Winter’s a tough time for hair and skin care. With the cold weather comes cracked skin, brittle hair, and chapped lips. Here, we go through a few possible issues you may encounter this winter, and the simple DIY solutions that will help you along

Reminder: This article offers advice for occasional symptoms associated with cold weather. If you experience any of these symptoms on a constant or painful level, consult your doctor.

Dandruff

If your shoulders are covered with small pale colored flecks, then chances are you probably have dandruff. Dandruff is small flecks of dead skin that fall from the scalp. Most often, the scalp will become itchy, with more dandruff falling the more the scalp is scratched. While there are a few different causes behind dandruff , the dry air of winter weather mixed with the heat of the indoors is a common cause.

Treatments:

Many shampoos are especially made to help with dandruff and a dry scalp. These shampoos should contain one or more of the in following ingredients:

  • Pyrithione zinc
  • Coal tar (also called tar-based)
  • Salicylic acid
  • Selenium sulfide
  • Ketoconazole

Some hair cleaners that contain one or more of these ingredients include: Head and Shoulders,  Jason Dandruff Relief, Neutrogena T/Gel, Neutrogena T/Sal, and Selsun Blue.

For a natural remedy, try using apple cider vinegar. Dilute the vinegar with water inside a spray bottle (⅓ apple cider vinegar, ⅔ water) and spray the scalp in sections, massaging the scalp gently once done. Leave on for 15 to 25 minutes, and wash out with shampoo. Be sure to wash thoroughly, since apple cider vinegar can leave a strong scent.

Dry eyes

Cold, windy weather causes many eyes to go dry. While dry eyes can be a symptom of a larger problem, dry eyes experienced every now and then when the weather gets rough are no big deal.

Treatments

Over-the-counter eye drops like artificial tears work great for dry eyes. These can include GenTeal Gel and Systane Ultra. Never use eye drops meant to help with redness for dry eyes. They can cause irritation. If you experience severe dry eyes, avoid eye drops with preservatives, which include Refresh and TheraTear .

Chapped lips

Everyone experiences chapped lips, it’s just something we all have to deal with. But, be careful when choosing a lip balm or chapstick. Certain balms contain irritants that actually further damage your lips.

Treatments

Always look for an emollient lip balm, which is a fancy way of saying a moisturizing one. The best lip balms are the ones without many frills, that focus on just moisturizing the lips. Avoid balms that are scented with ingredients like menthol and peppermint. Instead, look for balms that contain moisturizers like coconut or olive oil and waxes. And, when in doubt, just use plain shea butter or vaseline. They’re cheap and effective.

If your lips are cracking, try this DIY exfoliant: mix together equal parts brown sugar and olive oil, then rub gently onto the lips for a few minutes. Wash off and apply lip balm immediately after for moisturized, softer lips.

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