6 Beauty Tricks to Get You Through Winter
Chapped lips, hat hair, and pasty skin got you down? Harsh winter elements can take a toll on your looks and make you feel not so hot. Here, 6 easy hacks for conquering the most dreaded winter woes.
Static on your dress? Annoying. Static on your head? Even worse. First, why it happens: When the air gets dry, your hair loses electrons (negatively-charged ions) and builds up a positive charge, which makes individual hairs repel each other. They fling upward because they're trying to put as much distance as possible between each other. How to fix it: Moisturize your hair to help its charge remain neutral. But instead of reaching for thick masks and creams, which can weigh hair down or a dryer sheet (who is toting these around, anyway?), invest in a dry oil spray. These formulas are diluted versions of hair oils so they're lighter, but still hydrating. Try OGX Renewing Argan Oil Of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil ($8; ulta.com). Instead of spraying it directly onto your hair, mist it onto your hands or a brush, then run it through strands. Hair will feel softer, look shinier, and be less likely to stand straight up. If you're wearing a hat, wrap your hair into a low bun to help keep it smooth and contained, then undo it when you arrive at your destination.
Start the healing process by gently exfoliating flakes. Combine a drop of olive oil and a pinch of brown sugar, then slick the mixture onto your lips and buff it off with a warm washcloth. Don't have the patience for DIY? Try the Burt's Bees Conditioning Lip Scrub ($9; target.com), it buffs away dead skin while nourishing the lips. Now that those pesky flakes are out of the way, the soothing ingredients you apply will work better. Put on a nourishing balm with SPF like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($24; sephora.com) during the day and a thicker balm like Sara Happ The Dream Slip Night Lip Treatment ($32; nordstrom.com) at night to help stop the heat in your room from sucking your lips dry. Derms prefer fragrance-free options. Find more dry lip fixes here.
Whether you're wind burnt from a recent ski trip or you're battling a cold, this will help take the red out: Wash your face with a soap-free, calming cleanser, like Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser ($5; target.com), which contains an extract from the licorice root that helps tone down redness. Top it with a neutralizing treatment. This one is an investment, but for someone who gets red often, it works: Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer ($66; dermstore.com), which feels cool and has a soothing blend to prevent flushing. Try using it in the A.M., post-shower. And if you're still red, opt for a color correcting makeup primer or concealer that's tinted green to cancel out redness. Try Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer ($39; sephora.com).
Upgrade your face wash to a cleansing oil, which removes dirt and makeup, but leaves skin hydrated, then moisturize with a formula that contains hyaluronic acid, which pulls hydration into the outer layer of the skin. The same oil rule applies to your body wash, too. L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil ($25; qvc.com) leaves skin supple—even in the dead of winter. Pro tip: Derms recommend applying lotion when your skin—both face and body—are still wet to help maximize hydration benefits. Find more pro tricks here.
Cold weather actually triggers your scalp to produce more oil to counteract for the dry environment (sigh). So if you aren't washing often and overdosing on dry shampoo (no judging here), the extra oil combined with dead skin cells result in what looks like snowflakes when you brush your hair and take down your ponytail. Wash more frequently and once a week, suds up with a clarifying shampoo or one that contains pyrithione zinc, an ingredient found in most anti-dandruff shampoos. Try Head & Shoulders Instant Oil Control Dandruff Shampoo ($6; target.com). The secret to getting rid of those flakes for good: Let the shampoo sit on your scalp for at least 10 minutes (any shorter and the ingredient won't work as well). Shave, apply a face mask, etc., while you wait, then rinse.
Since washing your hands less often isn't an option, use a moisturizing hand soap to help counteract the drying effects. And while washing with warm water feels nice on a freezing day, lukewarm water will do less damage. Dry hands thoroughly (lingering water causes—you guessed it—more dryness). Then slather on a hydrating lotion, like Eucerin Intensive Repair Extra-Enriched Hand Creme ($5, target.com), which has alpha hydroxy to gently exfoliate rough patches of skin. You get bonus points for applying a formula with sunscreen to protect against brown spots during the day. We like Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream SPF 40 with Sea Buckthorn ($12; sephora.com). For ragged cuticles and cracks, spot treat them with an ointment, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5; target.com).