Cold weather and bad winter habits can take their toll on our skin and hair. Here are eight beauty tips for surviving the season so that your can look your best all year round.
Dead skin cells need to be removed regularly to keep skin healthy. You can exfoliate with a product that has granules, mitts or chemical exfoliators. Just keep in mind that chemical exfoliants can irritate the skin. Only exfoliate twice a week and always combine exfoliation with a rich moisturiser. Be gentle too - over-exfoliation can cause inflammation which might lead to darkening and uneven skin tone.
During winter the air is generally dryer, and indoor heating dries out the air even more. This causes your skin to lose moisture. Swop your lighter lotion for an oil-rich cream or butter, or add body oil to your regime.
Hot water draws moisture from the skin, thereby making it dryer; whereas oils create a protective film on the skin that reduces moisture loss. Not only should you try to avoid taking very hot baths, but you should steer clear of harsh bath salts or soapy bubble baths that could dry out the skin even more. Instead, add bath oils to the tub and use an oil or cream body wash.
Many people still experience dry, itchy heads during the colder months. Weaves and braids can also pull at the hair, irritating the scalp. And, in the case of cornrows, the scalp is even more exposed.
Scalp masks and oils will help alleviate dryness, but you can also try applying natural products like olive oil to your scalp and wrapping your head before going to bed.
Dryness during winter might cause your hair to break. Choose mild shampoos with moisturising ingredients like honey, aloe vera and jojoba. You might also need to apply hair oils and intensive hair masks (twice a month should do the trick). In winter, we also reach for the hairdryer more often, so to minimise heat damage, towel-dry hair as much as possible and always style with a heat-protecting product.
Constantly stuffing feet in shoes, especially when your feet are damp, can increase the chances of fungal infections and odour. Properly dry your feet after bathing, use foot powder to absorb moisture and try to walk barefoot or with open slippers when you’re at home. Many people also suffer from dry, deeply cracked heels during winter. Using rich moisturisers on your feet before bed can help and, if you want to keep the cream against your skin, wear cotton socks to bed at night.
Most people benefit from changing to a more moisture-rich regime during winter so try swopping your foaming face wash for a cream cleanser. You can also add a moisturising serum or face oil before putting cream on. When adding products such as serums and oils to your regime, ease into it by first applying three times a week and steadily increasing to every day.
Even in winter, you still need to protect your skin from long-term sun damage, skin cancer and early
ageing. Apply an SPF of 15 in the morning before applying cream or opt for face and body creams that already include sun protection.
As adapted from Huisgenoot, YOU and DRUM by Shoprite. This article does not carry the endorsement of the aforementioned publications.