Winterize Your Skin, Hair and Nails

WRITTEN BY: Elizabeth On 01/05/2012 • Health

Winterize Your Skin, Hair and Nails

People winterize their decks, right? They winterize their flower beds and tie sacks over their rose bushes. So why not take steps to protect your own body from the elements. The harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, and nails. Don't just sit back and suffer until spring. Try these tips and tricks for maximum protection this winter.  

Submitted by Elizabeth on 01/05/2012 - 15:43
thinkstock-78525802

Turn Down the Temperature

  • Though a steamy shower helps to eliminate the bitter chill, the high temperatures will dry out your skin. The air already lacks moisture during the winter months, so your skin is thirsting for water.

  Go Dirty

  • Cutting back on the number of showers as well as the amount of soap that you use will help your skin and hair stay soft and moisturized. Avoid soaps with sodium lauryl sulfate, which can strip away natural oils.

  Rub it in

  • It is essential to moisturize your skin even more than usual during the dry winter months. Look for lotions with shea butter, botanical extracts and essential oils. Avoid synthetic fragrances, which can disrupt your hormone balance and do damage to your endocrine system. Keep travel sized bottles in your purse and gym bag.
  • For extremely dry or chaffed skin, try petroleum jelly, commonly known as Vaseline. Rub on a thick layer just before bed and throw some gloves on your hands to help seal in the moisture for overnight healing.
  • A nutritive cuticle cream can strengthen and protect cuticles from becoming overly dry.

  Stay Hydrated

  • Dehydration is skin's biggest enemy. Skin that is dry and thirsty is more prone to wrinkle and crack. Avoid dehydrating beverages, including caffeine and alcohol. If you must consume them, limit your intake and drink water in between. Try switching to hot tea instead of coffee to get a caffeine pick-me-up with less of the diuretic effect.

  Swap Out Summertime Products

  • The shampoo, conditioner and styling products that you used during the warm, summer months were likely designed to remove chlorine and preventing humidity-induced frizz. Ideal for summer, these products can strip your hair, leaving it prone to breakage when the temperature drops.
  • Likewise, you should trade in your lightweight lotions, which do not offer adequate protection during the winter. Be sure to use hand soaps with conditioning and protecting agents that kill dangerous germs while preserving good bacteria.
  • Cut back on harsh exfoliating cleansers, as these can lead to dryness.

  Invest in a Humidifier

  • Adding water back into the air can help your skin stay hydrated. Try
  • running a humidifier
  • at night in your bedroom to allow for healing while you sleep.

  Slather on Sunscreen

  • Though the winter months are often overcast, the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays can still slip through the clouds. Without protective sunscreen, these ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin, causing damage and premature aging.

  Take Your Vitamins

  • Provitamins B6 and B12 help your skin to stay soft and smooth. Calcium, which requires Vitamin D for absorption, strengthens your hair and nails.
  • Try to get the bulk of your vitamins through a nutrient-dense diet of whole, unprocessed food. However, with less exposure to sunlight and less fresh produce available, it may be necessary to supplement. Looks for an organic, whole food-based vitamin with high bioavailability.