My Best Cold Weather Skin And Hair Care Tips

via Mitya Ku

Central Europe has very distinct four seasons so every few months I have to reassess my entire skin care routine. My skin and hair react to the cold season by getting dryer and rougher. There is often some summer damage that I have to take care of as well.
Chances are your autumn looks very different from my dry and cold one. It really helps to know what kind of humidity you are working with. You can find the levels of outdoor humidity online; for the humidity levels at home and in your work place it's worth investing in a hygrometer. 50% is "average" and is supposed to be ideal for indoors. Lower than that means the air is dry and you should get a humidifier to counteract that. The skin usually likes higher humidity, but that makes the hair frizzy.

Here is how to keep your skin and hair looking great throughout autumn and winter:

* Include oils rich in Omega-3 in your diet, and drink lots of water. Both will help against dry skin and lips.

* Physical activity is really important during the cold season. In the summer we spend time more time outdoors, walk and bike more. In winter I stay inside too much and I find that this affects my skin, hair and mood. Make a concrete plan -- sign up for classes, get a gym membership or try cold-weather bike gear.

* Drink warm (or at least room temperature) water. Both TCM and Ayurveda strongly recommend this. It tastes a bit weird at first but I got used to it pretty quickly. I drink much more water in the winter if it isn't cold.

 * Go to a sauna. In Germany a lot of people do it pretty regularly in the cold season and even doctors remind me to do it. Apart from all the other health benefits, it gives you the most amazing clean and glowy skin. I always notice when a friend has been to the sauna because of that rosy clean skin! 

* Autumn is a great time to start exfoliating with hydroxy acids to get rid of discolourations and fine lines. While the sun is still strong I'd suggest the gentle mandaleic acid, and a stronger AHA during the winter.

* Skin often gets more irritable when temperatures drop. Avoid irritating ingredients like alcohols and sulfates (especially in cleansers). If you are doing chemical exfoliants, be extra gentle with the rest of your routine.

* My skin flakes during the winter, I have found that konjac sponges and microfibre cloths are the best way to gently remove these flakes.

* The burning UVB rays are very weak in the winter, but you still want to be protecting your skin from UVA rays to slow down ageing, so be sure to pick up a sunscreen with UVA protection.

* I like to refresh my style in the autumn: I always get a haircut in September and I bleach my teeth at home. This time I also got my eyebrows done, for the first time ever.

* Self-tanner keeps my skin looking summery for a while longer.

* I like rediscovering my cold-season make-up -- this is usually berry colours and liner. I feel that the heavy knits, rich colours and scarves and hats let me carry off stronger colours.

* Swap your moisturiser for a richer one. Or add a few drops of oil (I like argan, rose hip, or jojoba oils for the face). At thicker products protects the skin from the cold when you go out.

* Hair gets a lot of mechanical damage in the cold season from all the scarves, zippers, caps and velcro. Natural fabric are kinder to the hair than made-made ones. Wearing your hair up when outdoors really helps minimise damage. If you don't want to do that at least lift it up carefully when putting on your outdoor clothing.

* Get a good, nourishing body butter (I love the ones from Alverde). Or a rich body oil, you can add something warming like sesame or cinnamon oil to a body oil that you already have. In the colder half of the year I swear by the Abhyanga method.

* Give your heels some care. My feet usually look terrible at the end of summer, and I need to soak them, exfoliate with hydroxy acids (more on this soon) and then do some heavy moisturising.

Finally, the most important thing for me is to stay on top of my skin and hair care. To start with richer products ahead of time. Not to wait before my skin and hair are dry and damaged.

How much do you switch up your skin and hair routine for the cold season?

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