It’s official – cold weather is upon us, and it’s not going anywhere. Just like your car and your home, your beauty routine needs to be prepared for the blustery season ahead. Making a few simple changes to your hair, skin, and nail care routines will keep you glowing all winter. Read on for some common winter challenges and how to avoid them!
Static Electricity: Dry indoor heat and heavier fabrics like wool are likely to up the static factor in your home or at work. To combat this problem BEFORE it happens, keep your hair moisturized. For coarser, thicker hair textures, this means adding 1-2 deep conditioning treatments per week to your routine. The extra moisture will keep your flyways to a minimum. For fine-textured locks, use a daily conditioner after each shampoo. Add in a lightweight leave-in conditioner to up the moisture, if needed. Deep conditioners can be too heavy. Look for humectants in the ingredient list, such as keratin, elastin, collagen, panthenol, and glycogen. These attract water and will help hold moisture in your hair. As a quick fix – keep a dryer sheet or two on hand to rub in your hair when static strikes. Or, use a little dab of styling cream to smooth your hair (a cream will provide more moisture than gel or hairspray).
Hat Hair: With winter comes the opportunity to add even more fabulous accessories to your wardrobe. Beanies, skull caps, toboggans – whatever you call them, they are, totally adorable, but they will totally wreck your ‘do! How do you avoid the dreaded flat hat hair? Simple! For straight hairstyles, brush your hair straight back before you put your hat on. Have curly hair? Gather a small section in the front, pull it back and secure it on the top of your head with one or two bobby pins. When you take your hat off, take out the bobby pins, and voila – no loss of volume!
Dry, flaky skin: The same dry heat that wreaks havoc on your hair also does a number on your skin. During the winter months, your skin, just like your hair, requires some heavier moisture to avoid dehydration. Even oily skin can become dehydrated, so don’t think that just because you’re oily you don’t need moisture! Make sure you are using a moisturizer in your daily skin care routine. Switching to a heavier moisturizer during the winter months will help maintain proper moisture levels in your skin. Humectants and emollient ingredients in your skin creams will ensure that your skin is holding onto more moisture, which will keep you glowing.
Look for ingredients such as olive oil, mineral oil, sesame oil or jojoba oil – these are all natural emollients which will trap moisture in the skin to prevent dehydration. Worried about blackheads? Jojoba oil is your best bet- it’s noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores). Ceramides, collagen, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol are all humectant ingredients that will help maintain moisture levels in the skin. Glycerin and Propylene Glycol are both noncomedogenic, so you won’t need to worry about clogged pores when using them.
Sunburn: That’s right – just because it’s cold outside doesn’t eliminate the need to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. You’re especially at risk if you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, but everyone can benefit from the use of sunscreens in the wintertime. On a daily basis, use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30. Many foundations also have an SPF factor. Make sure whatever you are using protects against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. If you know you will be out in the sun for a long period of time, whether you’re headed to a football game or hitting the slopes, a moisturizer or foundation won’t provide enough coverage. You need to apply an actual sunscreen in order to get the most protection from UV rays, and apply liberally. Make sure you cover all the areas that will be exposed, from your face to the backs of your hands.
Dry, cracked cuticles: Once again, the dry air is your enemy! And the constant hand washing you do to avoid getting sick is no friend to your cuticles, either! Make sure that you apply lotion to your hands after you wash them, and make sure you are washing with warm water, not hot. Using a cuticle oil will keep your cuticles soft and supple, and will help to prevent any cracking. Products like CND’s SolarOil can be applied multiple times per day, as needed. You can also massage jojoba or olive oil into your cuticles to keep them hydrated.
Peeling, cracked, or split nails: Regular manicures will help to maintain the health of your nails, but if you’re a DIY-er, there are some easy steps to keeping your nails in good health during the winter. When you apply cuticle oil (see above), massage some onto your nails as well. This will keep your nails soft and keep them from getting brittle. Protect your nails with a clear coat of polish, or go all out and add some color! The polish will help prevent moisture from leaching out of your nails.
Drink plenty of water: Your body hydrates from the inside out, so while you can add moisture to your hair, skin and nails, nothing works better than being fully hydrated. How much should you drink? Here’s a simple formula: divide your weight by 2, and this is how many ounces of water you should drink in a day (ex: if you weigh 150 lbs, divide by 2 = 75 ounces, or about nine 8 oz glasses)
Avoid hot water: Even on the mornings when it feels like you are stepping out of your warm, cozy bed and into the arctic circle – don’t turn the temperature up in the shower! Hot water leaches moisture from your skin, so keep the water warm and you’ll keep your skin happy. While you’re at it, when you get out of the shower, pat – don’t rub – your skin/hair with the towel. Rubbing can irritate already dry skin.
Use a humidifier: A cool mist humidifier isn’t just for use when you’re sick. Providing extra moisture into your environment will help you to avoid the pitfalls of dry, dehydrated hair, skin and nails. Just make sure to check the filters often and keep them clean.
Do you have any additional tips for winterizing your beauty routine? Please share!