Avoid a Winter Dry Spell
Keep your skin, hair, and lips smooth and silky no matter how frightful the weather turns with these products and home-care tips
Cold weather outside plus dry heat inside is a recipe for disaster when it comes to keeping your skin soft and touchable. But there's no need to run to the dermatologist: You can remedy all your itchy, flaky, red, and rough spots and return to your smooth, gorgeous self with a few at-home tricks and the right products.
"I recommend using a 3-in-1 cleanse-treat-condition formula product that contains hyaluronic acid, which will hydrate, repair, and protect your hair follicles and scalp," says Julien Farel, celebrity stylist to Kate Moss, Brooke Shields, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Try Restore twice a week in place of shampoo and conditioner, or DIY with olive oil, he adds: Apply 1/2 cup warm olive oil to damp hair, leave in for one hour, and then rinse out with shampoo and conditioner.
Dry, Dull Hair
Reach for dry shampoo to liven up oily looking strands, and only use heat to style your hair every other day, Farel recommends. "Apply a styling balm that includes hydrolyzed rice protein and vitamins B, C, or E to wet hair to help with hydration and shine while protecting from blow-drying and heat styling, and avoid walking out the door with wet hair, as it can freeze and crack," he adds.
Rough, Red Face
"If your face is dry, try a facial oil that includes argan oil, marula oil, vitamin C, passion fruit, or borage seed," recommends David Colbert, M.D., of New York Dermatology Group. "Lotions tend to be water-based, and then you can get ice crystals in your skin, whereas oil seals in the water, acting as a barrier function and stopping the wind from freezing your capillaries." His clients Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, and Michelle Williams use his Illumino Face Oil, which can be applied before foundation.
When your paws are raw, you need something sweet. "Sugar scrubs are better than salt for your hands because they come in different size grains so you can customize according to your skin's sensitivity," says Patricia Yankee, celebrity nail technician for Allison Williams, Katy Perry, and Giada de Laurentiis. [Tweet this tip!] She suggests exfoliating every two or three days and using a rich moisturizer with shea butter every day. "Add cuticle oil before you put your gloves on, and the heat generated by your body inside the gloves will help the cream and oil penetrate your skin. It's like a facial for your hands," she says.
Proper moisturizing begins the second you step out of the shower. Pat dry, and while your skin is still damp, apply a rich moisturizer that contains hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, avocado oil, or squalane, says Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl's USA. "While you sleep, your cells are correcting themselves from the day's stressors, so use the evening to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate." Using a humidifier in your bedroom can also help.
"Some kinds of winter eczema are just dry skin, so don't over-wash your hands or body," says dermatologist Doris Day, M.D. She also recommends oatmeal baths. Try Aveeno Eczema Therapy Bath Treatment, or mix 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup coconut oil with oatmeal to make a paste, then add that to your bath water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. "Honey is very soothing and has antiseptic and healing properties, while coconut oil is a rich, natural emollient, and oatmeal is soothing full of anti-inflammatory properties," she explains.
If your pucker is unkissable, grab a clean soft-bristle toothbrush. [Tweet this tip!] "Do a quick sweep for about 30 seconds to a minute using small, circular motions until your lips feel smooth, then slather on a softening lip balm that includes shea butter, jojoba, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E," says Bliss Spa educator Laura Anna Conroy.