When cold weather hits it usually has some unwanted effects even if you bundle up. You might notice that your skin gets dry and dull, your nails turn brittle and break, and your hair gets frizzy and unmanageable. The cold is partly to blame. The cold is partly to blame. When the temperature drops outside the humidity does as well so there’s less existing moisture in the atmosphere. This in itself can wreak havoc on skin, hair and nails. To make matters worse the moisture in your skin also evaporates more quickly, which can make your skin look and feel dry, tight and flakey.
There’s no doubt that the cold can have a big impact on your skin but did you know that you’re probably doing much more harm and don’t even know it? There are 3 crucial things way worse for your skin than the cold. You might be guilty of these skin care faux pas in warm weather too but when bad skin habits combine with cold weather you’re sure to notice it. These 3 tips will help you banish the winter skin blues.
When it gets cold outside most of us turn up the heat inside. That includes the thermostat and the temperature in the shower. Although a hot shower might feel amazing when the temperatures drop below zero, high temperatures are actually one of the worst things you can subject your skin, hair and nails to. High heat dries you out much more rapidly than the cold air outside. Your winter beauty blues are more likely to be caused by high temperatures than by the cold.
If you’re wondering what the best temperature for beauty is you might not like the answer. The cold is the best thing for your skin…and hair and nails. Cold increases circulation, which in turn increases the rate at which nutrients reach your cells and cellular waste are removed. Cold compresses can deflate puffy eyes and reduce overall inflammation in the skin. The cold is so good for skin in fact that ice cold water dunk tanks are used by athletes and european spas to aid in recovery and cellular regeneration. There’s a ton of science to back the benefits of cold showers instead of hot. Maybe you aren’t brave enough to take the plunge into ice cold but consider turning down the temperature when you shower at least a few times a week to give your skin a break. If you can’t give up hot showers, make sure you take extra care of yourself with the following two points.
Not Drinking Enough Water
There’s a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin. Dehydrated skin is lacking water, dry skin is lacking an emollient moisture barrier like a moisturizer. Maybe you know enough to switch out your light summer moisturizer for your more emollient winter one but that won’t combat dry skin and it definitely won’t help dry nails and hair. When cold weather hits one of the best things you can do is to drink much more water. The lower humidity outdoors and quickly evaporating moisture in your skin means you have higher hydration needs than at other times. The signs of mild dehydration are hard to identify. Chapped lips are a sure sign of dehydration but you may also experience less obvious issues like brain fog and lethargy.
Remember that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Push yourself to get into the habit of constantly hydrating so you never get to the point of feeling thirsty. Drink more water than you think you need. Remember tip 3 below. You can also mix things up with non-caffeinated teas and infusions to meet your hydration needs but try to avoid excess caffeine as it’s a diuretic.
Driving in the Fast Lane
For a lot of people winter is all about the holidays, which can mean that you’re suddenly really busy. Even if you don’t celebrate holidays in the winter you might still be in summer mode flying through your routine with abandon and even allowing a little slip up here and there.
Remember that dry skin is vulnerable skin. It’s more prone to damage like micro tears and a compromised moisture barrier. Damage to the surface of the skin can give opportunistic bacteria a foothold and cause a breakout or accelerate the aging process. The same goes for hair and nails. Dryness causes more vulnerability to brittleness, breakage and frizz.
Winter skin, hair and nails are needier than their warm weather counterparts, so you should adjust your care routine accordingly. This doesn’t just mean changing up your products, although that helps, it also involves tailoring your approach. This is probably the most important tip of all. Be gentle with yourself. Think of your skin like a rose. You should only apply as much force to your skin as you would to a rose petal.
Before the world of products and tools we have today this is what beauty was all about. Attentive and deliberate self care. Really pay attention. Be mindful of your body. Consider how your lifestyle impact your beauty on a day to day basis. If you really pay attention, what do you notice? Do you feel dryer after a hot shower? Do your nails need a breather from constant polish? Does your hair need a minute more of conditioning time?
Above all else, treat your skin, hair and nails with the care and attention they need, especially when they’re at their most vulnerable in cold winter weather.