Weather alerts have been issued, 500 flights have been cancelled, a foot of snow is predicted to drop…can someone please remind me why I live in Chicago? As I write this post grounded in my apartment, this latest snowstorm is just another reminder of how unforgiving winter weather can be. While a snow scraper can dig your car out of trouble, it takes some serious tools to keep the cold from sucking skin dry, cracking lips and wrestling hair into a flat pancake. Here are some of my best winter-weather remedies.
For scaly, itchy legs: Hot water is drying so normally I’d say to reduce the water temp when you shower. However, when you’ve got a chill in your bones and there’s no fireplace to cozy up to, sometimes a scalding shower is the lesser of two evils. Just counteract dryness with a good lotion. Once you’re out of the shower, don’t dry off completely. Moisturizer absorbs best when applied to damp skin. Choose one with ingredients such as urea, glycerin or Shea butter. While there are many fancy schmancy brands on the market, I’ve found that the simple meat-and-potato formulas like Burt’s Bees Thoroughly Therapeutic, Honey and Shea Butter, Body Butter, get the job done.For a chapped face: Try all you want, but makeup won’t hide flakes, cracks or redness. Face cream is necessary to keep skin conditioned in the cold. I’ve tried loads of potions over the years, and I’ve had the most success with the oldies but goodies. My picks: The extra thick La Mer Moisturizing Crème for the face and the all-purpose Aquaphor, which is just as heavenly on lips, cuticles, and according to one loyal BG reader, the eyes.For straw hair: When the life is drained from your locks it’s time to bring out the big guns – deep conditioning masks. For the most effective, longest-lasting results (up to a month), get a professional salon conditioning treatment. Typically, this consists of a shampoo, hair mask application, and then a chill-out session for about 30 minutes under a heat lamp while the moisture seeps into the follicles. Factor in a hearty head massage somewhere along the way and you leave with a relaxed mane and mind. If you choose the DIY route, there are plenty of deep conditioning masks available. My favorite is the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, which is the at-home version of the Philip Kingsley hair clinic’s incredible pro service. Just apply it to dry strands, pop on a shower cap and then do your regular thing in the shower. After 10 minutes, rinse out and condition as usual. Now go bundle and beautify!