It’s the time of the year when we are gearing up for our winter holiday getaways. But the thought of dry, itchy and flaky skin can put you off any thoughts of a splendid time outdoors in the cold. Here’s how to get travel and skin smart.
1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Your skin turns thirsty the moment you are airborne. We recommend doing a mask while you’re in flight – best time to do this is when the lights are off. If you are going to be in the thick of winter, your skin will be blasted by cold and very dry winds. To protect your skin, be sure to slather on a thicker layer of moisturizer. Lightweight yet with a creamy formulation, IDS Skincare IM Intensive Moisturizer, $100, is suitable for all skin types. This is also a good time to haul out balms, creams, butters and anything that sounds nourishing for the skin. Your must-have essentials should include lip balms or chap sticks, hand creams, facial oils, night creams and body butters. Consider switching your cleanser to a more moisturizing one like IDS Skincare C3 Cleansing Milk, $62. It is gentler, more hydrating and soothing for those with sensitive skin.
2. Hot baths
There’s nothing like winding down to a nice, long hot bath when the weather is cold outside. We get it. However, taking lengthy hot baths or showers can strip away the natural oils on your skin, leaving them drier than before. What to do? Try to limit your shower or bath to no more than 10 minutes and use lukewarm rather than steaming hot water. Alternatively, you may also add a few drops of skin-loving oils like olive or grape seed oils in your baths, leaving a moisturizing veil on the skin after the soak. We hear milk baths are also a good idea. When you’re out of the bath, pat dry instead of rubbing, and slather body moisturizer immediately when skin is still damp.
This isn’t just a product for summertime. Come rain or shine, you should be applying your sunscreen daily. In fact, if you’re up on the ski slopes, you’re even closer to the sun and that means greater damage to unprotected skin. Be more generous with the amount of sunscreen. If you’re not sure how much is enough, apply and reapply another layer of sunscreen to ensure there’s sufficient coverage. Don’t forget your ears and back of your hands too! Try: IDS Skincare S2 Non-Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++, $69.
4. Hands and feet
No doubt you may be keeping your hands warm in gloves, but there will be times when you will have to remove them. As it turns out, the skin on your hands are thinner than most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands as a result. This means that it is much harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold and dry weather. This often leads to itch, redness and cracking. If woollen gloves cause irritation, slip on a thin cotton glove first. For feet, apply a thick layer of moisturizer then slip on a pair of socks before you hit the sack.
Doing a face or body scrub may sound uncomfortable, even painful when skin is feeling tight and dry. Yet, this is still the best way to slough away surface dead skin to allow moisturizers to penetrate faster and deeper. Try an ultra-gentle exfoliator like IDS Skincare FS Facial Scrub, $62, that doesn’t feel too abrasive or irritate the skin. However, avoid this step if skin is sensitized by itch and sores.
6. Hair care
Just like your skin, winter can take its toll on your hair too. Give your locks some TLC with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and wash your hair every other day instead (this is perfectly OK in cold climates). If you are experiencing dry, flaky scalp, massage the scalp with vitamin E, olive, or coconut oil. These oils replenish natural scalp oils and can in turn moisturize dry hair too. If you can’t go without heat styling, opt for a tool that’s kinder to your hair. Before you blow-dry, apply leave-in conditioner or hair serum to protect your locks from heat damage. Need a quick fix for static in the hair? After applying your hand cream, lightly run hands through strands or run an unscented dryer sheet (no kidding!) over the hair before heading out. You may also want to switch to cotton hats as they conduct much less static electricity than acrylic and woollen ones.