A great workout (or a weekend trip to Miami) can help beat the winter blues with endorphins and dose of vitamin D, but your skin isn’t quite as resilient. Between freezing temperatures, jacked up heat, and bone-chilling wind, by March, every inch of skin and hair is begging for help…and moisture.
While you can’t wish winter away, there’s a lot you can do about its beauty-thwarting behaviors that cause frizzy hair, chapped lips, and skin that’s more freakout-prone, itchy, and frankly less radiant than you’d like.
We’ve got the expertise of Jeannie Jarnot, spa expert and founder of the healthy-ingredient beauty box service, Spa Heroes, and Fifi M. Maacaron, a trained pharmacist and the author of Natural Beauty Alchemy, to offer solutions to all of winter’s worst beauty problems.
Consider this your cheat sheet to beating common winter beauty blunders.
1. Dry, red, (freaking out) complexion
Skin lacking in hydration can cause it to go haywire, and even produce more oil or pimples, or become red and inflamed, sometimes with some bonus dry patches and a “tight” feeling that lasts till spring. “Keep an organic hydrosol next to your desk and spray it on multiple times a day,” Jarnot says. A hydrating spray is like a humidifier for your face and it can help balance all kinds of issues.
2. Flaking, chapped lips
Keeping your lips in shape is the easiest thing you’ll do all season. Jarnot recommends massaging a dry washcloth over your lips every morning and night to exfoliate them. “Also, apply lip balm before brushing your teeth,” she says. “This protects against the drying effects of toothpaste and mouthwash.” Look for balms made with beeswax and avocado oil or shea butter—the wax acts as protection and the oil moisturizes.
3. Itchy dry skin
When the cold is so brutal that even twice daily lotion applications aren’t cutting it, a moisturizing, exfoliating body scrub is your friend: it can help you get rid of dry flaky skin, and hydrate newer skin beneath. Maacaron recommends mixing one cup coconut shreds and with 3/4 cup full fat milk, then drizzling in one teaspoon olive oil in. Stir well and use at the end of your shower by rubbing, gently, in circular motion all over your body.
4. Cracked hands
Should your hands refuse to wash out a tea cup without getting red, itchy, or cracked, you know it’s time for an intervention. An exquisite pair of gloves that you want to wear all the time will help, but maybe aren’t so practical at your desk. So try this DIY solution: “Combine three tablespoons of argan oil with 1 tablespoon of almond oil, mix well, and let it cool,” says Maacraon. “Rubbing it into your hands every night will help them recover.” Jarnot also recommends massaging any leftover facial serum into your hands and cuticles when moisturizing at night.
5. Fried, frizzy, static hair
You don’t need the fanciest blow dryer or humidifier to fight frizz (though those might be nice)—nightly oil applications can do the job, says Jarnot. “Massage just a small amount onto your scalp and then wash it away the next morning during your shower.”
A few that work well for the hair and scalp are argan, coconut, or macadamia nut oil. It also just might buy you more time between trims: swiping some coconut oil on your ends can offer some life support. —Katarina Kovacevic