
Turn Down the Shower
Hot showers, though comforting, are not ideal for winter skin. They strip your skin and hair of their natural oils. Cooler showers can help keep your skin hydrated and your hair looking shiny. Start by dialing back the temperature just a little, if if only a few times a week.
Change up your Soap and Shampoo
You may notice that the soap and shampoo that you always use are no longer working for you in winter. If you feel drier than usual, you might consider switching to a moisturizing option during the colder months.
It is especially important to exfoliate in winter. Dead skin cells act as a barrier to moisturizers, so the best way to effectively moisturize is to begin with a gentle exfoliation. A good rule of thumb is to exfoliate once or twice a week, depending on your skin type and your preference. Be careful not to overdo it.
Using a good moisturizer will soothe and comfort dry skin. Choose a moisturizer with all natural ingredients for best results. Coconut oil is a popular choice, as it has natural antibacterial properties, a pleasant scent and helps the skin maintain moisture. Shea butter is another excellent choice as it reduces skin inflammation and has natural anti-aging properties.
Put Down the Heat Appliances
Another thing to consider is your use of heat appliances on your hair during the dry months of winter. If you frequently deal with static in your hair, try cutting back on your use of the flat iron, curling iron or even switch to air drying your hair instead of blow drying.
Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Limit your exposure to dry winter air by covering up your skin as much as possible. Wear gloves, a hat and a scarf when temperatures dip below freezing or on windy days. Extreme weather can exacerbate existing skin conditions or even cause new ones, so bundle up!
Take Your Vitamins
You can take your vitamins or eat them with a healthy diet; either way, winter is an excellent time to make sure your body has what it needs to keep hair and skin looking and feeling their best. Here are a few to consider:
- Vitamin A – Prevents pigmentation, dry skin and wrinkles
- Vitamin B Complex – Excellent for overall skin health
- Vitamin C – Improves skin’s overall appearance, reduces wrinkles and stimulates collagen production
- Vitamin D – Moisturizes and hydrates skin
- Vitamin E – Good antioxidant and reduces free radicals
- Vitamin K – Reduces dark circles and dry skin
- Zinc – Reduces dry skin and improves skin health
Hair & Scalp Treatments
There are many hot oil treatments that can be done at home or at the salon to help nourish and hydrate the scalp and hair. Ask your stylist for recommendations.
For those dealing with winter’s drying effects, the good news is it won’t last forever. In the meantime, do what you can to mitigate dry hair and skin by trying a few of these moisturizing tips!