While I’m a big fan of winter, I’m not a fan of what comes with it: The whole chapped lips, dry skin thing is really getting old (especially when your clothes feel like sandpaper). I've also had to cut back on facial expressions because of how painful they are – great for poker, bad for everything else.
If you’re on the verge of taping oven mitts over your hands a la Phoebe Buffay, here’s what you can do to combat chapped lips – and chapped everything – this winter:
1. Take shorter showers
Long showers are especially tempting when you’re freezing your tuchus off, but hot water removes your skin’s natural oils. If you just can’t help yourself, opt for warm water instead of the third-degree-burn temperature you crave. Stick to mild cleansers that won’t strip your skin even further and avoid flaky skin post-shower by patting your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
2. Moisturize when your skin’s still damp
Dry your skin so you’re not dripping wet, but apply lotion while you still have droplets of water on your skin – this will help to seal in the moisture.
3. Hydrate your scalp
Repairing and protecting your scalp is uber-easy: Apply half a cup of warm olive oil to damp hair and leave it in for one hour. Rinse out with your shampoo and conditioner. Bye bye flakes!
4. Become a savvy shaver
Because shaving with goosebumps would result in slaughtering yourself, it’s important to have a more cautious system in place when shaving in the winter. Start by lathering your legs with shaving cream or hair conditioner and shave in the direction your hair grows. Check to make sure your blades are as sharp as can be to avoid as much irritation as possible.
5. Remember sunscreen
Sunscreen should be just as much a part of your winter repertoire as your summer, so slather it on as you normally would during cold weather too.
6. Sooth your chapped lips
Do everything you can to stop licking your lips – it just makes chapped lips even worse. Always cover your mouth with a scarf to protect from the cold and wind, and make sure you have lip balm available everywhere: Arm yourself by keeping one in your coat pocket, purse, desk drawer, and in your bra if you’re especially forgetful. Apply organic honey to your chapped lips before bed and wake up to smooth (and delicious) lips.
7. Give yourself a hand (or two)
If your hands are feeling particularly dry, wash and dry them thoroughly. Then apply vinegar and a pair of soft gloves. Leave them on overnight. (The vinegar helps restore the pH balance of your skin, which helps them retain moisture better.)
8. Cool your cuticles
Olive oil is an amazing multitasker and does wonders for dry cuticles. Dab onto your fingertips when you find they're giving you 'tude.
9. Consider purchasing a humidifier
It’s not just the cold that’s causing chapped lips and dry skin, heaters and radiators are drying out the air, which in turn is sucking the life out of your skin. Using a humidifier will ease itchiness (and your chapped lips).
10. Establish preventative habits
Use the above tips to create an ongoing beauty routine. The best way to combat chapped lips and dry skin is by using preventative measures to avoid the problems altogether. Keep your beauty products within arm’s reach no matter where you are and establish round-the-clock care for your skin.
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