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Cold Weather Doesn't Have to Mean Bad Hair and Skin
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Cold Weather Doesn't Have to Mean Bad Hair and Skin

When the weather turns cold, keeping cozy and bundling up in cute and comfy clothes are probably the first thing on your mind. But that doesn't give you an excuse to throw beauty, hair and skin care to the chilly, gusty wind. Instead, with minimal effort, you can battle back against the winter blues and have your hair looking stronger than ever, your skin feeling as soft and moisturized as possible, and your complexion causing some major envy. Check out 10 of the top tips and tricks for solving every pesky winter beauty and hair problem.

Beware of Wet Hair
Everyone’s heard that wet hair in winter can give you a nasty cold, but it can also damage your strands and create a stiff look. Instead of hitting the streets with a wet head, it’s best to air-dry your locks when possible. Using a hair dryer can strip away moisture, and when you add in the harm dry winter air can do, it’s a recipe for damage and breakage. To further protect hair and lock in moisture, rinse it with cold water when washing. Also, use a scarf or cute hat when you’re outside to cover and protect fragile tresses.

Hide Hat Hair
Since you’ll need to don a chic hat to protect your hair, you'll also need a few tricks up your sleeve to avoid the dreaded hat hair. Start by creating a volume-heavy look when styling your locks; a root-boosting gel or serum can be key to creating body at your roots and help prevent a hat from flattening your style. It’s also helpful to use a leave-in conditioner to moisturize hair, which helps fight frizz. To avoid static opt for a wool, cotton or cashmere cap, and go for a looser-fitting hat to steer clear of flat hair.

Focus on the Face

Not only can harsh winter air do some major damage to your hair, but it can also wreak havoc on your sensitive skin. Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for your face: moisturizer. “The solution for alleviating tight, dry skin is using a specialty serum to accompany your moisturizer,” advises Renee Rouleau, skin care expert and celebrity esthetician. She suggests opting for a formula that contains sodium PCA, which helps absorb water, and hyaluronic acid for extra hydration.

Perfect Your Complexion

Sure, a hint of rosy cheeks can be flattering, but no one wants a Rudolph-red nose and flushed face during the winter. To ensure your complexion stays beautiful year-round, Rouleau suggests switching to a milder, low-foam cleanser when the temperature drops. “Many foaming and gel cleansers contain surfactants, a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin,” she explains. “These ingredients are simply too harsh and will strip the water out of the skin after every washing, leaving skin tight and creating more oil and shine.”

Apply All-Over Moisture
Your face isn’t the only part of your body that’s thirsty during the long winter months. To keep your entire body hydrated, Rouleau suggests applying moisturizers both in the morning and at night. Yet, it’s more about quality than quality, she explains. “Applying moisturizer consistently in the winter is important,” she says. “However, when your skin craves more hydration, the answer is not adding on extra layers of moisturizer.” Instead, she says the key is to pick products that best match your skin type, “so you’re giving your skin exactly what it needs.”

Slather on the Sunscreen
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean skin-damaging and cancer-causing rays can’t penetrate your skin throughout the winter. That’s why it’s essential to wear sunscreen year-round, Rouleau says, noting that the sun's UVA rays can even travel through clothing and car or office windows. “Daily use of SPF is an absolute — 365 days a year, rain or shine, inside or out,” she advises. For an effortless option, go for a moisturizer that has sunscreen built right in so you only have to apply one product.

Cool It in the Shower

Though the cold temps will likely make you want to spend hours soaking in a bath tub — or at least cuddling up under the covers — overly hot water can actually damage your skin in the winter. “Hotter temperatures when bathing can break down the skin’s moisture barrier, causing moisture to evaporate from the skin more quickly post-shower,” Rouleau explains. To keep skin healthy, take shorter showers in lukewarm water — or cool water, if you can tough it out — and apply moisturizer immediately after bathing, she suggests.

Care for Chapped Lips
Is there anything worse than the pain or discomfort of dry, cracked, chapped lips in the winter? Rouleau says wind and cold air cause lips to dry out, “so be sure to use a protective lip balm with sun protection in the winter." To lock in the most moisture possible, go for a petrolatum or shea butter–based formula, which will seep into and heal the cracks in your lips, and avoid waxy balms that simply sit on the lips’ surface.

Prevent Dry Hands

When walking with your sweetie in a winter wonderland, who wants to worry about rough, dry hands? Unfortunately, they can be a major problem for many ladies during the winter. To battle back, Rouleau suggests wearing gloves outside whenever possible and exfoliating hands by adding glycolic acid to hand cream, which removes dry skin cells. Also, “keep hand lotion in your bag and use it throughout the day,” she advises. “Moisturize and sleep with cotton gloves to repair dry, cracked hands overnight.”

Seal in Moisture
No matter what the winter-weather beauty problem — from tight skin to damaged hair — moisture is the solution. To capture as much hydration as possible, Rouleau suggests using a humidifier in your bedroom each night. “It keeps moisture in the air, which then helps skin retain moisture, as well,” she says, adding that bathroom fans can also be the enemy during winter. “A bathroom fan or vent can create an exceptionally dry environment,” she explains. “When the air is dry, it seeks moisture and steals it from wherever it's available.”