Beauty Tips for Every SeasonLook Good in Any Weather
-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Beauty Writer
Looking your best can be frustrating. Just when you get a beauty routine down pat, the seasons change and suddenly you have to start all over again. Keeping your hair and skin in top condition all year round means working with the weather, not against it. These beauty tips will help you look your best in every season—no matter what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
Spring showers may bring flowers, but that’s not all. They also bring the start of bad hair and seasonal allergies!
Hair becomes frizzy when its outer cuticle is roughed up, which allows the hair to absorb more moisture from the air. But you can fight the frizzies by conditioning your hair every time you wash it and applying a smoothing serum with silicone to seal down the cuticle. Using a flat iron can also help straighten and smooth out the cuticle, but make sure you use a protective cream or serum first to help prevent heat damage.
Allergies to budding leaves and plants can mean itchy, watery eyes and a red, runny nose. Combat these beauty woes by wearing minimal makeup. Stick to basics like waterproof mascara and a good concealer.
Apply the concealer in light layers to avoid caking (and the all-too-obvious “made up” look). Avoid the temptation to use a heavier hand, which draws more attention to the flaws you want to cover up. Concealers with green undertones are ideal for covering redness, but make sure to blend them well to avoid looking sickly. Also avoid wearing a reddish-colored lipstick if your nose is irritated with allergy symptoms, as this will accentuate the redness.
If you have neglected your feet during the winter, now is the time to start getting them ready for sandal season. A quick and easy way to improve the condition of your feet is to polish away flakes and rough spots with an exfoliating scrub. Simply warm a bit of olive oil in the microwave for a few seconds and mix in either salt or sugar to create your own inexpensive scrub. If you have any fragrant oils, add a few drops of your favorite scents to the scrub. Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a week. This scrub can also be used on the rest of your body but avoid using it on your face as it may be too abrasive for sensitive facial skin.
Summer is the season you wait all year for. But once it arrives, it can wreak havoc on your skin and hair.
The sun can damage your hair by fading its color and/or lightening your highlights. Preserve the health of your hair by applying a styling product that contains sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat as much as possible. Slather on a leave-in hair conditioner before you hit the beach or pool to keep hair from becoming brittle and dry. If you’re a blonde (natural or otherwise), be sure to remove any chlorine residue with a clarifying shampoo to prevent that telltale greenish tinge. High humidity may make it impossible to avoid frizzy hair, so work with the weather now instead of against it. Tie your hair back as much as possible or define and separate your curls with a rich, leave-in conditioner.
Heat and humidity are prime causes of oily skin and resulting breakouts. Switch to a gel-based moisturizer if you are prone to acne, and keep your toner in the refrigerator for a refreshing burst of coolness when the temperature is rising.
Swimming and other outdoor activities can leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage. For the best protection, apply a wide-spectrum sunscreen every two hours with an SPF of at least 15. Look for one that contains "Parsol 1789," which protects your skin against both harmful types or rays—UVA and UVB. Remember, there’s no such thing as a safe tan!
Fall is a time for recovery. Your skin and hair probably suffered some damage from the summer elements and need time to recuperate.
This is the perfect time for a new haircut to remove any damaged ends, and new color or highlights to correct any brassiness from the sun.
This change of seasons is a perfect time to get a fresh start for the coming months, so consider a professional facial. You can also improve the texture of the skin (but save money) by using a mask at home. Look for products that contain honey and oatmeal for moisturizing or charcoal and clay if your skin is oily.
Treat your skin gently, especially if you weren’t always as diligent with the sunscreen as you should have been. Switch to a slightly heavier moisturizer on your face and body, as a gel might not be rich enough in the cooler weather.
Winter brings low temperatures and blustery winds that are tough on your skin and hair, resulting in dryness, flaking and dull tone.
Your hair experiences extremes in the winter—cold, windy weather and heated water, hair dryers, and styling tools. You'll be more prone to breakage and dry hair during this season, so try to wash your hair no more than once a day, preferably every other day (shampoo can strip your scalp of its natural oils). Limit your use of heated styling products like hair dryers (use the cool setting), flat irons and curling irons, but make sure you don't go outside with wet hair—it can freeze and crack in the cold.
This is the time to pamper your skin with moisture. Use the richest skin cream you can find, preferably something containing cocoa butter or shea butter. Nails and cuticles are particularly vulnerable in the winter, so make sure you moisturize them often. Try rubbing pure almond oil or Vitamin E oil into your hands and nails and wear cotton gloves to bed to help them better absorb the oil.
Although you may be tempted to soak in a hot bath during the cold months, this actually dries your skin out more. Keep you bath water tepid and limit yourself to 10 or 15 minutes. Don’t dry your skin off completely when you get out, but smooth a rich moisturizer or body oil all over your damp skin to seal in the moisture. If your skin is so dry that it itches, look for a product with soothing oatmeal for relief.
Limit your use of alpha-hydroxy lotions and alcohol-based astringents during the winter months. Both of these can strip away the skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to irritation and damage. Your lips are particularly prone to dryness in the winter because they contain no oil glands. Resist the urge to lick your lips and apply a non-waxy, moisturizing lip balm as often as needed. Smooth away any chapping by applying a layer of petroleum jelly to your lips and scrubbing away any dead skin with a toothbrush.
Don’t forget to wear sunscreen every day, even if you live in a cold, snowy area. Snow reflects about 80 percent of the ultraviolet radiation that hits it, meaning you’re at risk for sun damage even in the middle of January.
Looking your best throughout the year doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. By maintaining a regular skincare routine and adjusting it to suit the season, your own personal beauty will continue to glow in any kind of weather.