Beat the Winter Woes Naturally

Top Tips to Winterize your Skin & Hair this Season

Have you noticed that your skin becomes sallow and hair becomes lackluster in the winter? You’re not alone – both women and men experience these issues when the temperatures drop and the indoor heat turns on. The cold outside and heat inside suck the moisture out of the skin and hair leading to uncomfortable dryness, flaking and even rashes. Our skin and hair may be sensitive but are resilient, and there are ways to prevent them from becoming dull – naturally and without having to spend a lot of money!

Add these simple tips to your weekly routines to improve the health and look of your skin and hair this winter:

MOISTURIZE WITH OILS
Pick up some organic, unprocessed sesame oil at your grocery store and apply it all over once a day as a replacement for your body lotion. This oil creates a thin layer on the skin and locks in moisture and vitamins. Sesame oil is known for its warming, healing properties and is especially good to use during winter months. Jojoba oil is another good option as its chemical structure is very similar to our skin’s natural oils and can be easily absorbed and strengthens the skin. These oils can be used on the body, as well as, on the face – use them at night before heading to bed to hydrate throughout the night and to avoid a greasy-look during the day.

On the hair, apply coconut or olive oil a couple of times a week and leave the oil in overnight. Be sure to lay a towel on your pillow to keep the oil from seeping into your pillowcase. You can also wrap a satin cap or sheet around your hair. The oils will soften the hair’s cuticle, while also locking in moisture and protecting it from further damage. Look for an unprocessed, cold-pressed coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil for full benefits.

BATHE IN ROOM-TEMPERATURE WATER
When it’s cold outside, a hot shower feels amazing. Unfortunately, the hot water can wreak havoc on your skin and hair and can pull the moisture out of both, causing dryness, flakiness and irritation. Hot water disrupts skin’s natural hydration process and can cause itchiness, rashes and cracked skin which moisturizing with creams may not alleviate. Dry, cracked skin can increase your risk for infections and can even lead to acne.
The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce oils that are essential for your hair’s health. Using hot water to wash your hair opens the cuticle and strips the hair shaft of these natural oils. The oils give the hair shine and strength, both of which are necessary for beautiful hair. Ridding the hair of these natural oils can cause irritation of the scalp, dandruff and the dreaded flakes that come along with it. Using hot water also makes the strands more porous which results in dry, brittle hair.

AVOCADOS ARE AWESOME
Avocados are high in vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids which help cells function and keep the skin hydrated. Grab an avocado, mash it up, and apply the blend onto your face (and any other dry areas like your hands and elbows) and leave it on for 20 minutes. Once you rinse the mask off, you will notice your skin has a glow and feels soft and moisturized. Apply this mask once a week for best results.

Avocado masks are fantastic for the hair as well. Mash up an avocado, add in a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil and put on a shower cap. Leave the mask on for at least half an hour. The fatty acids and lipids in both the avocado and oil will deeply moisturize, strengthen and restore shine to your strands. It’s important to rub the mixture into the scalp as well to sooth, smooth, heal and encourage hair growth.

EAT MORE NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds contain vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals that are critical to skin and hair health. The fats and minerals in nuts support healthy skin cells and also hydrate the skin, keeping it soft, supple and elastic, characteristics that can diminish during the harsh winter months. At least three times a week, grab a handful of almonds, brazil nuts or walnuts and chow down. Eat a variety of nuts each week to get maximum benefits.

Eating a variety of nuts and seeds is also important for healthy hair. From peanuts to cashews to almonds, the oils, proteins and fats in nuts keep the scalp healthy and encourage hair growth. The nutrients in nuts prevent dryness and dandruff and hydrate the hair shaft, inside out. Adding chia, flax and hemp seeds to your meals are also a great way to incorporate fabulous fats to your diet that will moisturize and heal your scalp and hair.

DRINK UP
Our skin needs water to look and feel healthy, stay flexible and keep from looking “grey.” In the winter months, when indoor heating and cold winds suck the moisture from our skin, it’s critical to drink plenty of water to hydrate skin cells. Water draws toxins away from the skin, aids in circulation and hydrates tissue. It’s important to drink warm water, particularly in the winter to improve absorption and keep toxins moving out of your body. Drinking plenty of water is the number one way to prevent dryness, cracking and even wrinkles.

Water makes up almost ¼ of the weight of a strand of hair and in order for the hair to remain lustrous and healthy, drinking water is critical. Lack of sufficient amounts of water can result in less hair growth, dullness and dehydration of the hair shaft. In addition, water transports the necessary vitamins and nutrients from the bloodstream to the roots in the scalp to nourish the hair shaft.

Keeping your skin and hair healthy and hydrated during the winter months takes a little more effort than during other times of the year. Thankfully, the earth has given us a variety of natural ways we can combat common winter-skin and hair problems. With the tips above, you’ll enjoy skin that’s hydrated and hair that shines all winter long.