As the temperature drops and the air dries, our hair and skin begin to change. You may notice that after cleansing your body, hair and face and applying your usual moisturizer, your hair and skin look dull, dry or flaky and feel tight and itchy. This guide will help you capture and maintain moisture for your entire body during this winter season.
Day: Apply a daily moisturizer, containing SPF 15 or higher, right after washing your face with a creamy or non-foaming cleanser, even when it’s snowing or overcast. One rule of thumb is to use the moisturizer designed for the skin-type class below you—people with oily skin should use moisturizers made for those with normal skin and people with normal skin should use moisturizers made for those with dry skin, and so on. If you normally use facemasks and toners, consider switching to non-alcohol based toners and mild, hydrating masks to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Night: Night creams aren’t just for little old ladies. The dryness you see during the day can also be treated at night, when your skin’s rejuvenating powers are strongest. Instead of using the same moisturizer you apply during the day, consider using two moisturizers; one for day and one for night. At night, apply a heavier cream than normal, possibly one that is oil-based. Eye creams are also essential this time of year, since the eyes already have a smaller number of oil glands than the rest of your face and also contain thin fragile skin.
Lips: Aside from caring for your face as a whole, consider switching out that lip-gloss for a moisturizing Chapstick or lip balm that contains SPF 15 or higher. Burt’s Bees and Kiehl’s are great products for protecting your lips, especially during the winter. Also, in the mornings, exfoliate your lips using a drop of olive oil and a face towel to avoid product buildup and increase circulation. And of course you should never rely on licking your lips, as they will become even drier and more chapped throughout the day.
In the shower: Though it may be tempting, don’t shower in very hot water. Instead, take a warm shower. The heat from very hot showers can actually dry out your skin, removing your body’s natural oils and worsening the effects of the wind and temperature change. Also, before leaving the shower, rinse quickly with cold water.
Out of the shower: Pat, don’t rub, your body to dry yourself off. Apply body oil such as baby oil when your skin is still slightly damp. This will allow you to seal in moisture. Once a week, exfoliate using a body scrub to remove dead skin cells, which allows your skin to be receptive to moisture. Also, drink more water than usual. Try drinking 1.5 to two liters of water daily. Chances are that sleeping in a room with a heater or many air vents dehydrates you a bit, leaving you feeling somewhat dry and congested in the mornings and during the day. You may want to consider investing in a good humidifier to add moisture to your room.
Hands and Feet
Purchase a rich hand cream to use on both hands and feet. Like the eyes, these body parts tend to contain thin skin and need special creams to keep them moisturized. Whenever you’re washing dishes, wear gloves. When washing your hands, use warm water only, not hot water. For your feet, get pedicures every so often. Lastly, at night, apply a thick cream or simple petroleum jelly to both your hands and feet and cover them with socks and old gloves. Sounds strange, but the effects justify the method to obtain maximum hydration on your extremities.
Don’t forget to take care of your hair during this time of the year, though you’ll often don hats and scarves. Wash less often and avoid dry shampoos. Look for humectants and essential fatty acids in the products you purchase. If you tend to have dry or fragile hair, consider deep-conditioning or applying nourishing hair masks once a week for 15 minutes. For leave-in products, look for a silicone base. This element protects your hair without weighing it down. If you notice static in your hair, take one dryer sheet and lightly rub it down your hair to reduce static, or brush your hair with a natural bristle hairbrush.
-Stay Stylish (and looking beautiful!)