Keeping Your Cool: Winter Weather Hair and Beauty

Looking and feeling your best is a year-round ideal, but the changing of the seasons can wreak havoc on your beauty routine. Cold, dry air is hard on your hair and skin, so it is often necessary to adopt a seasonal regimen. For 365 days of beauty, try these practical tips.

During the winter months, you may find it helpful to switch to a cream- or lotion-based facial cleanser. Cold, dry air can leave your skin flaky and dull in appearance, even if you do not typically battle dryness. If you use a bar soap to clean your face, toss it; this type of cleaner is notorious for sapping the moisture from your skin.

During the heat and humidity of summertime, many people opt for lotions or moisturizers that are sheer or lightweight. When the temperatures hover around freezing, however, these formulations are not intense enough. When shopping for winter weather body products, opt for thick creams and body butters. Must-have ingredients include vitamin E, ceramide and glycerin.

Because cold air tends to make your skin appear splotchy and uneven, your foundation has to work harder to create a smooth appearance. Tinted moisturizers and sheer foundations are too lightweight to mask moderate to severely splotch skin. Instead, choose a rich, creamy or cream-to-powder formulation; these blend well and provide buildable coverage. If you do not use self-tanner or spray tans during the winter, consider temporarily switching to a foundation that is one shade darker than your normal skin tone.

Chapped, cracked lips are more common in winter and can lead to soreness and redness around the mouth area. Many people try to counter the effect with flavored lip balms and glosses. Unfortunately, flavored products may entice you to lick your lips more frequently than usual, making the problem much worse. While ordinary Chapstick lacks the glamor of these pretty potions, it serves a far more practical purpose: It coats and protects your lips and locks in moisture.

When the thermometer dips below freezing, you wouldn’t dream of going outdoors with wet hair. Allowing your hair to dry naturally can take hours depending upon its length and may not be an option if you’re in a hurry. If a blow dryer is your last resort, use it wisely. Before drying, coat your hair with a thermal serum or styling product. Use the coldest setting and avoid concentrating the air on any one area for longer than one minute.

If you are experiencing dry, itchy skin, invest in a humidifier for your bedroom and allow it to run overnight. The humidifier infuses the air with tiny droplets of water, making it easier for your skin to absorb and retain moisture. Bonus: if you find yourself battling congestion from a winter cold, the humidifier does double duty!

While the idea of adopting an entirely different beauty routine for the winter months may seem like a chore, the results are well worth the effort. Following these guidelines allows your beauty to shine through at any temperature and any time of year. The best part? Most of these winter-proof ideas will set you back less than ten dollars!