It’s cold outside—the forecast calls for some serious bundling up with that special someone. A girl’s gotta look hot too, so I’ve put together a list of ways to winterize your beauty routine while your love life steams up.
A Cold Shower
When you’ve just jumped out of a warm bed, a hot shower sounds tempting. Be careful, though; staying under warm water for more than ten minutes can dry out your skin. Shower together with lukewarm water, then moisturize each other’s bodies while your skin is still a bit wet. Wrap up in a warm towel and let the moisture absorb into your skin. Do this daily and you’ll start each day off right and free of flaky, itchy skin.
Tip: Look for moisturizers that include argan oil, shea butter and avocado to help replenish the protective oils that are often lost as a result of cold, dry winter air.
Or a Warm Bath
At the end of the day, unwind by taking a romantic warm bath for two, adding oatmeal and essential oil to the bathwater to treat tight, itchy and dry skin. The oats contain hydrating fats that can calm and nourish irritated skin.
Tip: Stick with colloidal oatmeal (colloidal means “finely ground”). You can find it in most drugstores, or you can grind it yourself. Spoon the ground oatmeal into a piece of muslin, add a few drops of essential oil (I like lavender for relaxation) and tie the muslin piece off with a ribbon or rubber band. Drop into the water and enjoy!
The sun may go down sooner in winter, but that doesn’t mean its rays are any less harmful. Make sure you’re still applying sunscreen daily to protect your skin.
Tip: If you’re looking to save time on your beauty routine, invest in a moisturizer that switch hits. Some tinted foundations and body moisturizers contain sunscreen.
Still, shorter winter days mean less time available to soak up vitamin D3, the super vitamin that is synthesized when the sun’s rays fall on exposed skin. Adequate vitamin D helps minimize acne, boost the skin’s elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance radiance and lessen the appearance of fine lines.
Tip: To compensate for the lost rays, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D through your diet or a supplement. Foods rich in vitamin D include canned salmon (a 3-ounce serving provides a whopping 127% of your daily value), oysters (also known to have aphrodisiac properties) and eggs.
Besides blocking cold air and wind, cute tights and leggings help retain moisture and thus keep the skin on your legs soft and supple. Plus, who doesn’t look great in black tights?Wool sweaters provide great protection against the cold, but for some people regular wool is too itchy. That’s where cashmere comes in, my friend. The wool of a particular breed of goat that’s softer to start with and finished for an even smoother feel, high-quality cashmere is more expensive, but invest in one or two luxe items (a sweater and gloves or sweater and hat combo) and you’ll be set for winter’s coldest days.
Tip: If you’re budget-conscious, choose polyester; it’s made of tightly woven fibers that keep you warm and cozy.
Kiss My Face and Lips
Not all lip treatments are created equal. Ingredients such as phenol, menthol and formaldehyde can perpetuate a condition known as lip balm addiction—a cycle of constantly peeling, tight and dry lips. Stick with natural ingredients instead. Here’s my year-round beauty secret for keeping lips kissable: Lovely Lips Trio by Ellela Cosmetics. The trio includes a lip scrub, moisturizer and balm—all for less than twenty bucks. Click here to take a look.
Tip: For a DIY lip treatment, combine coconut oil with a little sugar and a drop of honey to exfoliate your lips. Sugar is a natural humectant that retains moisture in your skin long after it’s wiped off, honey has healing properties and coconut oil is a fabulous moisturizer. After exfoliating, apply petroleum jelly at night before going to sleep. Nighttime is the best time to moisturize dry skin and lips because while you’re sleeping, your skin goes into healing mode, making it receptive to moisture that helps repair damaged skin cells.
Dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different things. Dry skin is caused by a lack of production of protective oils. Dehydrated skin means there is a loss of body fluids on a cellular level. Since our bodies depend on water, if we don’t drink enough of it we starve our skin of moisture, making it even more vulnerable to outside factors like cold, sun and wind.
Tip: Make it a habit to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily—even during the winter—to keep your lips, skin and body properly hydrated. If you weigh 120 pounds, that’s 60 ounces of water a day.
While it’s tempting to wash your hands under hot water when it’s cold outside, it’s not a good idea for your hands. Combining cold hands with hot water is a recipe for dry, cracked, even bleeding skin in the wintertime. Wash them in lukewarm water instead and gently pat them dry.
Tip: Show your hands and fingers extra love, especially around the cuticles, with lotions and moisturizers containing vitamins B, C and E. Wear gloves inside when washing dishes or cleaning and outside when the temperature drops.
Working out raises your metabolic rate. And in the winter staying warm requires extra energy, which means you’ll expend more calories in the cold than you do when it’s warm outside. Although you may be tempted to stay in and enjoy bedroom sports, get outside too, and have some fun in the snow. Think about activities like ice-skating, sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding.
My final tip: Grab your significant other, wrap yourselves up in a cashmere blanket and snuggle on the sofa, sipping hot chocolate watching a classic love story like The Notebook. That’s what I’ll be doing!