Tips And Tricks To Overcome All Your Winter Beauty Woes

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When winter hits, it can have curious effects on the state of our skin and hair. For instance, those of us who normally fly through packs of oil-blotting papers may find that we now require the heaviest facial moisturizers. Others might notice the lip balms they loved in the summer are no match for frost-chapped pouts. "As the seasons change, so should your [skincare]," dermatologist Mona Gohara tells Allure.


Dry skin and hair are common complaints during colder months, and they can become severe when left untreated. Humidity decreases as the climate shifts, which can spell trouble for all skin types as it depletes moisture. "Skin is our largest organ, so it's reactive to our environment," Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank tells The New York Times. The good news is that you don't need to break the bank to overhaul your beauty regime when it gets colder outside. With a few subtle adjustments to your routine, you can enjoy healthy, moisturized skin all winter long.

Add this step in after you shower or bathe

There's nothing nicer than a hot shower or bath on a chilly day. Unfortunately, this relaxing act can draw natural oils from your skin and exacerbate dryness. One way to circumvent this is by moisturizing immediately after you get out of the bath or shower. "Applying moisturizers on damp skin is much more beneficial, especially if your skin is dry to start with," dermatologist Alejandra Estemalik tells the Cleveland Clinic.


The best type of product to use is something occlusive, which means that it creates a protective layer using oil to lock in moisture. While you might be tempted to use an all-purpose product like petroleum jelly, be cautious. "[Petroleum jelly] is sticky and stains clothing," Dr. Angela J. Lamb tells Mount Sinai.

Some people prefer a straightforward oil-based moisturizer, like Weleda's Hydrating Body & Beauty Oil. If you like something more lightweight, you may enjoy Neutrogena's Body Oil, which boasts a "whisper-light" sesame oil formula. After bathing, apply a generous amount of your chosen moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp.

Give your hair a boost of hydration

Your hair isn't immune to the effects of winter weather. "Cold winter air holds less moisture than warm air, so your skin and hair dry out quickly," hairdresser Jurgen Meerschaert tells Newsweek. And you shouldn't shrug off dryness. When strands of hair lose moisture, they can weaken and develop split ends. Furthermore, split ends can cause your hair to appear thin, dull, and frayed. So, how can you keep your tresses hydrated despite the chill outside?


You'd be correct if you guessed that adding extra moisture to hair could help compensate for low humidity. "With the dry cold air comes drier hair, and I tend to recommend a thicker, heavier conditioner for the ends to prevent the hair from getting dry and brittle," master stylist Deena Von Yokes tells Hair can be fickle, but a good hydrating product can help smooth strands and protect them from the elements. For stronger locks, try applying a multifaceted serum, like Alterna's Caviar Moisture Intensive Ceramide Shots, to towel-dried hair. Wearing protective hairstyles, like braids, may also assist in damage prevention during wintertime.

Keep your hands soft and healthy

Your hands are one of the first parts of your body to show signs of dryness in the winter. Harsh elements can be tough on your paws, and frequent hand washing or hot water exposure can worsen things. Rough, dehydrated skin on your hands can lead to cracking and even bleeding. "Our hands are particularly susceptible because they're exposed to the cold air more than most other parts of our body," Dr. Benjamin Ungar tells NBC. Fear not, however: keeping chapped skin at bay is as easy as finding the right hand cream.


A good hand cream absorbs quickly, contains quality ingredients, and offers long-lasting moisture. For a natural approach, Chagrin Valley's Intense Healing Hand Balm has everything you need and can even double as an all-purpose salve. If you like scented, lightweight hand creams, The Creme Shop's Gudetama Handy Dandy Cream in Peach is a fast-absorbing lotion with a pleasant fruity fragrance. Like body moisturizers, hand cream performs well when applied to damp skin, so try using it just after washing your hands.

Ensure that your pout is protected

Flushed, cold-kissed cheeks can certainly be cute, but chapped lips aren't quite as pleasing. A parched kisser is particularly challenging to apply makeup to. Worse, severely chapped lips can lead to painful cracking and bleeding. "Lips do not have oil glands like the rest of our skin, and the skin is thinner. For this reason, the skin on our lips tends to be drier and more sensitive," Dr. Caroline Robinson tells The Chicago Sun-Times.


Sometimes, you may notice that chapped lips don't heal right away. Most importantly, don't lick your lips – this can lead to delayed healing and cause lips to become even drier. "Licking your lips, especially when they are already chapped, will draw all of the moisture out of them, leaving them even more dry," Dr. Shereen Idriss tells CNN

Taking a multi-step approach is crucial to ensure your pout stays hydrated. Wearing lip balm that contains SPF is your first line of defense, so try Sun Bum's CocoBalm Lip Balm in Banana Cream during the day. You'll want to apply a lip product with a heavier consistency in the evening. A lip mask that stands out is Chant a Charm's Deep Moist Lip Treatment, which contains hot spring water and mallow flower. "It will smooth out every single line, every bit of rough skin, and give that 'bee stung' look with no injections or hot pepper oils," writes one Redditor.


Give your scalp some extra attention

The scalp is an area we may tend to overlook, but it's prone to dry, flaky skin during frosty weather. In addition to unsightly dandruff, you may also notice your scalp producing more oil than usual in the winter. "Greasy hair and scalp in the winter are often caused due to reduced hair washes, woolen hats and beanies, and hot micro-environments at home such as room heaters," Dr. Shuba Dharmana tells Elle. However, it's easy to calm down common scalp problems with a few tweaks to your routine.


First, you'll want to rinse your scalp with warm water and avoid overly hot showers or baths. Avoiding excessive heat or high-heat styling products can help reduce scalp inflammation. You may be surprised to learn that just like the skin on your face, your scalp has a protective barrier that's sensitive to damage. "Any inflammation on the scalp will affect the hair growth cycle," Dr. Wilma Bergfeld tells the Cleveland Clinic. After shampooing and conditioning, try massaging a small amount of rejuvenating oil into the scalp. One stellar hair product that's full of scalp-friendly nutrients is Kreyòl Essence's Haitian Black Castor Oil, so why not give it a try?

Try slugging for areas with increased dryness

Maybe you've heard about the slugging trend, a beauty treatment that's all about maximizing hydration. Proponents of slugging use skin treatments like moisturizers sealed beneath impenetrable creams like petroleum jelly to seal in moisture. Some areas of the body, like your legs and elbows, may require a little extra help during the winter. That's where slugging comes in. "Dermatologists have been using [slugging] to prevent transepidermal water loss and lock in moisture to quickly heal dry skin for many years," Dr. Hope Mitchell tells Healthline.


After showering, apply your favorite body moisturizer. During winter, it may be worth swapping your standard body lotion out for body butter, like The Body Shop's Hemp Body Butter, crafted for ultra-dry skin. Once you've allowed your moisturizer to sink in, coat it with a layer of an occlusive product, like a balm or skin oil. Try spray-on oil like Aveeno's Daily Moisturizing Mist to avoid feeling overly sticky. If you're concerned about any potential staining or greasiness, place a towel over your bedding to protect your sheets.

Plan a self-care day (or night)

At least once a week, prioritize self-care and deeply moisturize the parts of your body that need it most. By taking time to hydrate your hair and skin intensively, you can ward off signs of wintry dryness and unwind. "A skincare routine, like any other form of self-care, can be soothing and calming," Dr. Sanam Hafeez tells Byrdie.


Begin your beauty ritual with a hair mask. You can smooth on something as simple as coconut oil or turn to a leave-in conditioner like Queen Helene's Cholesterol Conditioning Cream. Use a claw clip or hairpin to hold everything in place, and cover with a shower cap or some saran wrap. After treating your hair, whip up a homemade face mask with mashed avocado, or use a pre-packed product, like Rael Beauty's Refresh + Moisturize Hydration Sheet Masks. And don't forget your feet –- a quick and easy treatment to refresh your soles is Aveeno's Cica Repairing Foot Mask. Once finished, rinse everything off in a soothing bath or shower, and follow with your winter moisturizing routine.