Chapped lips, dry hair, split ends, dry, itchy skin all this and more is often wrought upon us every winter. Here are tips on how to ensure your hair and skin stays soft, supple and well moisturised during these months.
Dry, cracked and chapped lips are a common winter complaint, and severe cases of chapped lips can be very painful, not to mention unattractive. What’s worse is that lipstick makes cracks stand out even more instead of concealing them.
However, chapped and peeling lips can be cured within a couple of days. Apply lip balm generously and bush your lips gently with a soft toothbrush until the flakes have dislodged.
Apply another coat of lip balm, and skip the lipstick unless it is richly moisturising. Matte lipsticks dry out lips, so steer clear of them. Brushing lips with a toothbrush also plumps them up and makes them look fuller and sexier, so do this every morning before stepping out.
Almond oil makes for a great lip moisturiser. Simply apply some almond oil to lips before turning in for the night. You could also heat grated beeswax and almond oil and mix them together. You could also add Vitamin E oil to this mixture.
Skin often goes dry in the winter, but can return to normal within a week. When you splash water on your face, make sure it’s not hot water as hot water uses up the skin’s moisture.
Cold water on the other hand stirs up circulation, temporarily closes large pores and brings a glow to the face, so splash cold water on your face a couple of times a day. However, skip washing your face with a face wash and instead opt for a gentle, cream cleanser.
Make sure you use an alcohol-free toner and follow up with a thick moisturiser which contains collagen, lactic acid or urea. It is best to apply moisturiser on damp skin, as this locks in the moisture. Similarly, apply body lotion to your skin immediately after a shower, when your skin is still damp and you have not yet completely wiped it dry.
Scrub your face once a week in the winter before applying moisturiser as this removes dead skin from the top and allows the moisturiser to reach the bottom layers of skin.
At times excessively dry skin can start itching. This happens when the skin develops cracks due to dryness, and bacteria and other irritants enter these cracks.
These cracks are so fine that they are invisible to the naked eye, so if your face starts itching don’t expect to see a cracked up face in the mirror! Calamine lotions soothe itchy skin, as do aloe vera lotions. If itching is severe you could try applying Benadryl creams, which temporarily control the itching.
Winter is often accompanied by dry hair, an increase in split ends, more static in the hair and more frizzies. Your hair requires not just conditioning but a deep conditioning treatment.
For an at-home, do it yourself deep conditioning treatment, try this: Apply conditioner generously to your hair, cover your head with a shower cap and wash off after an hour, or leave on overnight and wash off in the morning. You could also steam your hair after applying the conditioner, and then wash it off after half an hour.
Conditioner works better than oil because it is easier for conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft. Oiled hair is most benefited if hair is steamed after applying oil.