My hands look like lizard skin and feel like sandpaper in the colder months--if I don't take special care of them (keep reading; I'll give you a great, healing Hand Regime at the end of this article!). My hair and the skin on my face need special care in winter, too.
There is no escape
Cold air and wind makes your skin more sensitive and indoor heating systems sucks moisture from your skin and hair. So, your skin care should be more gentle and moisturizing--especially if you spend time skiing or doing other outdoor activities.
Here are some tips to keep your skin and hair looking--and feeling--great for the next few months.
- First things first: Sunscreen! Even in winter, your skin gets a lot of sun exposure and that can lead to melasma and sun damage--so don't forget to use your sunscreen just as you would during warm months.
- One of my favorite and inexpensive hair treatments is to slather 2 or more tablespoons of coconut oil on my hair and scalp: Just massage it in, leave it on for an hour, then shampoo. Your hair will feel noticeably softer afterwards.
- Switch to creamier makeups if your skin becomes dry. Skip the powder blush, and use moisturizing or cream-based blushes and eye shadows.
- Keep your scarves and pullovers clean and dry—dirty clothes around your neck and chin can cause breakouts. Look for washable products instead of using the same piece(s) all winter.
- If you like to use skin peels, consider switching to very gentle peels for the winter. The Mandelic Azelaic Acid 22% Peel is great for all skin types--even for rosacea.
- Skip using scrubs temporarily, or use less frequently: If you do get dry skin build-up, wash gently with a rough washcloth to get some mild exfoliation. Gentle is the key to prevent irritation!
- Which facial moisturizer will be best for you?
- Maybe you have oily skin and don't really need lots of extra moisture, or you have sensitive skin? Then try a moisturizer for normal or combination skin that does not contain perfumes or parabens. A lovely all-over moisturizer that is not greasy and is non-comedogenic is the Advanced Care Moisturizer by The Skin Regime with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
- For "pure moisture" try Hyaluronic Acid Pure Serum. Although it has the word "acid" in the name, it is NOT a peel, it is not an exfoliating agent, and it is good for acne-prone skin, dry and irritated skin, and for skin that needs healing properties. Click here to read more about hyaluronic acid and why this serum is absolutely the best.
- Oh do I love pure, certified Emu Oil for my lips and cuticles, the ends of my hair (as a split-ends treatment) and for massaging sore muscles and more. Do NOT use Vaseline or waxy balms on dry lips—they don’t penetrate and can actually block moisture from reaching lips! Along with Emu Oil, Blistex lip cream (inexpensive and available in most drugstores) is a good choice for dry lips.
- In winter, I love chasing the chills away with a long, hot shower or bath. That's great for warming up, but not so great for the skin. So I like to put a huge dollop of coconut oil or Pure Virgin Shea Butter into the bath water, which melts and turns the tub into a luxurious bath oil soak... ahhhhh. When I get out of the tub, I rub some more Shea Butter all over my body. Goodbye dry, itchy skin!
Okay--back to those sand-paper hands. Here is my own personal, super-quick *cure* that I call The Hand Regime. I do this every day and my hands stay soft and moisturized all day, even through a few hand-washings! The Hand Regime is excerpted and adapted from my book, The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin. Check it out and follow the links read the first chapter for free!
The Hand Regime (total time: 20 minutes--or longer if you wish).
- Start by washing hands thoroughly with a mild, non-perfumed soap or cleanser. Dry hands completely, but don't let the skin dry out completely.
- (Optional) If you have dry skin--but not irritated--start with a mild layer of exfoliating glycolic acid, such as Glycolic Hyaluronic Serum, 15%. With your dry but still slightly moist hands, slather on the glycolic and massage in. Wait a minute to let it soak in.
- If you decided not to use glycolic, start with this layer: While your hands are dry, but still slightly moist, slather on a layer of a good penetrating oil, such as Emu Oil. You can also use grape seed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. Rub in completely and wait a minute to allow penetration.
- The next layer should be a very thick moisturizing agent, such as Shea Butter. Nivea cream (in the drugstore) is another option; what you want for this layer is "thick and creamy."
- Then, apply an occlusive layer of ointment (something that blocks moisture from going in or out), like Vaseline. You can also use mineral oil.
- Finally, cover your hands with disposable vinyl or latex exam gloves (available in quantities in drugstores) and go about your business: Check email, read a book, apply your makeup. After 20 minutes (or longer if you wish), remove the gloves, wipe off your hands with a paper towel or washcloth, and enjoy your moisturized-for-the-day hands! It works very well, and your hands will applaud you for it.
Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.
Don't forget to check out our sister website, TheSkinRegime.