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Hopefully, the tips in Part 1 has helped your skin and hair remain healthy during this chilly and dry winter. Here are some more tips to help you through the winter and into the new year!
A dried-out scalp produces fewer oils, which can make hair full of static. Don't skimp on conditioner, and simulate natural scalp oils by combing a bit of vitamin E oil through the hair before bed to replenish moisture. Need a quick fix? Run a bit of lotion through strands or run an unscented dryer sheet (really) over the hair before heading out the door.
During the winter, stick to cotton hats (which conduct much less static electricity than acrylic and wool).
Keeping a tube of lip balm in an easily accessible pocket is a good first step, but winter winds can take chapped lips to a whole new level. If lips are flaky, take a clean toothbrush and very gently exfoliate the skin to remove excess skin. Slather on beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin (a natural oily wax extracted from sheep's wool!) and keep reapplying throughout the day.
For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to the lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water.
Dry air saps the moisture right out of nails and leaves them delicate and susceptible to breaks and tears. Consider adding biotin-rich foods (also called Vitamin B7) to your diet - this essential vitamin helps the body process amino acids and produce fatty acids. Vegetables (including carrots and Swiss chard) and protein sources including nuts and fish are good ways to pack in enough of the vitamin.
The skin over high-pressure joints like elbows, knees, and heels is thicker to cushion the essential bones underneath. It's great to have some extra padding, but ashy, scaly elbows are uncomfortable and unattractive. The key to keeping elbows (and other rough spots) soft is to exfoliate once or twice per week and moisturize every day.
Dry Face / Windburn
First thing's first: During winter, avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash and a thicker moisturizer. Another good option? Whole grains and aromatic veggies contain selenium, a compound that gives skin the elasticity to make silly faces. Snack on quinoa, brown rice, onions, or garlic when skin gets tight and dry.
Protect sensitive skin by layering on thick face cream with a high SPF - the only thing worse than windburn is winter sunburn. When heading into the great outdoors, dress for the weather with a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid windburn and prolonged exposure to cold air.
It’s wintertime and the livin’ ain’t easy—for our hair, skin, and nails, that is. Whipping winds, dry air, and chilly temperatures can really do a number on soft skin and hair. Cold air outside and central heat indoors can strip moisture from strands and pores, making hair rough and skin itchy and dry.
Skin isn’t only the barrier between the environment and our insides—it’s a living organ that’s responsible for keeping the body cool, protecting it against germs and “invaders,” and many other metabolic processes. It’s important to keep these tissues in good condition and working well all year long so they can do their jobs and keep us healthy and safe. Cracked, flaky, irritated, or inflamed skin is normal during winter, though it’s not exactly fun.
A 20-minute long, boiling-hot shower might feel great on a cold day, but stick to warm or lukewarm water for 10 minutes or less. Long exposure to hot water can strip moisture from hair and skin. Slathering on lotion within three minutes of stepping out of the bath or shower is most effective for trapping in moisture.
Load up on vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C can help boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin and other connective tissues. And don't forget to drink plenty of water.
To prevent hands from drying out, apply moisturizer after hand washing and at least several times throughout the day. Keep a bottle of lotion by each sink in your home and in your desk at work. If hands are very dry, use cream instead of lotion because the former has a higher oil-to-water ratio.
Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes can prevent hands from getting dried out due to excess contact with hot water, too.
Irritated, Dry Eyes
Wind and dry air are not a good combination for sensitive eyes. Sporting sunnies on a sub-zero day might look weird, but the lenses can protect eyes from glare and wind. Keep a bottle of non-medicated saline tears or eye drops on hand and use it to refresh eye moisture when needed.
Avoid eye drops like Visine, which causes blood vessels in the eye to contract, giving the illusion you 'got the red out.' Instead, use a lubricant such as Systane Eye Drops or Blink Tears.
When outdoors in cold weather, the blood vessels cut off circulation to the nose. After coming indoors the blood vessels dilate quickly, causing a rush of blood (and bright-red color). To bring the nose back to a normal hue, apply a warm—but not hot—compress to the skin for several minutes after coming indoors. Sometimes a winter cold and the tissues that come with it can make the nose raw and chapped, too.
When the sniffles hit, use extra-soft tissues and blot the nose; don’t rub it. Apply a thin layer of moisturizing ointment or lotion to the sensitive area throughout the day.
Rough, Cracked Feet
Scrub calluses with a pumice stone in the shower once per week to slough off rough, dead skin. Moisturize feet, especially the heels, every day with thick cream—lotions containing lactic acid are especially effective—and wear cotton socks to bed.
It may look nerdy, but sporting socks while snoozing can help creams absorb. Warmer feet means sweatier feet (ick), and moisturizers are most effective when applied to warm, damp skin.
Itchy Dry Scalp
Take cooler, quicker showers to reduce the scalp’s exposure to drying hot water. Think about switching to a dandruff or dry scalp specific shampoo. Before hopping in the shower, massage the scalp with Vitamin E, olive, or coconut oil. These oils replenish natural scalp oilsand can moisturize dry hair, too