December 8, 2016
At-home remedies for the skin and hair to combat winter's dry, cold effects
»By Kirsten Dobroth
They say all living creatures need to drink water at altitude in order to stay healthy and hydrated, and the body's hair and skin are no different. Parched tresses and cracked skin crave moisture throughout the winter months, and local hairstylists and aestheticians recommend simple fixes for long-lasting results.
For hair that's stressed from cold and dry winter conditions, hairstylist Becca Ciaffone, of Looking Good Salon in Avon, recommends washing less to promote a healthy scalp and nourished strands.
“One thing to work into your routine is going longer between washing,” she says. “That helps prevent hair from drying out — if you can go every three days without washing that’s ideal.”
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A deep conditioning mask in place of regular conditioner will help infuse hair with moisture, especially when combined with other reparative products, like hydrating shampoo and thermal protectant spray, to moisturize dry, brittle hair and protect it from the elements. Similarly, habits outside the shower are just as crucial for maintaining strong and healthy hair throughout the winter.
“Going to bed with wet hair or pulling your hair up when it’s wet is really damaging and leads to breakage,” says Ciaffone. “Snowy days on the mountain are also really tough on your hair, so put it in a braid to protect it.”
Ask your stylist about adding a deep conditioning or protein treatment to your regular trim, or try a monthly hair mask at home for a restorative experience.
Less is more when it comes to hydrating winter skin, according to Krissy Timlin of the Allegria Spa in Beaver Creek, and it all begins with what you're putting in to develop an outward glow.
“What's going on internally is going to be reflected on the outside,” she says. “Drinking water is important, but make sure you’re getting enough good, healthy fats — coconut, olive oil and flaxseeds — throughout the day, too.”
When it comes to developing a regular skincare regimen, start with a weekly exfoliant to scrub off dead layers of skin, before applying a daily moisturizer. Timlin recommends using all natural and organic products, as harsh cleansers can strip the skin of essentials oils and cause breakouts.
"I'm a huge advocate of using all organic and natural products and keeping it simple," she says. "The skin is our body's largest organ; everything we put on it is going to be absorbed into the body, so we need to be conscious about what we're using and give it lots of love."
Try Manuka honey for a morning cleanser — your skin will thank you for its soothing, anti-bacterial properties — before applying coconut oil as an all-over body butter. For the ultimate body-nourishing treatment, invest in a drybrush, which buffs off dull layers of skin and boosts circulation, and apply a layer of coconut oil before showering to lock in moisture. Pair regular, gentle cleansing and hydration with a daily antioxidant serum and sunscreen to seal in anti-aging benefits.
"I definitely promote the use of physical sunscreens — those where the main ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide," says Timlin. "It’s not that white, pasty sunscreen that people think anymore. And, zinc has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well, so it's even great for people who break out.”
Avocado Protein hair Mask
Avocado and extra virgin olive oil naturally saturate hair with moisture, while egg yolks infuse strands with protein. Mix 2 egg yolks, 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and half of a ripe avocado. Work into hair and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and wash as usual.
Honey Avocado Yogurt Face Mask
Yogurt contains lactic acid, which naturally softens skin, and honey and avocado moisturize and brighten for a healthy complexion. Mix half an avocado, 1 tablespoon raw, organic honey, and 1 tablespoon plain yogurt until mostly smooth. Spread a thick layer over skin and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water before applying your favorite, natural moisturizer.
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