It’s no secret that the winter months can wreak havoc on skin and hair. The seemingly constant wind, rain, and freezing cold temperatures do plenty to strip away essential natural oils, leaving hair dry and brittle and skin parched, flaky, and more prone to breakouts. Throw indoor heating into the mix, and you might find yourself in a pickle.

Why, oh, why? If you’re battling the elements this winter, there are a couple of saving graces that you might want to add to your beauty routine. Making use of the right restorative products can balance out the winter damage and help you maintain your shiny locks and smooth, baby-plump skin.

What does winter do to the skin?

There are plenty of reasons to love winter, from cosy nights beside the fire to mulled wine and sparkling lights. But there are some drawbacks to the dark, cold weather that we experience in the UK. Our least favourite of these is the effect that winter can have on our skin. Dry, flaky, sun-deprived skin isn’t something we strive for, and while there are some things you can do to fight the inevitable, you might have to accept it to a certain extent.

To reduce the effects of cold weather on your skin, you’ll need to get serious about your winter skincare routine.

How to keep skin healthy in winter

There are several things you can to minimise winter’s effect on your skin. With the right equipment and a little effort, there’s no reason you can’t cruise through the season with a glowing complexion.

Winterproof your home

You might be thinking about moisturisers, oils, and serums, and while those products do play a big part in winterproofing your skin, the best place to start is your home environment.

The drier the air around you, the drier your skin will be. Obviously, there’s nothing you can do about the outside air (we wish), but you can control the humidity inside your home. Consider buying a humidifier for your bedroom, or the room where you spend most of your time. Humidifiers increase the amount of moisture in the air, helping keep skin hydrated like it usually is in the balmy summer months.

Hydrate your skin through your diet

Diet plays an important role in the skin’s health and appearance, and foods containing healthy fats can help to improve the condition of dry skin. This means fuelling up on things like avocado, oily fish, nuts, chia seeds, and extra virgin olive oil. You should be drinking plenty of water, too, but we didn’t need to tell you that.

On the other end of the scale, things like alcohol, coffee, and caffeine can cause dehydration. While it can be hard staying away from the coffee during dark winter days, it’s recommended that you try to make the sacrifice if you’re concerned about your skin’s hydration.

Exfoliate

A little dry skin is inevitable in winter. Keep its effects to a minimum by buffing flakes away with a gentle exfoliator two to three times a week. Choose a product with a mild formula to keep sensitive skin happy and concentrate on areas prone to dryness like your nose and forehead.

Start using a heavier moisturiser

Light moisturisers have their place in summer, but when things start to dry out in the colder months, you’ll need a little more support from your product. This is one of the most important steps in treating dry skin, so don’t skip it!

Choose a heavy cream moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid. Use it morning and night to keep skin ultra-hydrated and peachy.

Perfect your bedtime routine

The key to healthy-looking, hydrated skin day after day is the perfect nighttime routine.

Hot showers are tempting in winter, but exposure to the warm water for more than a couple of minutes can add to your skin’s dehydration. Keep the temperature mild or limit your time in the water to help your skin maintain its natural oils. Switch your regular shower gel or soap for a gentle formula and apply a thick layer of moisturiser almost as soon as you step out.

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and slather on an eye cream, followed by your heavy winter moisturiser. You might also want to turn your attention to other parts of your body before you sleep too, applying hand cream and lip therapy before you go to sleep.

All this might seem like a lot, but when the reward is healthy, glowing skin, we think it’s worth the effort!

What does winter do to hair?

Like its effect on the skin, wintery weather and indoor heating can dry hair out by stripping away the natural oils we love. Thankfully, there are plenty of tricks and products that can help battle the cold and keep locks looking great through winter.

Be careful with scarves and layers

We’d never suggest you leave your favourite scarf behind on a chilly winter morning, but have you ever thought about what those woolly layers are doing to your hair? When you throw on a scarf or sweatshirt and don’t untuck your hair, leaving it trapped between your layers, it’s subjected to unnecessary friction which can cause dryness and damage.

Try tying your hair into a soft bun beneath your scarf, keeping it safe from the elements but also avoiding friction from your layers.

Shampoo less

To help keep your hair hydrated and healthy, consider cutting back the frequency of washes. When you shampoo your hair, you clean away grease, dirt, and built-up oils from your scalp. Doing this too often, particularly in winter, can cause your hair and scalp to dry out unnecessarily.

Try to go an extra day between washes, wearing your hair in a neat up-do if you don’t feel good with it down. The weekends and days off can be perfect for this, and your hydrated hair will certainly thank you!

Deep condition once a week

Revitalise your hair with a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Choose a product that helps strengthen and moisturise. Simply sink into a warm bath, slather on your deep conditioner, and enjoy ten minutes of relaxation while the product does its work.

Use a nourishing oil

We love serums for summer, but when the days are long and cold, your hair will need a little more intense TLC. Choose a nourishing hair oil and apply a few drops straight after a wash. You can then dry and style your hair as normal. The oil will help minimise frizz and static, protect from heat damage, and keep your hair hydrated against the wind and rain. You can also finish off your look with a few drops of oil for extra silky softness.

Searching for more winter survival tips? Keep exploring the Fragrance Direct blog and discover the tips and tricks that’ll see you through the season.