Winter can be a real mean girl sometimes. Just when you’re getting into the rhythm of it and resigned yourself to the fact that everything you eat until September will be covered in butter and/or fried – WHAM! she hits you where it hurts by messing with your skin and hair. The cold air and wind is harsh on our exterior, forcing us into the cosy warmth of our artificially heated lounge rooms and workplaces which, you guessed it, wreak further havoc. The result is dull, brittle hair and dry, irritated skin.
So if you’re feeling like the human equivalent of an old, flaky weatherboard house, try some of our tips below…..because we all need a fresh lick of paint sometimes.
1. Stay hydrated from the inside – I know, I know – we all know it and it’s super boring, but essential. Dehydration on the inside always shows up on the outside. Try upping your water quota by drinking lots of warm green tea, slurping on brothy soups and choosing water-dense fruit and veg like cucumbers and cantaloupes.
2. Sandpaper first – Winter often makes you feel like taking to your skin with industrial grade sandpaper, but be gentle and consistent. Depending on your skin type, aim for a mild exfoliation once to twice a week to slough off dry skin and allow that moisturiser to really soak in. Try: Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys
3. Go shopping – As a general rule, the moisturiser you use in summer just doesn’t cut the mustard in winter. Invest in a thicker, richer moisturiser, particularly for night time, and apply after your serum or oil. If you’ve never used an oil before, Rosehip might just change your life. Try: Trilogy Rosehip Oil
4. Milk bath? Pfft…. – Oats are where it’s at. They’re anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, relieve redness and irritation and leave your skin feeling so soft that you might have trouble keeping your hands off yourself. Process some cheap, regular oats into a powder and add a cup or two to your bath. Soak in it while you calculate how much coin Cleopatra could have saved herself if she did this instead of using milk. Try: Plain ol’ rolled oats.
5. Lukewarm showers – I personally can’t do this one because I like my showers so hot that they hurt, but hot showers are a big no-no on dry skin. Keep it lukewarm if you can and if you can’t do that, maybe finish off with a blast of cool-ish water. No? Me either…..
6. Moisturise while you’re still damp – Don’t wait until after you’ve towel dried. To get the maximum benefit out of your moisturiser, apply while your body is damp, straight out of your shower (or porridge bath). Try: The Body Shop Body Butters
7. Hands and feet need love too – Mix some olive or coconut oil in with a lush moisturiser and pop on some thick bedsocks and gloves. Marinate overnight. You might need to sleep in just your undies for this one because those big socks retain a lot of heat. Who knows, your partner might dig the whole sexy ski-bunny scenario. Try: Niugini Organics coconut oil
8. Lips need all the love – Lips that look like they’ve been rolled in dessicated coconut are never a good look. Slap on heaps of lip balm to fight off the dryness that all that blocked-nose, open mouth breathing will give you. Forget what your Mum told you and ditch anything petroleum based and get your Lanolin on. Try: Lanolips 101 Ointment
9. Back to the shops you go – In the same way your summer moisturiser rarely does the job on winter skin, same goes for foundation. You might need to opt for a lighter shade in winter to match your paler skin and consider a more hydrating formula to keep it looking fresh. Try: Visit the counters and have your foundation perfectly matched twice a year.
10. The humidity factor – Consider investing in a humidifier. It releases moisture back into the dry, indoor air that we spend most of our day in, relieving parched skin and lips as well as sinus issues. Keep humidity to between 30-50%, use distilled or demineralised water and clean often to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. A bit of sauna time is also good if you can get it.