Byline: LF
Story by LF

Winter Skin and Haircare Tips

Flushed cheeks, chapped lips, cracked hands – the winter weather takes its toll on our skin.

While we’re concentrating on new fitness or wellness regimes, we need to up our game when it comes to our epidermis.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your skin’s beauty during the cold snap.

The unholy trinity of cold air, harsh winds and contrasting central heating dries out skin. Therefore hydration – both inside and out – is key.

Moisturising, naturally, is the bedrock of a winter skincare regime. Experts recommend upgrading from a lotion to a thicker cream, which should be massaged properly in to the skin for at least 30 seconds.

AT the same time, you should dial down your cleansing routine and switch strong soaps, which can strip natural oils from the skin, for gentle cleansers such as micellar products.

Make sure you’re hydrated internally too. Drink enough water and swap diuretics such as coffee for green tea. Try to hydrate your environment inside, whether at home or at work, by putting a container with water near heaters.

In some cases, the cold climes can trigger dermatitis or ‘flaky skin’, especially around the nose and eyebrows. Canesten cream (mostly associated with treating thrush!) can help the symptoms and should be applied twice daily.

Gentle exfoliation will help to remove the flakes or dead skin cells, as well as allowing the ingredients of other skincare products – serums and moisturisers – to penetrate the dermis more effectively.

Bring me sunshine
We may lament the lack of rays during Winter but its UVA rays, which are thought to contribute to premature ageing of the skin, can still pose a threat and so it is advisable to always use a sunscreen or a moisturiser with SPF.

Lips suffer from the cold, by chapping or, in extreme cases, cracking. Keep a lip balm with you at all times so you can apply it whenever you’re going outdoors or when you feel they are dry.

Hands are also affected, even if protected by outdoor gloves. Hand cream is vital, even a cold cream. Don’t forget your feet either – encased in boots, tights and sometimes thick socks, they will also benefit from a rich foot cream.

Finally, use the winter as an excuse to indulge yourself! Long baths, a welcome treat after a long day, can help moisturise and hydrate the skin if you add a bath oil. Apply plenty of body oil afterwards too.

Facials are also recommended to help keep the skin, clear and hydrated.

Not just for girls…
Men, your skin also suffers from the woes of Winter, so the above tips apply to you too. However, you should also consider using a toner, or to use a manlier phrase, a skin refresh gel. Male skin is oilier than women’s due to its more active sebaceous glands.

Hair Care Bunch
Winter weather has a drying effect on hair as well – you may notice that your locks are not as glossy as in the summer months and can be flyaway, not to mention suffer from ‘hat hair’.

Again, it is important to restore lost moisture and protect your hair. Try not to wash it every day so that you use a hairdryer less. Use a gentle chemical-free shampoo, followed by a rich conditioner, or a leave-in conditioner. Alternatively, apply argon oil, to the ends of damp – or dry hair – for extra protection, or try a moisturising hair mask once a week.

To keep your hair ‘fighting fit’ for the cold, make sure you have regular cuts or at least a trim to remove split and dry ends.

Finally, hats, although protecting your head, can cause your scalp to sweat which may lead to (whisper it) dandruff. If you feel the onset of a flaky scalp, use an anti-dandruff shampoo.

Another tip is to wear a silk scarf under your hat as heavier materials such as wool or (fake) fur can cause static hair and breakages.

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