For years I was surprised that my worst skin and hair conditions manifested themselves during the winter months. I didn’t quite understand how or why my face would breakout when my skin was so dry that I could feel it tighten any time I stepped outside into the frigid air. Similarly, while I enjoyed having hair free of humidity-induced frizz during the winter months I didn’t quite understand why my hair became so dry and prone to breakage. After doing some research and putting some cold weather skin and hair care tips to the test these past couple winters I have found a number of ways to combat dry skin and parched hair and am feeling fully prepared to take on Boston’s winter weather (and my Beacon Hill apartment’s incredibly dry conditions).
1. Avoid harsh facial cleansers or treatments
I learned this the HARD way. Even if your skin is breaking out, avoid using cleansers or acne treatments high in ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Using cleansers or treatments with these ingredients may clear up spots in the short term but they will often lead to overly dry skin that will trigger your body to produce even MORE oil that will perpetuate the breakouts.
2. Moisturize your skin
We all know the importance of moisturizing and if you are one of those people who is inconsistent with moisturizing day and night, now is the time to establish a routine. Personally, I find that the simpler the routine the more likely I am to keep up with it. So… I keep things as simple as possible and lean towards face and body moisturizers that can be used day and/or night.
3. Hydrate you hair
Be kind to your hair this winter and don’t forget to lock in moisture. Whether you reach for a rich conditioner, a leave-in treatment or hair oil be sure to use the recommended amount as using too much will result in a greasy mess!
Exfoliation is always important but it becomes increasingly important as the weather gets colder. When you exfoliate you remove the dead skin cells on your skin’s surface allowing for cell turnover and for moisture to enter the skin. This means that your face and/or body moisturizers will be more effective in moisturizing and hydrating your skin.
5. Get a dose of vitamin D
Vitamin D has been said to elevate your mood in the winter, but when applied to the skin topically it can also improve the condition of dry skin by nourishing skin and locking in moisture. Whether you choose to use a lotion that contains vitamin D or add an additional product to your routine that packs a Vitamin D punch like Skin Authority’s VitaD Topical Elixir – your skin will thank you! This stuff not only has cleared up some “would be” trouble spots but it also leaves my skin feeling smooth and looking bright!
6. Turn down the temperature
In my opinion, nothing feels better than a hot shower after returning from the cold outdoors. Not only does it warm you right up it also can relax your muscles. While feeling warm and relaxed is all fine and dandy, scalding hot showers can also contribute to dry/brittle hair and skin by stripping away natural oils (eek!). Turn down your shower temperature a notch (or two) and you’ll be in good shape for combatting dry hair and skin this winter.
Do you have any tips for keeping your skin and hair in good shape during the winter months? If so, share in the comments!