Ahh.. November! Colorful falling leaves, crisp air & the oh so familiar sense of urgency to begin your holiday planning. Its the busiest time of year for most folks & many would agree that its equally the most stressful. Not to add to your already occupied mind, but you may want to think about that cocktail of breezy weather & pressed for time stress that you’re tossing back. WebMD reports that over 80% of people experience dry/irritated skin in the colder months. Most show these symptoms on their hands, face & scalp. Add all the stressors of the busy season to that & these problematic dry zones will only get worse!
No need to panic! You should save those emotions for fighting the lines at Target & Best Buy come the 23rd this month!
Here are the 3 best (and easiest!) ways to fight against the dry, patchy & irritating condition:
Yep. We’re starting off that simple. Did you know that your skin’s pores actually respond to your shower temperature? The higher the heat, the more open & receptive your pores are. Just the opposite occurs when the water temp is increasingly cooler. In an article for Women’s Health, Sejal Shah, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, explained that “hot water strips the skin of its natural oils leading to dry, itchy skin.” So there you go, the easiest fix this Autumn/Winter is to simply cool off your shower & face wash routine. Not too hot, not too cold water temps even just a couple days a week can dramatically improve your skin/scalp’s moisture levels!
2. Moisturizer vs. Lotion…?
Is there a difference? You bet! Heres the break down:
Lotions have the most added ingredients. Why? Because they are placed toward the water end of the spectrum. The higher the water content, the easier it is for bacteria to form. To combat this, preservatives (like parabens, benzyl alcohol or salicylic acid) are used. Fragrances are then often added to mask the scent of these ingredients. This is why we normally use lotion for the body and heavier products on our (more sensitive) faces & scalps. These additions aren’t necessarily harmful to the skin but its certainly not the best way to treat you skin day in & out. A true moisturizer is going to be much more suitable for this time of year.
Moisturizers are a spectrum from water to vaseline with lotions, creams and ointments being varying combinations of the two. In fact, most product lines carry two or more forms of a moisturizer, such as one cream form and one liquid form, to satisfy every skin type. Moisturizers use a mixture of oil and water soluble components to restore the outermost layer of the skin to its natural condition. You’ll find common emollients such as petroleum jelly and mineral oil, plus waxes used to thicken the creams and seal in moisture. A moisturizer will be the most pure & effective way to repair & prevent dry skin on the face & scalp!
3. Shampoo & Conditioner
For starters, did you know that over-washing your hair can actually cause your scalp to become dry and itchy? Unless you just produce a TON of scalp oils, daily shampooing is not a good idea. Decrease your shampoo regimen to every other day. Simply rinsing with warm water should be plenty to remove the surface styling products & give you a fresh start.
The ingredients DO matter! Stock up on shampoos & conditioners infused with oils and other nourishing ingredients like aloe vera & jojoba oil. Avoid products with too many chemicals that could worsen your problem such as Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Parabens & Synthetic Fragrances. Its a lot to keep up with, so its best to intrust a professional Barber &/or Stylist (like the those over at Stephen Gregory) to help you choose the best product for you!