This article was submitted by Cosmetology & Spa Academy. Located in Illinois, CSA is a beauty school with over 30 years of experience in the cosmetology, esthetics and beauty industry.
The winter weather is here and your skin likely took painful notice.
While snow covered trees, shrubs and rooftops are quite picturesque, the beauty of winter is counterbalanced by itchy dry skin. Don't let dry skin ruin your winter. Turn it into a minor inconvenience instead of a major annoyance that crimps your style and mood. Below, we outline some winter skincare tips to keep you comfortable throughout the long winter.
Prepare For The Elements
Strap on a hat, gloves, a scarf and a thick coat before you go outside during the winter months. They'll protect your skin from windburn and extensive exposure to the incredibly cold air.
Our sensitive lips are under great duress during the winter months. Always carry lip balm with you when you leave the house. Keep one in your car and one in your purse. Choose a lip balm with lanolin.
This is an all-natural, extra oily wax that is derived from the wool of sheep. If your lips are especially flaky, exfoliate them with a clean toothbrush. This will eliminate excess skin. Or, consider using vegetable shortening like Crisco. This is a popular vegan solution to chapped lips. Another vegan remedy is apple honey. Spread it on your lips, let it sit for ten minutes and then wipe it off with a moist cotton swab. There are many more interesting techniques like this that you can learn from enrolling in an esthetics program.
Avoid Long, Hot Showers
While a long, hot shower feels absolutely fabulous during the winter, it is the quickest way to dry out your skin. Don't spend more than 10 minutes in the shower during the winter. Ideally, your shower should be less than 5 minutes to conserve water and protect your sensitive wintertime skin. Don't turn the water temperature all the way up either.
Boiling hot showers will zap your skin's moisture. Stick to a warm or lukewarm shower until the winter is over. Then you can go back to your ultra hot shower water and enjoy it for more than ten minutes.
Treating Cracked Feet
If your feet are in particularly bad shape as a result of winter's wrath, exfoliate and moisturize at home. Use a pumice stone to scrub those pesky calluses while you are in the midst of your shower.
You don't have to do this every single day for it to be effective. Once a week will be enough. However, you should apply a generous amount of moisturizer to your feet on a daily basis. Pick out a moisturizer with lanolin and you can even apply it directly to your nails if they are especially brittle during the winter.
Focus on rubbing the moisturizer into your heels as they are often in rougher shape than the other parts of your feet. Try to apply the lotion before you go to bed and wear cotton socks when you hit the hay. These socks actually help your feet absorb the moisturizer as they cause your feet to sweat. Moisturizers work best when they come into contact with warm and wet skin.
Eat And Drink With Your Skin In Mind
There are specific foods that will nourish your skin. Stock up on foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy monounsaturated fats during the winter. Examples include avocados, sardines, fish, olive oil, berries and nuts. Foods rich in vitamin C also will help your skin. Go for dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. Citrus fruits like tangerines, oranges and grapefruits are also excellent sources of vitamin C.
Try to drink plain water over the course of the winter. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they dehydrate your skin as well as your entire body. Don't go out of your way to down gallons of water each day. An excess of water won't cure your dry skin, but an ample amount will help to maintain the proper level of moisture.
Protect Your Head
One of the unfortunate results of the brutal winter temperatures and extremely dry air is dandruff. A flaky scalp is embarrassing and totally unnecessary. Be proactive to prevent a dry scalp by reducing your time in the shower. Shower with cooler water and make use of a dandruff fighting shampoo.
You can even apply coconut oil, olive oil and vitamin E to your scalp before showering. Such oils activate the oils that are inherent to your scalp. They'll also help to moisturize your brittle hair follicles. If your scalp is especially dry, consider using tea tree oil. This remedy will drastically reduce your scalp itch.
Incorporate Oil, Milk And Oatmeal
When you prepare a bath in the winter months, you should mix in some grape seed oil or olive oil. You can even put a very thin layer of either of these oils onto your body immediately after you get out of the shower.
If you are concerned that it will rub off on your clothing, apply the oil before you go to sleep and settle into your oldest pajamas. You can also add whole milk to your bath to moisturize your skin. Milk has a wealth of vitamins, fats and proteins that really improve skin health.
If you are suffering from extraordinarily dry skin, take an oatmeal bath. Whenever you exit one of these special baths, you should add moisturizing dry skin cream or Vaseline before dressing. The sooner you apply the lotion, the better off your skin will be.