25 Winter Beauty Hacks
Winter is here! The season can also play havoc with your skin, leading to dry, flaky skin and chapped lips, if adequate care is not taken.
Even though winter is known for bringing along dry, patchy skin, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your skin is feeling rough and dull, try out one of these hacks to bring back life to your skin so you can stay glowing and dewy all winter long.
25 Winter Beauty Hacks:
1. Exfoliate a Dry Scalp With a Teaspoon of Sugar
Add it to your shampoo and massage thoroughly. You'll exfoliate away dead skin and allow conditioner to nourish the scalp more effectively!
2. Moisturize With Your Own Sweat
Try this next time you brave the cold: Slather Vaseline on your hands and slip on a pair of cotton gloves. The Vaseline traps the sweat on your hands, allowing the trapped sweat to act as a natural moisturizer. It's messy but really prevents and heals severely dry hands
3. Chapstick Your Brows, 'Bows, and Lids
A moisturizing and healing lip balm—one with natural emollients like shea butter or petrolatum and botanical soothers like calendula and arnica.
4. Turn Off Your Bathroom Fan
Or shut the window. Here's a way to get your steamy shower fix, sans drying out your skin. Shut yourself in your bathroom with the fan off and the windows shut. Now crank the shower or the sink at its hottest temperature. Sit down in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes, then moisturize!
5. Daily Lip Basting!
The winter weather isn't very forgiving when it comes to your lips. But luckily, there’s a simple fix to this: Lip basting. Lip basting is when you apply a thick layer of ointment on your lips - over the course of 10 minutes, your own body heats up the ointment and allows it to permeate your mucous membranes better resulting in intense hydration that lasts longer.
6. Turn Down the Temp!
One of the best things you can do during the winter? Turn down the heat in your shower! Bathe with lukewarm water, although hot showers may feel good and can temporarily relieve the itch associated with dry skin while the water is beating down, they actually make the problem worse. Hot water temporarily distracts the itch receptors on the skin, but it also strips away more of your body's natural oils and protective barrier, causing dry skin.
7. Shower at Night (& keep it short!)
Shower at night The best way to lock in the moisture from your shower is to wash off in the p.m.
Evening showers have SO MANY skin-related benefits—they are a great way to remove all of the makeup, oil, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin throughout the course of your daily activities. Your skin naturally exfoliates and replenishes itself at night, so you leave a clean slate when the proverbial factory is open (The body’s oil production peaks at 1:00 pm.)
If you’re like me and your hair is a wreck in the morning, I simply rinse my hair in the skin or using shower head in the morning and style accordingly.
8. Layer Up – Not Just Your Clothes!
You wouldn't go outside in freezing weather with just a T-shirt. Your skin works much the same. So, what are the layers you need to bundle up your skin with? Start with a gentle facial cleanser, apply a thin layer of a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid, and then seal it all in with a thicker cream-based moisturizer for the face (look for non-comedogenic and oil-free formulas to avoid breaking out).
The final step? Sunscreen. Use a sunblock to lock it all in and protect you from the winter rays.
9. Opt for Oitments!
If you're suffering from red, irritated skin (especially when skiing or snowboarding), consider using emollient-based products, like ointment. This will protect delicate skin from windburn and chafing that commonly occurs from jacket collars, gators, or face masks. The thick bland ointment will help keep moisture in and act as a barrier against the elements.
8. Exfoliate One to Two Times a Week
Exfoliating in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but it's actually the key to clear, glowing skin. To help maintain a nice glow, it is still okay to exfoliate one to two times per week in the winter months to help eliminate the dead skin on the surface which can lead to dullness.
9. Moisturize Your Feet, then slip on a pair of cozy socks
Feet already tend to be dry, and cold weather can exacerbate dehydrated soles and cracked heels. To help get them soft, slather on the thickest lotion or moisturizer you can find before bed. Then put on thin cotton socks and wear them while you sleep. The socks act as an occlusive barrier, sealing in moisture all night long. If you have cracks, go for a greasier ointment, which tends to be even more intensive than a cream or lotion.
As maintenance, get a pedicure at least every six weeks—or even better, follow this foot-softening routine once a week: Soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes, then buff the soles with a foot file. To soften and help seal cracks, slick on an ointment, such as Aquaphor; then wear cotton socks while you sleep.
10. Use lip balm on rough cuticles.
Even if you are good about using gloves, winter’s dry air can be tough on nails and the surrounding skin. To help alleviate painful, ragged cuticles, massage a little lip balm onto them. I do this all the time. The thick consistency of a balm not only moisturizes, but also helps those frayed cuticles stay together.
11. Exfoliate Flaky Lips with Honey & Brown Sugar
For a quick way to slough dry lips, mix a dollop of honey with a pinch of sugar in the palm of your hand and gently rub it onto your lips with a cotton swab. Rinse the mixture off, then seal the skin with a protective, hydrating lip balm.
The sugar acts as an exfoliant, scrubbing away the dead skin. Meanwhile, honey is a humectant, so it draws moisture into the skin.
12. Ease Dry Scalp by Adding Sugar to your Shampoo
Just like the rest of your body, the skin on your scalp can get dry and flaky in the winter. You can gently slough away dandruff (and product buildup) by adding a teaspoon of fine granulated sugar to the amount of shampoo you normally use to wash your hair. Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingertips. The granules will dissolve as you rinse (I promise!) and you’ll be left feeling flake-free.
13. Smooth Static with Moisture
Static on your dress? Annoying. Static on your head? Even worse. First, why it happens: When the air gets dry, your hair loses electrons (negatively-charged ions) and builds up a positive charge, which makes individual hairs repel each other. They fling upward because they're trying to put as much distance as possible between each other.
How to Fix it: Moisturize your hair to help its charge remain neutral. But instead of reaching for thick masks and creams, which can weigh hair down or a dryer sheet (who is toting these around, anyway?), invest in a dry oil spray. These formulas are diluted versions of hair oils so they're lighter, but still hydrating.
Quick, Easy Fix: Smooth static-prone hair with a dryer sheet
Poke the bristles of your hairbrush through a dryer sheet, then use it on your hair. The positively-charged sheet will help neutralize your charged hair the same way it does static cling in clothes. I carry one in my purse year-round and put them in suitcase with clothes when traveling.
14. Apply Body Oil Before you Bathe.
Hot water can dehydrate your skin but taking a cool shower in the winter probably isn’t happening for you. A simple solution? Smooth on body oil before you step under the steamy spray.
Like a primer, it creates a shield to protect skin from the water (That’s why you’ll see water beading up after you’ve applied the oil.) After you step out of the shower, slather on a body cream to lock in moisture while your skin is still damp.
15. Mask As Much as You Can & Mist Often!!
This hack should be a no brainer, but for those who haven’t yet taken the plunge and tried out a sheet mask, it’s time! Sheet masks are designed to force feed your skin as much moisture and nourishment as possible in 20 minutes or less and they become especially important in the winter when our skin is craving that extra moisture.
Face mists aren’t just for beating the summer heat!
Misting often in the winter can help to keep your skin hydrated all day long, especially when you’re constantly moving from cold temperatures to the blasting indoor heat. I find this to be especially helpful mid-afternoon when I’m working. My skin tends to feel tight and dry so I whip out my mist and spritz away for instant hydration.
PRO-TIP: Applying a hydrating face mask to your complexion can be another excellent way to amp up your skin’s moisture. However, in order to get the most out of your favorite face masks, we try to prep your skin with a quick at-home facial steam.
16. Apply Tea Bags To Windburned Lips
Harsh winds can definitely take a toll on your sensitive lips, but you can soothe windburned lips with chilled tea bags. The tannins in the tea help to heal and hydrate your burned lips. After you brew your favorite cuppa, gently dab the cooled-down bags on any chapped areas.
17. Invest in a Humidifer
Fight off dry skin while you sleep! According to Health.com, humidifiers are great tools for adding moisture back into the air during the colder months. The mist helps to replenish the air with helpful humidity that keeps harsh winter skin at bay. Between cold temperatures outside and dry, artificial heat inside, low moisture environments can come at your skin from every angle. To counter the lack of humidity in the air, invest in a humidifier.
18. Try Tea Tree Oil Products for Scalps
Scalp issues such as psoriasis and eczema can flare up during the colder months. You can fight off flakes and prevent dry caps by using tea tree oil. You can use a cleansing treatment that's infused with the stuff, or add a couple drops of the essential oil to your regular shampoo and conditioner.
19. Take an Oatmeal Bath.
Grind a cup of plain oatmeal in a blender to the texture of a fine powder and add it to a bath full of warm water. The oatmeal helps calm inflammation and soothes itchy winter skin — plus, a bath in the winter always feels nice.
20. Use Color Correctors
Combat the Rainbow of Colors that come with Winter Skin.
In the winter, your skin tends to turn weird, unflattering shades (red cheeks or nose, blue under-eye circles, a yellowish tinge all over). If your skin is red or sallow, or if you have a purple cast under your eyes... hide these hues, blend color correctors on target areas to neutralize the shades and get your skin back to where it’s supposed to be: even and glowing.
20. Dealing with Winter Breakouts
Wash your face with a moisturizing cleanser, so you don’t have to use a super-thick moisturizer. Simply washing your face with Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash (Yes, body wash!) will moisturize your skin while it cleanses it, so you don’t have to apply heavy, breakout-causing moisturizers on top of your acne-prone skin. If your skin is sensitive to fragrances though, opt for a wash that says "fragrance-free," so the synthetic fragrances in the wash don’t cause further irritation.
21. Wear Sunscreen in the Winter!
So who said sunscreen is only for the summers? The sun is out 365 days a year and be it summer, rain or winter, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Photo damage could result in early wrinkling and increase in pigmentation can occur if one does not apply sunscreen during winters.
22. Fix Red Face
Whether you're wind burnt from a recent ski trip or you're battling a cold, this will help take the red out: Wash your face with a soap-free, calming cleanser, try to find one that contains an extract from the licorice root that helps tone down redness. Top it with a neutralizing treatment. This one is an investment, but for someone who gets red often, it works: Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer ($66; dermstore.com), which feels cool and has a soothing blend to prevent flushing. Try using it in the A.M., post-shower. And if you're still red, opt for a color correcting makeup primer or concealer that's tinted green to cancel out redness.
23. Don’t Neglect Your Hands
One more reason to wear gloves: Forgetting to do so can lead to painfully cracked fingertips and peeling nails. Since antibacterial hand soaps can be drying, use a mild, creamy one instead, rinse well with lukewarm water, and reapply hand cream every time. Once a week, rub cuticle oil into and around nails to keep them hydrated.
Since washing your hands less often isn't an option, use a moisturizing hand soap to help counteract the drying effects. And while washing with warm water feels nice on a freezing day, lukewarm water will do less damage. Dry hands thoroughly (lingering water causes—you guessed it—more dryness). Then slather on a hydrating lotion - something with Intensive Repair in the title- preferably with alpha hydroxy to gently exfoliate rough patches of skin. You get bonus points for applying a formula with sunscreen to protect against brown spots during the day.
For ragged cuticles and cracks, spot treat them with an ointment, like Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5; target.com) – this is what I use.
24. No More Hat Head
Our mother told us to wear a hat in winter—and now style experts say the same. To prevent a hat from messing up your hair, make sure hair is totally dry first—if it's even slightly damp, it will dry flattened-out under the hat.
Prevent dents in long hair by gathering it into a loop and tucking it under the cap. To maintain volume in hair that's shoulder-length or longer, part it on the opposite side from where you normally do, then flip it back after you take the hat off. And for short hair, as soon as you remove your hat, put a little styling cream or even just water on your fingers, and run them over and under the roots to rough them up.
25. Avoid the Haircolor Flub
White-blonde highlights that look perfect in the summer can highlight the wrong things in the winter—such as an ashy, pallid complexion. Same goes for a too-dark single-process. Use these tips to winterize your hair color:
- If you're blonde, go more golden and less beige, and ask your colorist to weave both highlights and lowlights throughout your hair for a warmer look.
- Light brunettes should consider deepening their hair to a warm chestnut color; dark brunettes, a deep chocolate hue. For both, be sure to ask your colorist for a multidimensional look. If you want highlights, ask for face-framing balayage ones—these hand-painted pieces tend to look more natural on dark hair than do foil streaks.
- Amp up red hair with a copper or deep auburn tone—anything but bluish or burgundy, which looks fake. Because red fades quickly, top the color with a clear glaze to seal it.
Don't go more than two shades lighter or darker—dramatic shifts can look severe against pale winter skin!!