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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 — Houston, TX 73°

Slaying the cold: A guide to winter beauty

winterbeauty-by-esther-tang
Illustration by Esther Tang

By Amelia Calautti     10/31/18 12:14am

As November approaches and temperatures in Houston finally drop, expect cooler winds and dry air. While it’s nice not to  be drenched in sweat every time you step outside, this change in climate also transforms the texture and moisture of your hair and skin. Chilly days may leave your skin chapped and peeling, and your hair brittle and dull. Here are special winter beauty tips to combat the cold temperatures and leave you looking refreshed and vibrant. Disclaimer: Tips are based on personal experience and results can vary from person to person.

Pick the Right Face Wash

If your face is peeling or feeling tight or dry, your skin is probably being stripped of moisture. Switch your facial cleanser out for one with natural and calming ingredients, such as chamomile, rosewater or cucumber. If you can, avoid ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide — common in acne-fighting cleansers; these often leave skin extremely dry. Cream and oil cleansers are more gentle and hydrating on the skin. Micellar water is also an alternative to harsh formulas. 



Exfoliate

To get rid of flakes and illuminate dull skin, exfoliate once a week. By removing dead skin cells, your face will appear more glowy and have a smoother finish. Beware of exfoliating too often or too roughly, as this can strip the skin when excessive. Look for natural exfoliators instead of ones that include microbeads, as these are not biodegradable

Moisturize, Moisturize & Moisturize

Moisturizing is the most important step of a daily routine. Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, moisturizing twice daily is a necessity. Do it after washing your face in the morning and night, and don’t be skimpy! It leaves skin supple and soft, helps create a flawless base for makeup, protects the skin from cold winds and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. If you suffer from especially dry skin in the winter, switch to a thicker cream advertised for dry skin, and apply overnight moisture masks. Side note: Body lotion and face cream are not the same thing. Make sure you use a moisturizer specifically for the face.

Don’t Forget the Lips

The skin on your lips is one of the most sensitive and thin layers on the body. Chapped lips are no stranger to anyone, especially in the winter. Make sure you invest in a good chapstick, preferably one that includes beeswax, which retains moisture and acts as a protective layer over the lips. Apply generous amounts of petroleum jelly overnight on the lips and the corners of the mouth, as this skin is particularly prone to chapping. 

Ease Up on Washing

Suffer from oily roots but dry ends? This is a tell-tale sign that you overwash your hair. Avoid washing your hair everyday and refresh in between washes with dry shampoo at the roots and dry oil at the ends. Soon, your hair will adjust to fewer washes and produce less oil. Additionally, avoid washing the ends every time you shower. Shampoo only your scalp while still applying conditioner to the length and ends of your hair. Shampoo the entirety of your hair about two times a week. 

Go Sulfate-Free

Most shampoos include sulfate, which makes them sud. Sulfates open the hair cuticle to clean it, but can also strip it of essential oils, leaving hair brittle. Shampoos are still effective without sulfate, so switch to a natural shampoo that does not include this chemical (most commonly labeled as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), and instead look for ingredients that will smooth the hair cuticle, such as Moroccan oil or keratin. 

Pamper Your Strands

Show your hair some love with hair masks or leave-in-conditioners once a week. Apply hair gels, serums or creams to damp hair and hair oils to dry hair whenever you need a little pick-me-up. Pro-tip: Have a dire case of dry, frizzy hair but no hair product in sight? Rub a little lotion between your hands and lightly apply it to the hair in a downward motion to smooth over strands. 



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