I should not be surprised by the steadily dipping temperatures of January. I have lived in North Dakota and Minnesota, two states notorious for their chills, for my entire 27 years. It is so cold outside as I write this that I want nothing more than to pile all my fur coats in bed with me and sleep until March, when the climate begins to think about thawing. Extreme? Maybe. But it’s also very accurate.
It’s hard to care about the way you look when it’s -4 with a -20 windchill, when your car won’t start and even a walk to throw out the garbage freezes your fingers off. But it’s important to take extra care of your skin in the icky frozen months. Don’t lose your luster because it’s winter!
Up your moisturizer.
The lightweight moisturizer you were using on both face and body in summer isn’t going to cut it now. Some days I look at myself and see a corpse face flaking off because it’s so dry and cold. To counteract this, I’ve been applying a thick coat of an intense moisturizer (I use Aveda’s new Botanical Kinetics Intense Riche Crème or their Tourmaline moisturizer, not because I work for them but because they’re awesome!) up to twice a day, and I often fall asleep with what feels like two tablespoons of oil and serum on my skin. Give your body the same care, and don’t forget to exfoliate regularly for fresh cell turnover and brighter skin.
Don’t forget your hands and feet.
Nothing is worse than cracked, thirsty hands. Carry a thick (but not globby) hand crème with you everywhere. Keep one by your bed or at your desk. Do the old “slather your feet with lotion and sleep in socks” every so often. And buy warm gloves or mittens, because frostbite is not sexy.
Protect your lips.
No one can wear pretty bright matte lipstick without first being devoted to lip balm. The thicker the better, and it’s best applied overnight so it can work its magic while you sleep.
Don’t take boiling hot showers or baths.
I know it’s tempting to want to soak away the chill in a super-hot shower or bath, but it really zaps the moisture content of your skin. I’m addicted to baths, though, so I counteract this by adding some oil to my bath.
Get a spray tan.
Hey, sometimes you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re startled by the ghost staring back at you. A little bit of fake-bake can boost your confidence and remind you that yes, summer WILL come again.
Don’t get drunk at home every night because it’s too cold to go outside and you’re bored.
This is bad for a) your body and b) your skin. Take advantage of the weather and get extra sleep, which IS great for your skin.
Treat your hair to extra care.
If it’s staticky from wearing hats 24/7, use a dryer sheet to tame the frizz. Spend a few more minutes in the shower and do a deep conditioning mask. Dry air means your scalp is suffering too, so make sure you’re giving your hair the extra hydration and exfoliation it desires.
Eat HEALTHY comfort food.
I like to make squash in the winter months and eat it with a little butter and parmesan cheese; it feels comforting and warm, and squash is a super-healthy food loaded with fiber and vitamin C, and it’s really filling. It’s not mac ‘n’ cheese, but it makes me feel much better in the long run. It’ll make your eyes sparkle! (OK, maybe – but it’s a nice thought, right?)