Winter Beauty: 8 skin and hair saviours

By Karen Kwan

As sporty stars like Elle Macpherson and Kim Kardashian West hit the slopes this winter, it isn’t a new set of goggles or furry outerwear that’s caught our eye – it’s their glowing skin. And just because Canadian temperatures are dipping well below zero (especially with the wind chill!), it doesn’t mean we can’t ride out the rest of winter with the hope of looking as rosy and hydrated as our favourite A-listers out and about in New York or skiing in Aspen. In fact, there are plenty of winter beauty saviours to help your skin and hair survive – and even thrive – this chilly season.

Photo: © Keystone

BODY BASICS

"In the winter, the weather with the wind and dry air dehydrates the skin, and the heating in our homes adds to making skin dull, flaky and even pink and itchy," says Toronto Dermatology Centre’s Benjamin Barankin. "Plus, we layer up clothes and sweat, then remove those layers and this cycle further dehydrates us." Resist cranking up that thermostat too much (the heat will parch your skin), plus Dr. Barankin recommends using a humidifier set to 40 percent humidity in your bedroom every night to help ease your skin’s dryness.

Although lounging in a hot tub or sauna may look enticing on The Bachelor and icy temperatures have our bodies crying out for the comfort of a steamy soak, limit hitting the heat too often. "These will strip precious oils from your skin," says Dr. Barankin. Opt for body creams rather than lotions, and apply immediately after patting dry post-bath. "Evaporation is your skin's worst enemy," he says, so you want to lock that moisture in right away.

Photo: © Getty

FACE FIXES

Your complexion may suffer at the hands of wind and frigid temperatures, with already-tender skin becoming more irritated if you wash with drying soap or frequently slather on anti-aging or acne products. Dr. Barankin recommends replacing your bar soap (which tend to have a high pH, a no-no for tender skin) with a mild cream cleanser. Also, halve how often you use wrinkle and pimple fighters (and how much product you use each time!) that feature ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salycylic acid, glycolic acid, rein-A and vitamin A, to alleviate excessive inflammation.

HEAL YOUR HAIR

Your hair, too, is likely lacking moisture thanks to the cold, dry air, says Toronto-based hairstylist Greg May of Greg May Hair Architects, a favourite of stars like Jennie Garth and Fefe Dobson. He recommends a conditioning treatment (look for ones feature moisture-locking ingredients such as almond or coconut oil) every two weeks. “Blow drying and heat styling with a leave-in conditioner, too, will also help nourish dry hair and will help control static.” May recommends looking for ones containing ingredients such as argan oil, linseed oil and keratin.

Looking to kick your beauty regimen up a notch for the tail end of winter? Check out our gallery of 8 products to help you do it!

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