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Is Winter Making You Ugly?

Dry, pale skin, brittle hair, chapped lips: If there’s one thing we know about winter, it’s that the season is most certainly not conducive to lush and natural beauty. As the cold comes on and bronzed summer skin fades away, it seems as if everyone loses their natural glow in short order. Beachy waves turn to split ends, and before you know it, you’re feeling as gray as the gloom outdoors.

You’re not imagining things. Winter climates are actually not very conducive to many of the features that we consider beautiful or the aesthetic ideals we strive for. Soft, glowing skin? Well, as Jennifer King points out, “The cold, dry weather of winter is ruinous to skin, turning your peachy complexion into something resembling a reptile. In fact, you may be left with skin you wish you could shed. Skin becomes rough, flaky and itchy and some people can even develop eczema in which the skin becomes inflamed. Heaters and hot showers can often add to the problem.” Long, healthy hair? Well, it’s tough to have luscious locks when the lack of moisture in the air strips hair of essential oils which contribute to shine and lustre.

If you don’t change up your beauty routine during the wintertime, the editorial unit at The Upcoming characterizes it as if you’re wearing shorts during the summer: “It’s basic common sense to adapt your wardrobe accordingly for the season, and yet most of us forget to change up our beauty routine at the same time, despite the fact that the winds and rains which dictate winter attire can also drastically impact our skin.”

So, this year, fight the flakiness and aspire to radiance and glow, even when you feel like you’d rather be succumbing to the temptation of skipping a beauty routine and curling up with Netflix.

Step 1: Find a good lip balm. This step might seem like a no-brainer, but remember that your lips are one of the most prominent features of the face. A searing Jezebel article in 2015 was half-joking, half-serious when writer Erin Gloria Ryan wrote that “Few needs in this world are more pressing than the need to urinate, defecate, sneeze, or scratch an itch. But I’d offer that the need to address chapped lips trumps them all.” Winter exacerbates chapped lips, thanks to all that dry air. So, find a chapstick that’s viscous, not waxy. Skip the balms with lanolin or fragrances, especially if you have scented skin, and if it’s named after a candy, there’s a very high chance that you’re not choosing the most effective lip balm out there. Ask your local drug store to recommend a moisturizing balm with extra oomph for winter, or choose a standard go-to like Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. If you’re on a budget, classic Vaseline will serve you well, too.

Step 2: Snag A Spray Tan. The days of tanning beds might be long gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a little bronzing during the winter. According to a study, 72% of Americans think that people look better when tan, and it’s kind of true: There’s just something about having a glow instead of pale, haven’t-seen-the-sun-in-three-months translucent skin. So, give yourself the gift of sunless tanning. Make sure that you get your tan somewhere that it’ll be applied by a professional in a natural color: There’s nothing worse than an overly orange spray tan! You want to strive for what the Carrillon Clinic (anti-aging and skin clinic, who also specialize in Minneapolis hormone therapy) describes as such: “Our product provides a natural color for any skin type in 15-30 minutes and lasts 5-7 days…we see no “orange” color development, just a nice bronze tone that can be customized as light or dark as you prefer…by allowing a professional to apply the spray solution, you can ensure a flawless, even application.” Count us in!

Step 3: Choose the Right Colors. Your white-blonde highlights might look great in the summer, says beauty writer Julie Giusti, but they can “highlight the wrong things in the winter–such as an ashy, pallid complexion. Same goes for a too-dark single-process.” So, if you’re a blond, shoot for lowlights and highlights that can give your hair a warmer look without making you look pale. If you’re a light brunette, think about deepening your color to a warm chestnut color. No matter what you do, don’t go more than two shades lighter or darker. Even if you’ve got a great spray tan during every day of the week, it’s easy to over-emphasize pale winter skin, which is not the goal.

What are we missing? Do you add any other steps to your winter beauty routine? Leave a comment in the section below!

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