The cold winter months are here. Plummeting temperatures, whipping winds, snow and freezing rain then all the heat pumped up at home, in schools and office buildings cause dry skin and brittle hair. Humidity levels drop with decreased temps and essentially suck the moisture out of your skin. Don’t neglect your skin and hair care routine as the weather worsens. You can make simple changes to prevent the stress of cold weather effects.
The key to managing a healthy skin and hair care routine is not just using moisturizers and creams, but maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. Follow these steps this winter season and protect your beautiful glow and flowing follicles:
1. Eat, drink and be merry. High-antioxidant fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, cranberries, blueberries, squash, and pomegranate are plentiful this time of year and nourish your skin from the inside out. Get your fill of water and healthy herb and green teas that hydrate your skin and hair looking more vibrant and youthful.
2. Turn down the Heat. Higher temps in the house dry the air and subsequently can dry your skin as well causing it to become flaky, itchy and uncomfortable.
3. Shower and bath time care. Take quick warm, NOT hot showers or baths. Hot water can pull natural oils from your skin and dry it out. Avoid the harsh, deodorizing soaps and instead, use mild, fragrance-free cleansers. A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve dry itchy skin.
4. Use healthy products. There are literally thousands of lotions, moisturizers, creams, and conditioners to choose from. For skin, decide on creams over lotions that do not contain fragrances. Also avoid fragrances in hair conditioners as well. Most can be harmful and are untested with no government regulation to have companies disclose the exact properties of fragrances in the product. They can include allergens, hormone disruptors, and asthma triggers. Get products that contain natural ingredients such as shea butter, canola, coconut, jojoba, or almond oils.
5. Handle your hands. Moisturize your hands after washing. Complete the drying process before applying lotion/cream. If you use hand sanitizer, get the combination style with moisturizer. Avoid wet gloves and keep your naked hands free from the snow.
6. Wear sunscreen and lip balm. Winter skin needs just as much sunscreen as summer skin to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays. The shining sun may not cause sunburn in the winter as the summer, but snow and water reflect more skin-damaging rays that increase exposure.
7. Seek a specialist. Your increased moisturizing routine with healthy skin care choices may still not render the desired results. If you still suffer from irritated, dry, and flaky skin, look for a qualified esthetician or dermatologist. They can analyze your skin type and offer advice on your treatment regimen. You may also need a prescription lotion or cream to alleviate your advanced skin issues.
Remember to always protect your skin from the cold with common sense treatment. Minimize your exposure to cold temps, dry heat, bright sun, and especially harmful chemicals in skin and hair care products. The largest of the body organs needs a little more TLC this winter.