Solutions for dry winter skin and problematic hair
By Laura Finaldi, News Correspondent
Winter weather can dry out even the softest of skin. Luckily, there are ways to keep skin and hair looking flawless, even in the cold months. These tips from Dr. Emmy Graber, medical director at Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, and Jackie Siegel, hairstylist at Beaucage Salon on Newbury Street, will keep anyone looking healthy and glowing, even after being hit with the upcoming harsh winter weather.
Tips for healthy skin:
1. Use a mild soap to keep the face clean and moist:
Skin gets drier in the wintertime because there is not as much humidity in the air.
“If there’s less humidity in the air, skin is not as able to absorb the water and it gets drier,” Graber said.
She recommended washing with a mild soap, which will not irritate the skin because it does not contain harsh ingredients.
“Avoid soaps labeled as anti-bacterial or with extra perfumes because that can dry out the skin,” she said.
2. Keep oil under control with witch hazel:
Even in the cold weather, oily skin is still prone to breakouts, so Graber recommended using witch hazel, an astringent that is much gentler on the skin than rubbing alcohol, to absorb excess oil from the skin. Witch hazel can be bought for about $3 at drugstores.
“Put some witch hazel on a cotton-ball and rub it over the face to absorb moisture,” Graber said. “This will help absorb oil without drying out the skin.”
3. Nourish dry skin with extra moisture:
Graber said people with dry skin should buy thicker lotion for wintertime use. Make sure to apply lotion after showering, when skin is the most sensitive.
“The thicker the creme, the better it will moisturize,” she said. “Look for something that is labeled as a creme rather than a lotion because it will be more moisturizing,”
Graber said even in the winter months, it is important to wear a sunscreen. She said to use a creme with oatmeal to relieve itchy skin.
4. Take special care of lips during wintertime:
Lips tend to get extra-chapped during the winter, so lip balm is definitely a good idea. Graber recommended putting petroleum jelly on the lips before bed for extra moisture throughout the day.
Tips for healthy hair:
1. Use moisturizers and deep condition once a week:
Winter weather can also dry out hair. Siegel recommends using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, such as Pureology or Kerastase. She said to keep an eye on the front of the bottle for words such as “moisturizing,” “hydrating” or “sulfate-free.”
“Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner are going to be gentler on the hair. That will help with hydration as well,” Siegel said.
Siegel also recommends a deep conditioning treatment, such as MoroccanOil’s deep conditioner, every other week either at home or at a salon. According to MoroccanOil’s website, the treatment rehydrates dry hair and repairs environmentally-caused damage, such as cold weather.
“What it does is it penetrates the hair instead of sitting on top of the hair,” Siegel said. “It’s a treatment every time you use it.”
The treatment contains argan oil, which can help repair damaged hair. Siegel says to wear the mask overnight so hair can absorb the moisture.
2. Go a couple of days without shampooing:
Siegel advised taking a break from shampooing every other day or so. Shampoo dries hair out, so skipping a day locks in moisture. Hair can be kept clean by using dry shampoo on off days.
“Use dry shampoo to soak up any oil and residue product lost in your hair,” she said.
3. Use hair oils to prevent dryness from blow drying:
Siegel said to be careful with blow drying or straightening hair because it can cause damage. She recommends moisturizing hair with MoroccanOil products to keep it from getting dry.
“The heat [from a blowdryer] will dry out your hair more, so using something like MoroccanOil every time you blowdry would be helpful,” she said.