Winters in New York are NO JOKE, especially for biddies like myself who need to be slathered in moisture 24/7 (lest we turn into one giant, dry flake and float off in the bitter winter wind…), but the good news is that wintertime means more downtime–or at least more time spent indoors–so it’s also a great opportunity for some super-serious TLC. And by TLC I do mean Tender Loving Care, but if you’re also gonna binge watch My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding and/or Say Yes to the Dress and/or 90 Day Fiancé, I am definitely in no position to judge…
So while you’e busy reducing your brain to gelatin in front of the TV or powering through your to-read list on Goodreads, take a second to take care of yourself. Buff away, moisturize, do a mask…don’t let winter have its way with you! Here are my picks for keeping your body supple and happy all winter long. Happy self-loving, y’all!
DIY Olive oil + tea tree oil hair mask
I suffer from pretty dry hair year-round, but wintertime in the Mid-Atlantic really does a number on my scalp. My scalp gets crazy dry, tight, itchy, and (ewwwwww) flaky if I’m not aggressively fighting the good fight. I’ve tried my fair share of scalp treatments but this DIY one is my favorite. It’s also super inexpensive! Mix one to two tablespoons olive oil with a few drops of tea tree oil in a bowl. Taking a dropper or applicator bottle, apply the mix to your scalp in sections. Massage into your scalp with your fingertips (I also like to comb it through my hair using a detangling comb). Put on a disposable shower cap, watch two episodes of SVU (and keep your fingers crossed that Benson will FINALLY have some lasting happiness with Tucker) or leave it on overnight, and then wash your hair with your regular shampoo and conditioner. Ta-da! Flake-free, itch-free, happy scalp and hair. If you’ve been suffering a more aggressive bout of scalp dryness, it might take 2-3 masks to completely clear it up, but you’ll notice a dramatic difference almost instantly.
This wunderproduct is great for EVERYTHING–hair, skin, cuticles, nails, emotional health, you name it–so of course I had to add it to this list. I use it all winter long to boost the moisturizing effects of everything I use, but I use it most consistently on my hair. After washing and applying leave-in conditioner, and before applying any other styling products, I apply argan oil from root to tip. Between washes I’ll rub a few drops into the ends of my hair to keep it frizz-free, shiny, and soft. Pro tip: you can get 100% organic argan oil at basically any health food store (hell, I get mine at Fairway) or online for much, much less than at a beauty supply store, and the results will be the same. It’s important to feel fancy, obviously, but don’t be ridiculous.
Karena + Katrina Beach Clay Sea Algae Mask
A clay mask that isn’t drying?! WHAT WITCHCRAFT IS THIS?!!!! I got this mask ($9.00, Toneitup.com) as a gift and I am absolutely in LOVE with it. It’s super soothing, which is a wonderful weekly treat after days of exposure to harsh elements. It smells a lil’ funky, but at least it smells WAY better than Lush’s BB Seaweed (also a great mask for winter dryness sufferers)($8.95, Lush stores). Weekly applications will keep your face balanced, clear, and happy. Just don’t forget to exfoliate first for maximum effect!
Hydrating vs. Moisturizing Skincare: Double Up!
PSA: there’s actually a distinction between “hydrating” and “moisturizing.” Hydration replenishes water, whereas moisturization replenishes oils. So if you’ve ever wondered why your skin is still dull, rough, flaky, or patchy no matter how much stuff you slather on, chances are you’re missing one or the other. Great news: it’s layering season, and that applies to your face, too! Personally, I like first applying a hydrating layer like First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum ($36.00, Sephora.com & Sephora stores) or Lush’s Eau Roma Water ($10.95, Lushusa.com & Lush stores) to a freshly-washed face that’s still slightly damp. After letting it set for a minute, I follow with a moisturizer like Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Face Oil ($54.00, Sephora.com & Sephora stores). This seals in the hydration and keeps the skin glowy and bouncy. Boom!
Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Lotion
I am in LOVE with Soap & Glory and this lotion ($12.00, Ulta.com & Ulta stores) is my absolute favorite (and now carried at Target, Ulta, and Walgreens, hooray!). I have dry AND sensitive skin, so usually anything fragranced is a no-no, but this sweet-smelling stuff doesn’t cause any irritation. It’s a noticeable fragrance, so definitely take a whiff before committing (though personally I LOVE the scent). It’ll leave your skin feeling baby-soft and smooth for a full 24 hours. Simply slather on fresh out of the shower and go.
Shea Moisture Olive & Green Tea Body Scrub
A hearty scrubbing with this stuff ($10.39, Target.com) leaves legs buttery smooth and oh-so-touchable. This scrub might be a bit heavy for warmer weather, but in the winter–when the thirst is at its realest–a tub of this stuff will keep your legs looking like Queen Mimi’s in her heyday (RIP)(too soon?)(here’s hoping…), aka glowy and smooth af (you can trash talk her NYE performance all you like, but back in the day, those legs were not PLAYIN)(just like her in-ear piece that fateful night)(too soon?).
Midwinter decadent bathtub baths are the very, very best. Nothing will get me through the evening commute faster than knowing there’s a hot bath on the other side! And it doesn’t take splurging on fancy oils and rose petals and soaps to do it, either. Sooth your cold bones and achy body in a restorative bath by tossing a Lush Butterball ($4.95, Lush.com & Lush stores) into your tub before sliding in. The heavenly vanilla scent will relax you as the cocoa butter in the bath bomb works its magic on your skin. Step out feeling 110% ready to take on the snow.
Ok. Go forth, be moisturized, and stay glo’d up this season.