Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Winter brings with it biting winds, frigid temperatures and unpredictable weather. Your skin goes from freezing outside to sweltering inside. The wind dries it out and so does the heat. We`ve put together a collection of tips to keep your skin soft and supple from head to toes all winter long.
Start at the top
After coming in from the cold, nothing knocks off the chill like a steaming shower or a hot bath. Just remember that the hot water and shampoo that you use can strip your scalp of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and itchy. As a remedy, skip the shampoo and try just conditioning your hair once a week. If your scalp still itches, try rinsing your hair with cool water to soothe your skin.
Revitalize your lips
Winter brings with it the losing battle of keeping your lips moist. Resist the temptation to lick your lips. As your saliva evaporates, it robs your lips of their natural moisture as well. Apply a lip balm instead. Look for products that contain glycerin or lanolin along with a sunscreen. Flavored versions may smell good and they usually taste good as well. Be careful that your lip balm doesn’t cause you to lick your lips more and be wary of cinnamon flavors as the cinnamon oil can irritate or burn tender winter lips.
Your moisturizer can only help you as much as you help yourself. If you apply it over dead scaly skin, it’s not going to do you much good. To give your moisturizer the best possible surface, use a sugar scrub every two days to help exfoliate your skin and gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel afterwards (indulge and buy new bath towels for the winter). Then apply a glycerin moisturizer. Also be sure to use a new razor blade every three shaves. A dull blade can cause irritation.
Pay attention to your hand
No part of your body bears as much of the brunt of winter weather as your hands. They are the one part of our body that is exposed the most to the elements – and the one that suffers the most. Look for hydrating soaps and be wary of antibacterial varieties as the active ingredient (triclosan) can irritate already dry chapped hands. Remove any jewelry as well so that water and excess soap do not get trapped against your skin. And don’t for get to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Don’t forget your feet
They spend most of the winter hidden from view, but be sure to take care of them. Pay special attention to your heels where the skin is thickest – and most prone to taking on that attractive sandpaper-like texture. Use your pumice judiciously and look for creams that contain urea to help moisturize and exfoliate.
Winter will soon be over and your skin will see the light of day again, be sure to keep it healthy so it looks its best when those warm days of spring entice you to show it off.