As outdoor temps slip, shower temps rise. Both take a heavy toll on the health of your skin and hair. But that’s not winter’s only wear on your grooming regimen. Just ask board-certified dermatologist Kendra Watson, M.D., of Dakota Dermatology in Sioux Falls, SD, who knows something about cold, dark days: “Winter air is very dry, exceptionally cold, with whipping winds and high UV exposure,” she says, resulting in wind- and sunburn, breakouts, plus an itchy and brittle beard. Those baseline winter side effects are further exacerbated if you spend the season in high altitudes, or outside for extended periods. So, whether you’re on an alpine vacation or shoveling your driveway, a few types of winter grooming products can help better protect your skin, hair, and whiskers this season. Heed Watson’s advice, too.
Wear SPF—Even on Cloudy Days
The sun’s ultraviolet rays last all year, and no cloud coverage can stop them. Watson particularly warns of “rebound rays,” which reflect off snow or icy surfaces. Whether you’re at high altitudes or not, apply an SPF cover every day to prevent sunburn, dark spots, fine lines, and rough patches. “I tell patients to use SPF 30 or higher, and to reapply every 90 minutes or so,” she says.
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Hydrate Your Beard
Conditioning your whiskers daily will prevent beard itch, breakage, split ends, and even dandruff. Reach for a dedicated moisturizer—something free of coconut oil, Watson says, since it can clog pores and fuel yeast
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Use More Conditioner
To avoid dry, brittle hair this winter, follow a wash with a rejuvenating, hydrating conditioner with nutrients that will keep strands soft but strong. On days you do shampoo, Watson says to target the scalp to help strip away excess oil buildup.
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Recover With Balm
Recovery balm is a panacea for cracked hands, split lips, dry joints, and rough skin. Watson says they create the perfect barrier over the skin, to keep
moisture locked in, and to block out any threats (including bacteria, on top of all the harsh winter conditions). Choose one without fragrance, she says, to avoid additional irritation on your already susceptible skin.
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