Many people love cold winters and beautiful snowfalls. However, the season isn’t all fireplace warmth, cozy sweaters, and holiday cheer—depending on where you live, the winter climate can take a toll on your body and appearance. Most noticeably, the drop in temperature and humidity can be tough on skin and hair.
For example, winter cold and dryness often agitate skin, producing dermatitis symptoms like itchy, peeling skin. While hair is vulnerable during high humidity, it’s also at risk when ambient moisture levels are low. Low humidity can leave the hair shaft exposed, causing frizz and breakage.
To face these issues head-on and prevent damage, here are a few hair and skincare tactics you can employ this winter. When springtime finally arrives and you emerge with soft hair and glowing skin, you’ll be grateful that you did.
Take Shorter Showers
Hot water can strip your skin and hair of its natural oils, causing dehydration. Dry skin leads to irritation, while dry hair leads to unwanted frizz and further damage. To prevent this, try to limit your showers to five to 10 minutes max, and only use lukewarm or warm water—never hot or scalding, no matter how cold the outside air feels.
Don’t Skimp on Moisturizer
While lotions or light moisturizers may work for your skin in summer, don’t expect them to do the same in winter. Since your skin dries up a lot faster during the cold months, you want to make sure that you find a high-quality moisturizer to apply right after your showers to help lock in moisture.
Avoid Harsh Soaps
Many people use antibacterial soaps or ones with delightful smells. However, soaps containing alcohol or added fragrances, like deodorant soaps, may contain chemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your skin drier than before. Instead, choose soaps with moisturizing agents, fats, or oils and those without added fragrances that are gentler on your skin.
Try Hydrolyzed Collagen Supplements
The body naturally produced collagen, a protein that gives structure to your skin, bones, nails, and hair. However, as people age, their collagen production slows, leading to outward changes like skin wrinkles. To support your skin as you age, especially during the damaging winter cold, you can take collagen supplements. Note that consuming hydrolyzed collagen has a direct impact on your collagen reserves while using topical collagen products does little to “feed” your skin.
Prioritize Conditioner Over Shampoo
Your hair requires less cleansing in the winter since it produces fewer oils during colder months. During winter, damaging dryness affects the length of your hair and the shaft more, which is why it’s essential to choose a rich, nourishing conditioner that provides extra moisture.
Sunscreen isn’t just essential for hot summer months when the sun is out and shining. UV rays are still present even though the sun isn’t visible. Also, snow can reflect UV rays, which bounce right onto your skin. If you’re outside often, be sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin.
Choose the Right Face Masks
Certain face masks can do wonders for your skin in summer but actually cause more damage in the winter. For example, clay masks, which remove excess oil from your skin, are unnecessary in the winter and can cause even more dryness. When you rotate your skincare products for the winter, opt for hydrating and nourishing masks that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and avocado.
Opt for Heatless Hairstyles
Since your hair is already dry and more prone to breakage in the winter, avoid causing further damage with heat tools like curling irons and straighteners. Winter is the perfect time to experiment with heatless hairstyles, like braids, twists, buns, updos, and alternative straightening and curling methods.
Watch What You Eat
To take better care of your skin and hair during the seemingly endless months of cold and dry air, try treating your skin from the inside by adding nutrient-rich ingredients to your snacks and meals. Salmon, blueberries, spinach, kale, walnuts, avocados, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes all have vitamins and minerals that help keep skin or hair healthy.
Winter temperatures and low humidity can be harsh on the skin, but taking the right steps to mitigate potential damage can go a long way toward keeping your skin and hair healthy. For the remaining winter months, you can prioritize self-care by treating your skin and hair in accordance with the weather.