Head To Toe: Winter Care Guide

Gunjan Lal
September 13, 2016
Views : 1918
Head To Toe: Winter Care Guide

Keep Your Baths Short

A long steaming hot shower for a good twenty minutes might feel divine on a cold day. But try and stick to lukewarm or warm water for a quick bath for around five to ten minutes or less. Exposure to hot water for a long period of time can prove to be bad for you as it can strip moisture from your hair and skin.

Care For Your Rough Hair

Your hair needs a little extra tender loving care during wintertime. Frequent shampooing strips the moisture from your hair and scalp, so try to wash your strands once in two or three days (depending upon your scalp type).

Everybody's hair is different - dry, oily or normal. If washing your hair once or twice a week is normal for you then you could consider adding some extra time between shampooing to take dry winter conditions into account. And don't skip using the conditioner. Even skipping the shampoo and opting for a quick conditioning and rinse treatment would also work just fine in keeping your hair clean and moisturized.

To prevent breakage and other hair damage, try and avoid blow drying and brushing your hair when wet as your lovely locks are most delicate when wet. If your strands are really parched then comb hair with a wide tooth comb and rub a few drops of olive oil after showering.

Dry & Itchy Scalp

Dry & Itchy Scalp

A dry, itchy and flaky scalp can be extremely uncomfortable as well as embarrassing. The first step in preventing dandruff is to take quicker & cooler showers in order to reduce your scalp's exposure to drying hot water.

If you have serious dandruff issues in winters then try switching to an anti- dandruff or a dry scalp-specific shampoo. Before stepping in the shower, massage your scalp with Vitamin E, coconut oil or olive oil - or better yet, massage with an anti dandruff hair oil (these are easily available in markets). Such oils replenish the natural scalp oils and so a good job in moisturizing dry hair.

Tea tree oil is also one of the popular treatments for bacterial and fungal infections like dandruff (or athlete's foot). Wash your hair and scalp with tea tree oil to cure a dry and itchy scalp naturally. You can simply add a few drops of tea tree essential oil to your normal shampoo to boost its dandruff fighting abilities.

Sometimes such issues can be due to product build-up and not the weather. If you feel like this may be the case then there's no need to take serious preventive measures (stated above) - rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar to clear out the product build up and then wash with your shampoo normally.

Static Hair

This is another winter trouble caused by the courtesy of dry scalp. A dried out scalp produces fewer oils, which can make your hair full of static. Don't cut back on your conditioner; simulate oils naturally from your scalp by combing a bit of vitamin E oil through the hair before bed to reload moisture.

If static hair is a major problem, consider switching up your hair care routine. Hair brushes that are made of natural bristles help in redistributing oils from your scalp to the rest of the hair and also create less static effect than plastic brushes and combs.

Quick fix for static hair: Rub a little bit of lotion through strands before heading out the door. Try to stick to cotton hats even in winters as they conduct much less static electricity than wool and acrylic.

Red Nose

This happens to most of us in winters - we all become Rudolph the red nose reindeer at some point of time. This happens because when we stay outdoors in cold weather for a long time, the blood vessels cut off proper circulation to your nose. When you come back indoors the blood vessels dilate rapidly, causing an instant rush of blood back to your nose making it bright-red in colour.

To bring your nose back to a normal tone, you should apply a warm (not hot) pressure to the skin for a couple of minutes after coming back indoors.

At times when you come down with a winter cold, the tissues that you usually use can make your nose raw and chapped. So when you come down with a cold, prefer using extra-soft tissues and blot your nose - don't rub it. Apply a thin layer of moisturizing cream, lotion or ointment to the sensitive area on your nose throughout the day.

Deal With Dry Skin

Olive for hair

To deal with the most common winter problem of dry skin all not just your face but over your body, you can only go big. Add a few drops of olive oil or grape seed oil in your bathwater before hopping in, or apply a thin layer of oil on your body after you're done showering. If possible maybe wear some old or last year's comfy PJ's to bed.

If you have extremely dry skin then what I'm about to suggest will sound weird but it sure is helpful. Add a cup or two of whole milk to bathwater, as it can moisturize your skin. If you're not comfortable doing this then there always are alternatives, you can get a body wash which is milk or cream based. That should also help to provide you with the moisturization that your body needs.

If you decide to add oil to your bath water or even milk, great! Then next thing you should do is apply lots of lotion all over your body withing three to five minutes of showering - this is the most effective way by which you can keep in moisture for the longest time. If you have extremely dry or irritating reddish dry skin apply Vaseline to soothe the irritation and major dry skin issue.

Dry and Chapped Lips

Keep a tube of lip balm in your bag or an easily accessible pocket will be a good first step - but winter winds can escalate the chapped lips situation to an entirely new level. If your lips are flaky, take a clean toothbrush and gently try to exfoliate the skin in order to remove excess skin. Apply beeswax or a lip balm containing lanolin liberally and keep reapplying all day long. Lanolin is a natural moisturizer that helps in softening the skin and reduces quick evaporation, keeping the fragile skin of your lips properly hydrated.

In major cases of dry lips you should apply Vaseline or honey for fifteen minutes and then remove with cotton dipped in hot water.

Dress To Impress - And Protect

Got a long day ahead? When you head out into the lovely outdoors, the morning warm winter day sunshine might deceive you into thinking that the entire day would be as warm as the morning seems. You might thank the perfect sunshine for letting your neck, ears, and hands breathe freely, that's all great while it lasts. Remember that winters days can be really unpredictable and what might kick off as a bright and warm day can take a nasty dry and windy turn by the end of the day.

So do give your neck and hands as much breathing space as you desire but also keep in your bag a scarf or a muffler, a pair of gloves, earmuffs, and a hat just in case the weather takes a U -turn. Dress to impress, that's alright, but also keep your defenses in place because you could need them at any time to avoid prolonged exposure to cold air and windburn.

Brittle Nails

Brittle Nails

Dry air during the winter season saps the moisture right out of our nails and leaves them delicate and susceptible to tears and breaks. To treat brittle nails apply a lotion containing lanolin or olive oil to your nails before bed (slipping on gloves for a little while after the application will help in absorption). Brittle nails aren't just a girl's thing, guys also are susceptible to it equally.

A thin coat of clear nail polish can be effective in protecting brittle nails from the environment in winter and the damage that it causes. Also, consider including foods that are rich in biotin (also known as Vitamin B7) to your diet. This essential vitamin assists our bodies to process amino acids and produce fatty acids. Vegetables such as carrots and Swiss chard, and protein sources like nuts and fish, are great ways to pack in enough of this vitamin. Biotin can also be taken in supplement form, it is equally effective this way too.

Dry Hands

To protect your feet from getting dry due to cold is still easier, but what can one do with their hands? You can't keep wearing gloves 24x7, to do that would mean cutting yourself off of our phone and I'm pretty sure you can't do that! The cracked and painful skin on hands is the most irritating thing ever, isn't it? To prevent your hand from drying out, apply moisturizer after washing your hands at least several times throughout the day. Keep a little bottle of lotion or a hand cream by the sink in your home and in your desk at work. If hands are too dry then you should prefer using hand creams instead of lotion because the former has a higher oil-to-water ratio.

While washing the dishes, try to wear rubber gloves - it can prevent your hands from getting dried out due to excess contact with dish washing soaps or liquids as well as hot water. And to really take care of dry hands - when you go to sleep, apply a thick layer of hand cream or lotion to keep your hands soft.

Cracked And Rough Feet

Cracked And Rough Feet

Another annoying side effect that winters bring along is callused feet with cracked heels. If you don't have the time to get pedicures frequently then you could easily save some cash and even skip the periodic pedicure runs to the parlor by moisturizing and exfoliating at home. Scrub calluses with a pumice stone while you're in the shower at least once a week to slough off the rough and dead skin.

Moisturize your feet, especially the heels, every day with a thick layer of cream. Lotions containing lactic acid are very effective. If your feet feel too dry then wear cotton socks to bed. It can feel a little uncomfortable at first but wearing socks while sleeping can help creams absorb. Moisturizers are most effective when they're applied to the damp or warm skin and what can make your feet warmer than socks? Still, if you feel uncomfortable about it then you can skip the socks part and apply moisturizer when your feet are nice and warm after spending a couple minutes in your blanket. If you decide on wearing socks in bed then make sure that they're not woolen as they can raise your overall body temperature and make it difficult to stay asleep peacefully all night sometimes.

Fats? Only Healthy Ones Please

When you visit the grocery store, fill up your cart with foods which are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and omega3 fatty acids. Flax seeds, olive oil, walnuts, avocados, sardines, and salmon are the richest food sources that contain the good levels of omega 3 fatty acids.

One of the greatest benefits of these fatty acids is that they can positively affect your mood. So if you ever feel like the winter blues might be kicking in, feast on omega-3 rich foods.

Here is a list of other foods that can lend you a helping hand in getting rid of the winter blues.

Stay Hydrated

Drink as much water as you can. Keeping yourself hydrated is important all year round and especially in winters you tend to lessen your water intake at a considerable rate. The air around you is dry during winters, it extracts the moisture from your body leaving your skin dry & scaly and your lips chapped.

Gunjan Lal

Gunjan Lal

Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.

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