6 winter grooming mistakes

As the seasons change, so should your beauty routine. “When it gets colder, you have lots of factors working against your skin: The humidity in the environment drops significantly, the wind speeds up, and the heat comes on, which all dry out your skin,” says New York City-based dermatologist Rosemarie Ingleton, M.D. Regardless of your skin type, it’s crucial to protect your barrier with some extra moisture. The same goes for your hair, which needs a little more TLC in dropping temperatures. Here’s what you might be doing wrong, plus dermatologist-approved tips and products to try.

Mistake #1: You’re using the wrong cold weather accessories.

“Wool can dry out the cuticle and can cause breakage,” Ingleton explains. Look for hats that are lined with fleece or silk, like Canada Goose Merino & Fleece Beanie, to keep hair hydrated and smooth. Switching to a silk pillowcase (try Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase) will also help prevent frizz and unlike cotton options, won’t strip hair of its natural oils while you sleep.

Mistake #2: You’re slathering on body lotion.

“Lotions are lighter and contain more water”—making them better for the summertime, whereas “creams have a higher oil content and are more hydrating,” says Mona Gohara, M.D., a dermatologist and associate clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. This goes for your body and facial moisturizer. For those with dry, sensitive skin, Ingleton suggests SkinMedica Replenish Hydrating Cream which contains soothing green tea, brightening vitamin C, and glycerin to lock in moisture. If you’re acne- or oil-prone, though, stick to a lighter, oil-free option like EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.

Mistake #3: You haven’t switched out your conditioner.

“The same thought process applies to your hair,” Gohara says. Swap in a heavier conditioner, with protein, such as Ouai Repair Conditioner, to strengthen the hair’s cuticle and prevent future damage. Also, use weekly deep conditioning keratin treatments (Ingleton suggests Aestelance Protein Mask) to combat static, frizz, dullness, and dryness—all results of dry winter air that sucks moisture and even color from your strands.

Mistake #4: You use oils the wrong way.

Face and body oils are great—but they shouldn’t be your number one moisturizing strategy. “The effect that an oil gives you is immediate,” says Ingleton. It gives you the sense of hydration on the surface, but it’s not lasting. “For long hydration, it’s crucial to layer,” Ingleton adds. Put your face (or body) oil on first, and then add in a moisturizer on top to lock in hydration.

Mistake #5: You wash your hair every day.

The biggest hair mistake you can make in the winter is to wash it every day, Gohara says. Your scalp’s natural oils are good for overall hair health, she explains, so it’s best to shampoo only when necessary. To remove post-workout sweat or dry shampoo build-up in between, rinse hair with just cold water for a refresh that will also help seal your hair cuticle for extra shine.

Mistake #6: You’re over-scrubbing.

When skin is already at a drier baseline from the weather, removing dead skin cells with a face or body scrub can cause irritation and even more dryness, according to Ingleton. Decrease your use to once per week and look for scrubs with a creamier texture, like Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Thermafoliant, which will add moisture back into the skin, Ingleton says.

Photo: Anna Dabrowska/thelicensingproject.com