Winter wonderlands may be beautiful to look at, but it can wreak havoc on our skin and hair. Before you embrace the cold, check out our winter survival skills.
1. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom.
When we sleep with heaters on, we dry up like prunes. Humidifiers send a mist of water into the air to combat the dryness. “Soothe dry, parched skin by putting your humidifier near your bed when you go to sleep. In the morning, you’ll not only notice that your face looks more supple, but your hands won’t feel dry either. It also helps to relieve chapped lips, too,” says Trina Renea, founder of the Facial Bungalow and advanced clinical esthetician.
2. Use skin oil and serums before applying your moisturizer.
Incorporate a skin oil or serum for hydration, increased nourishment and skin brightness this winter. They also help in strengthening skin cells. “While other face creams contain only five to 10 percent of active ingredients, a face serum can contain up to 70 percent!” says Renea. No wonder these potent products are able to deliver a much greater concentration of nutrients, deeper into the skin.
3. Give your hair TLC.
“One winter hair tip that I cannot overemphasize is the use of a weekly deep conditioning treatment,” says Salon Khouri owner Jonathan Elkhouri. This is especially true if you have dry, coarse hair to begin with. For best results, shampoo hair, then rinse. Apply the treatment to damp hair, then place a shower cap over the hair allowing the treatment to sit. If you are not sure which treatment to use, try the following DIY mixture at home: 1/4 cup honey, ½ an avocado, and 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt.
4. Stay hydrated.
The most important part about a healthy winter glow is to stay hydrated. This is achieved in a few different ways. The first is by drinking a lot of water. Dry, cold air dehydrates you inside and out, so drink extra during the winter months. Moisturizing is a crucial part of keeping skin hydrated during the winter, but you shouldn’t ignore exfoliating, says Dr. Gary Goldfaden. Look for scrubs that have moisturizing elements to them, such as jojoba oil or apricot seed oil. Oils are also very beneficial during the winter months to keep skin glowing. Serums should have soothing properties as well. Look for ingredients that calm the skin such as rooibos, chamomile, aloe and primrose. Using a moisturizer with vitamin D during the winter will give your skin a protective barrier and help to restore the levels lost during the gray months. Also do not neglect sunscreen, says Dr. Goldfaden. Just because the sun is not out does not mean UVA/UVB rays are not. You can still get a sunburn during the winter, especially if there is white snow on the ground. The sun reflects off the snow and can burn you.
5. Don’t neglect your lips.
Use lip balm or hydrocortisone ointment on the lips over a lip pencil so the color bleeds into the lips and you get the look of lip gloss but the healing effect from the balm, says Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules.
6. Avoid hats in winter.
Hats contribute to flyaway, dull and tangled hair. To stay warm, use ear muffs or a headband instead, suggests Nicholas Penna Jr., owner and lead stylist of SalonCapri in Newton, Dedham and Boston, MA.