Cold winter air can create havoc for your poor skin and hair. Here are some tips for looking after yourself during the coldest season of the year. This will not only keep you looking good now, but will prevent your skin from aging prematurely.
1) Wrap up from head to toe. Invest in a warm pair of gloves to protect your hands and prevent the skin on them from becoming dry and flaky. Waterproof ones are recommended if you are going out in the snow as they don’t soak your hands when you touch the snow. Don’t forget to wear a hat as they help protect your hair from drying out and they keep your head nice and warm. Too much exposure to cold, harsh weather can leave hair brittle and dry making it more susceptible to damage. As well as this, wear a scarf when possible to protect the skin on your neck and chest.
2) At home, keep warm but not hot. If the temperature inside is much hotter than outside it can irritate your skin and can even cause broken capillaries from the temperature shock when you get home or when you go out. While walking around at home wear slippers or warm socks to prevent getting cold feet which can cause chilblains, which cause your toes to swell, the skin to become sore and sometimes causes permanent disfigurement.
3)The same applies for when you are washing. Having a hot shower or bath can cause skin irritation if the weather is cold. As well as this it strips the natural moisture out of the skin and hair. So turn the temperature down from hot to warm.
4) Adapt your hair care to the weather changes. There are plenty of shampoos that help your hair be strong and healthy during winter. Hair goes dry, weak and brittle during winter, but if you give it the right treatment you’ll avoid it becoming a big issue. Look for shampoos and conditioners which aim to protect and heal your hair, making sure it’s slightly more moisturizing than what you use normally, but still good for your hair type. Also, it may be a good idea to try a moisturising hair treatment once or twice a fortnight to help repair the effects of winter, you could even make one yourself!
5) As with your hair, your skin care routine should also be adjusted. Skin becomes drier in cold weather, especially if it’s windy, because the moisture off the skin is evaporated more quickly by the wind, and the skin doesn’t produce as much oil. Try using a slightly heavier moisturizer than you use in the summer, although still make sure that it’s suitable for your skin type. Make sure you moisturize every morning, especially if you are going outside, to prevent your skin from becoming dry and flaky. Then at night, before going to bed, wash your face to remove make up and pollutants which could irritate your skin, and apply moisturizer to treat your skin while you sleep. A couple of times a week you should use a gentle exfoliater to scrub away dry skin which can become an issue in cold weather.
6)As well as looking after the skin on your face, don’t forget to use a body butter on the skin on your body to prevent that skin from drying out. It doesn’t need quite as much attention as the skin on your face as it’s not often exposed, but it will still need more care than it gets in the warmer months.
7)Remember to give your neck and chest the same treatment as you give your face as these areas are often exposed too.
8) Give your lips extra attention to avoid them becoming chapped and splitting. Apply a moisturizing lip balm when you are doing the rest of your skin care, make it part of your routine. As well as this, before you go outside apply some Vaseline/petroleum jelly to your lips as this creates a protective barrier between the cold air and your lips, locking in moisture (remember that Vaseline isn’t actually moisturizing, it’s only protective, so use another lip balm along side it).
9)You could also easily make a lip scrub to smooth away and dead or flaky skin. Do this by applying a generous amount of Vaseline to your lips, then rub either with sugar, a finger covered with a coarse flannel or with a soft toothbrush. Use circular motions and then rinse your lips and apply balm. Be gentle when exfoliating your lips, you don’t want to damage the delicate skin, you shouldn’t need to rub hard. If the flakes won’t scrub off easily then wait until the next day and do it again when it’s become a bit looser.
10) Apply a good hand cream daily and whenever needed. This is especially important if you don’t wear gloves as the skin would be constantly exposed, and yet many of us forget about it until the skin becomes dry and flaky, and in some cases splits. To keep the skin soft and comfortable, massage hand moisturizer into your hands in the morning and evening, as well as every time you wash your hands. If you’re worried about having greasy hands, there are non-greasy feeling hand creams available. If your hands are extremely dry, apply a suitable moisturizer at night and then wear light cotton gloves which are available for wearing at night to keep the moisture on them.
11) Once you’ve washed your hands, make sure you dry them before going out into the cold. Not doing so will make your skin more vulnerable to dryness.
12) Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Eating a healthy diet full of nutrients and vitamins is the best way to keep your hair and skin from looking and feeling healthy. It’s also important to drink enough water to keep your skin and hair hydrated from within. Eating an unbalanced diet will leave your body lacking in the nutrition needed for keeping your skin and hair looking great. Eating well will also make you feel great too! If you have trouble with maintaining a balanced diet then take multivitamins, but remember that this is not an effective replacement for the real thing.