If you’ve worked hard to build a sustainable skin and hair care routine from scratch, you might not be looking forward to a change in the seasons. Frigid temperatures, strong winds and dry indoor air can be extra harsh on your skin and hair, leading to dull locks and dry, flaky skin. As a result, the sustainable products that worked for you in August and September may be ineffective come wintertime.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to show your body and the planet some extra love around this time of the year. From rethinking your daily showering habits to switching to a hydrating shampoo bar, check out our top eight tips for a more sustainable skin and hair care routine this winter.
1. Ditch Bottled Shampoo for a Nourishing Shampoo Bar
Winter weather is damaging enough on your hair without adding oil-stripping sulfates to the mix. Instead of bottled shampoo, reach for a plastic-free shampoo bar loaded with hydrating, plant-based ingredients.
On top of being better for your scalp and hair, shampoo bars are also better for the environment because they come package-free. For maximum moisturization and protection against the elements, pair your shampoo bar with a smoothing conditioner bar.
2. Exfoliate Your Lips with a Toothbrush
One of the more annoying things about winter is dealing with dry, chapped lips. Your lips don’t have oil glands, so they’re more susceptible to harsh winter weather. Luckily, there’s a simple and sustainable beauty hack that can help you avoid this all-too-common problem.
The next time you’re brushing your teeth, wet your lips with warm water and gently brush your lips with your toothbrush to exfoliate them. (Bonus points if you brush with bamboo.) Exfoliate your lips once a week and follow up with a moisturizing lip balm for a smooth, moisturized kisser all season long.
3. Take Shorter, Lukewarm Showers
Taking a long, hot shower may feel heavenly, but it’s not doing your skin or the planet any favors. According to the experts, taking a too-hot shower can strip the natural oils from your skin, leading to irritation and flakiness. Spending a long time in the shower is also bad for the environment given the excessive water and energy consumption.
You can avoid harming the planet and your skin by taking lukewarm showers and cutting back on your showering time. If you’re struggling to take a shorter shower, try setting a timer or listening to a five-minute song.
4. Try a Facial Cleansing Bar
If your face feels itchy and bone-dry in the winter, you might want to take a closer look at your facial cleanser. More often than not, drugstore cleansers contain a slew of oil-stripping ingredients that dry out the skin and make your acne worse. For a smoother, healthier complexion, switch to a hydrating facial cleansing bar.
While these cleansers may look like your average bar of soap, they’re packed with nourishing, plant-based ingredients (think rose water, French green clay) that gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Plus, they’re packaged entirely plastic-free!
5. Deep Condition Your Hair with a Homemade Treatment
Dry air, frigid temperatures and strong winds can zap the moisture from your scalp and hair, making it prone to brittleness and breakage. To restore moisture to your dehydrated locks, commit to a weekly deep conditioning hair treatment.
Instead of buying a deep conditioner from a plastic bottle, though, consider making your own deep conditioner at home.
• Mix ½ avocado, 1 cup Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Apply to your hair and rinse out after 20 minutes
6. Soak Your Cuticles in Olive Oil
Is there any winter skin issue more annoying than dry, cracked cuticles? Not only do they ruin your otherwise perfect holiday-themed manicure, but they can also be downright painful. The good news is that healing your dry cuticles is a pretty quick fix.
The best part is that you don’t need any fancy products! The only ingredient you need is probably sitting in your kitchen pantry right now: olive oil.
To moisturize your cuticles, fill a small bowl with olive oil and soak each hand for at least 10 minutes, perhaps while you’re watching TV or listening to a podcast. On top of making your nails and cuticles look amazing, this small act of self-care doubles as a stress-reliever.
7. Add a Face Oil to Your Skincare Routine
During the cold, blustery months, protecting and repairing your skin barrier is essential. One way to keep your skin hydrated and smooth all winter long is to apply face oil to your face and neck.
Unlike serums that go underneath your other skin care products, face oils should be the last step in your routine. This is because face oils are meant to form a protective barrier over the skin to help lock in much-needed moisture.
When choosing a face oil for winter, keep your skin type in mind. If you have acne-prone skin, stick to a lightweight face oil that won’t cause breakouts, like rosehip oil or squalene. Is your skin parched year-round? Opt for a face oil that’s high in fatty acids, such as avocado or hemp seed oil.
8. Choose a Reef-Friendly Sunscreen
The days may be shorter, but that’s no excuse to skip the sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, ultraviolet (UV) rays can still pierce through clouds in the wintertime, contributing to premature wrinkles and increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Sunscreen is your best line of defense against UV rays. But if you want to keep things sustainable, make sure you choose a reef-friendly sunscreen that won’t harm our beautiful oceans.