Harsh winds and cold winter temperatures make winter skin and hair care especially challenging. Winter can ravage your skin and hair. Chapped lips, frizzy hair, wind-burnt face, and dry chapped skin are all side effects of harsh, winter conditions.
Here are some ways you can protect your skin and hair from the harmful effects of winter.
No matter how much you bundle up in the winter, your face and mouth are still exposed to the harsh wind and cold. Exposure to the elements can make your lips cracked and dry. Chapped lips aren’t just unattractive, they can be painful.
Lip balm is the best way to protect your lips during winter. The trick is to choose the right one.
Some common lip balm ingredients can actually make your dry lips worse. Avoid lip balms with these ingredients:
- Artificial colors
- Artificial fragrances
- Hyaluronic acid
If you are concerned about chemicals and toxic ingredients, you should also avoid:
Look for lip balms that contain beeswax and shea butter since this is a great moisturizing combination. I like this one since it’s flavored with essential oils, but there are many other brands that do not contain the ingredients you should avoid. Here are some examples:
Winter weather is one of your hair’s worst enemies. Icy cold winds ravage and tangle your hair. Exposure to harsh winds and snow can cause your hair to be brittle and dry. Even the indoor heating has a terrible drying effect.
The best way to protect your hair during winter is to use a moisturizing conditioner every time you wash your hair. A good, thick conditioner coats your hair, adding and sealing in moisture. Your conditioner should have key ingredients such as essential oils, fatty acids, humectants and sunscreen.
Unfortunately, many popular conditioners contain ingredients that actually strip your hair of moisture and can damage your hair further. Avoid these ingredients:
- Sodium laurel/Laurel Sulfate
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Proplyene glycol
- Polyethylene glycol
The best conditioners for your hair will contain natural oils like:
- Avocado oil
- Argan oil
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
Also look for panthenol, which is just Vitamin B for your hair. It helps thicken hair follicles and locks in moisture. Silk18 is a great natural conditioner, but you can find many others that will help you fend off frizzy hair in the winter.
Occasional deep conditioning treatments can also help protect and restore your hair’s moisture during winter. You can buy these at the store, but it’s just as easy (and less expensive) to make your own. My homemade hot oil treatment only contains two ingredients and takes just a minute to make.
Dry skin on your face and hands is the most common problem in winter. Your face is hard to protect against harsh wind and cold without blocking your sight. Your hands can be protected with gloves while outdoors, but the effects of indoor heating are hard to avoid.
Protect your face by keeping it clean and moisturized. Avoid drying face washes that include alcohol and instead opt for face-specific moisturizing daily cleansers. Consider using moisturizing face masks a couple times a week. Again, you can buy these or make your own at home. Homemade for Elle has several homemade facial mask recipes.
Wear a facial moisturizer daily. Ideally, your moisturizer will contain sunscreen. As always, avoid any product that includes alcohol.
Your hands are one of the most-used parts of your body and are often the first to show signs of aging. Even when you are wearing gloves, harsh wind and cold can seep through the fabric and draw out essential moisture. Protect your skin by using lotions and hand creams often throughout the day.
In your lotions and creams – not just for your hands but your entire body and face – avoid products that are petroleum or mineral oil based. These ingredients are not easily absorbed by your skin. Look instead for essential oils, keratin, and co-enzyme q10. These ingredients natural moisturize and lock in much-needed moisture.
For both your face and hands, keep your lotion or creams with you and reapply throughout the day to ensure protection and moisture retention.