Christmas and New Years Eve are upon us with a ton of parties planned for work, friends and family the world over. If you are attending a holiday party this year you want to make the best appearance you can. Which means you have to do some skin and hair prep to combat the damage that the cold outdoor air and dry indoor heating has done. I know you already spent a ton of money on your knockout dress for the event so don't worry, this prep won't cost you much.
Remember how you had to get your skin primed for summer? Well some extra priming is needed for these cold months which can even make oily skin feel drier. These tips will help keep your skin soft and hair well conditioned just in time for your holiday party and for the duration of the winter season.
Moisture Prep for Your Skin
- Stop bathing, washing hair and washing hands in hot water. I know hot water feels oh-so-good on those cold mornings hitting our skin, but that hot water also dries our skin out. Stick to warm showers and baths. For bathing you can possibly stand to have the water slightly warmer than your shower if you pour a few drops of bath oil or baby oil in the water. Hot water also dries hair out on top of harsh shampoos that are often used to cleanse it.
- Lock in moisture after bathing and washing hands. While skin is still wet or damp, you need to lock in moisture to better help your body lotions and cream maintain your skin's softness. Oils are the best way to seal in moisture after bathing and washing hands. There are plenty of body oils available like Village Naturals Bath Shoppe White Tea and Jasmine Bath and Body Oil. However, the cheapest and best oil to use on skin is baby oil which can be purchased at most local dollars for a $1.00. Apply the oil to wet or damp skin and pat skin dry with a towel. Follow with a moisturizer that has ingredients suitable for dry skin. Your hands also need oil after each washing. At home I keep a spray bottled filled with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) nearby and pump a spray of it in my palm to keep my hands from drying out and cracking. When I am away from home I will mix a few drops of EVOO in with my hand lotion. You can also mix in a few drops of your bath or baby oil in your body lotion. Throughout the day you may still need to reapply lotion to keep skin soft and smooth.
- Don't forget your feet. I've read over the years about how at night you can increase the moisture level of your feet to prevent cracked heels and other dry skin problems of the feet by moisturizing feet well and wearing socks. This would help me sometimes but as I've gotten older I notice the sock thing actually helps to make my feet feel drier. It's no wonder, besides keeping feet warm in the winter, socks also are made to absorb moisture. We don't see it that way because the moisture they are supposed to absorb is sweat. However, it also can absorb the moisture of your lotions, creams, etc. What I found to be useful to increase the moisture level in my feet is to:
- At night, apply foot cream at night, then smooth on petroleum jelly to seal.
- After that I wrap my feet in clear, plastic wrap. This part may seem weird however, plastic will not absorb the moisture from the feet but acts like another sealant to help your feet retain moisture.
- Then I follow with my socks. This should only be done at night because the plastic wrap makes your feet do a little slip and slide inside your socks which can be dangerous if your walking around town like that. At least in your home you have more objects around you help you catch your balance.
- Last tip for skin - sunscreen. Yes the sun can still do damage to your skin in the winter so use a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Keep Hair Well Conditioned to Create Beautiful Holiday Hairstyles
- Shampoo one to three times a week. If you wash your hair everyday you don't need to use shampoo for each washing. Limit the use of shampoos to once to three times a week. Shampooing, requires the use of a detergent to lather and remove oil and other buildup from the hair. The harshest shampoos are those containing sulfates as they tend to strip more moisture from hair than non-sulfate shampoos. Unless you have an oily scalp that makes your hair oily and greasy looking, then you do not need to shampoo every day. On your non-shampoo days rinse hair with warm water and follow with a light, rinse-out conditioner. Or you can use a dry shampoo like Got2b Rockin' It Dry Shampoo or if you set on being a Victoria Secret Angel then you can spend a little extra for Victoria Secret So Sexy Style Clean and Go Dry Shampoo.
- When you do shampoo, pre-poo! A pre-poo or pre-shampoo treatment can be anything as simple as a hot oil treatment to a deep treatment conditioner applied to the hair before you shampoo. Pre-poos help to protect hair from the drying detergents of shampoos so less moisture is stripped from hair and they also help hair that tangles and knots easily from getting that way after shampooing. You can use olive oil as a hot oil treatment (I prefer EVOO) or you can turn your regular conditioner into a pre-poo by adding a hair loving oil (olive, avocado, sweet almond or coconut), egg yolk or mayonnaise. Depending on your hair texture and how dry it is you may just need to add an oil or you may need to add all three. You may be surprised at the hair loving ingredients you may already have in your kitchen to help get your hair back in great condition.
- After washing and conditioning your hair follow with a cool or cold water rinse. The cool water will close your hair cuticle trapping the moisture your conditioner just added inside the hair shaft.
- Wring excess water from hair and blot hair dry with an old t-shirt, absorbant paper towels or wrap hair in a microfiber hair turban.
- While hair is still damp, seal it with an oil or hair serum before you finish air drying or heat styling your hair. The oil and serum will better help trap moisture in hair and give your hair shine. If you heat style it provides an extra barrier of heat protection for your hair.
- Limit the use of heat on your hair. If you choose to do a blow out, do not follow with the flat iron the same day. Use your flat iron for touch ups on the days after your blow out.
These tips for skin and hair will help you maintain moisture so that you look beautiful this holiday season and throughout the cold winter months. Remember dry, cracked skin and frizzy, straw-like hair will leave an impression this season, just not a good one. So stay moisturized and looking beautiful this season!
Image Credits: Victoria Secret Inc./vspressroom