Cold weather can trigger strong nesting instincts. If you hate the dark and cold of winter, consider the tips and treats below to protect your skin from looking dull, dried out and tired.
Check Your Thermostat
The more you crank your thermostat up, the dryer the air in your home will be. Invest in a good pair of slippers, wear sweats or fleece when you get home, and lower the thermostat to 68. Keep your feet warm and cover your pulse points at
- knees and elbows
- wrists and ankles
One soft scarf at your neck can take the chill off, add color to your skin and protect you from over-heated, excessively dry air. If your hair is long, pull it back gently with clips instead of a ponytail band to allow your hair to warm your neck.
Develop a Moisturizing Habit
Too often, we forget to moisturize until we feel our skin drying out. Try to get in the habit of always putting on lip balm after you wash your hands. Once your lips are moisturized, put lotion on your hands.
If your hands feel cold and clammy after moisturizing, treat yourself to a rice warmer. These handy little warming tools can be made at home or found on different craft sites. It’s just a fabric bag loaded with dry white rice that you can heat in the microwave for a minute. Add dry spices, such as cinnamon, for a fragrance treat and cradle this until the lotion sinks in.
Hydrate Even More
The idea of a cool drink may not appeal on a cold day. If you find your coffee craving goes up when the temperature drops, try switching over to herbal teas to keep your hydration up without boosting your caffeine intake too high.
Cinnamon and peppermint teas have a natural sweetness. Mint can be especially effective if your craving for sweets and carbs goes up in the wintertime. Treat yourself to a travel mug that can help you stay hydrated no matter how nasty the weather gets.
Watch Your Water Temperature in the Bath
Very hot water may feel good on the coldest days but it will be hard on your skin and hair. Worse, a very hot bath before bed may actually elevate your core temp and make it harder to fall into deep sleep.
If you are accustomed to bathing more than once a day, try cutting back the nighttime bath and switching to a quick basin wash-up. You may feel more comfortable using a fragrance-free disposable wipe to tackle any odor concerns; not only will this allow your natural oils to stay on your skin longer, but this habit can lower your exposure to irritating fragrances.
Use Gentle Cleansers
Simplify your cleansing regimen and try to cut back on products with additives and fragrances. For example, you may want to skip your favorite lotions in the winter and use a basic shea butter product. Use fragrance-free soaps. If your skin tends to redden in the winter, consider investing in microfiber washcloths to reduce abrasions to your skin. Wash these separately with a fragrance-free detergent and dry them without a dryer sheet or fabric softener. Lotion based cleansers can also reduce irritation. Carefully consider your shampoo as well; using a gentle body wash won’t help your dry back if your shampoo dries out that skin.
Many women struggle with dry scalp in the winter time. This may be a good time to try cutting back on your shampooing frequency. Treat yourself to a natural bristle brush and brush your hair 100 strokes with this soft brush each night to move hair from the scalp down the hair shaft.
Invest in a fragrance free body cream for your feet and hands. After your bath on the weekends, load up your feet and hands and cover them with organic socks and gloves while you watch a movie or read a book.
Invite over some friends and treat them (and yourself!) to a glow mask. Mix up some hot cocoa or serve mulled wine for even more relaxation. Bake up something rich and sweet to share with them; enjoy the extra warmth added by your oven.
Winter doesn’t have to mean putting up with dry, itchy skin. Avoid overheating your body from the outside and make sure you moisturize your body from the inside. Cut back on any products that function as degreasing detergents on your skin.
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