Winter may almost be over, but as long as these cold snaps continue (and let’s be honest, they could last until April on the East Coast!), I’ll unpack some of the most common winter skin care myths patients ask me about time and time again. Straight from the #mythbustermondays series on our Dr. Heidi’s Instagram, let’s talk hair, lip balm and keeping skin hydrated.
“My hair is looking a little dull this winter. Should I be rinsing my locks with cold water in the shower to bring back the shine?”
Short answer: NO. Water can temporarily affect the texture and permeability of your hair strands but temperature doesn’t matter (and won’t make it shiny, I’m afraid). So stay comfy and warm in your shower this winter and save yourself the cold blast.
“I need to apply lip balm all day long – I must be addicted to it.”
First of all, even if you think you’re using your lip balm more and more, it is most definitely not an addiction.
What it could be, however, is a reaction to the ingredients in your lip balm – you might be allergic to a preservative or fragrance or it may include an ingredient like menthol, peppermint, or cinnamon which can irritate your delicate lip skin in high concentration.
Another possibility is just that you need the protection. Dry winter air, mouth breathing when your nose is stuffy, lip licking and even wetting your lips constantly by drinking from a water bottle dries lips. So find a bland lip balm that seals and protects.
If your lips are worsening, switch to a plain Vaseline petrolatum brand and use over the counter hydrocortisone cream in an unscented healing lip balm. If it doesn’t improve, see your dermatologist. For patients without allergies, my favorite winter lip balms are the Caudalie lip conditioner for day and good ol’ Bag Balm for night.
“If my skin is dry it must be that I’m not drinking enough water…”
While drinking water is important, the answer to your dry skin isn’t chugging more H2O – it’s about maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Choose a cleanser that won’t strip lipids and proteins from your skin and a moisturizer that replenishes with humectants to absorb water and occlusive ingredients to seal moisture into skin. You can’t go wrong with Dove Nourishing Body Wash or Dove Bar in the shower and Avene Trixera Emollient Cream or Caudalie Body Butter when you get out. Your body will thank you – not only will you feel better (say goodbye to itch!) but your skill will feel better (supple and soft) and look better and younger (no scales means better light reflection which = luminous skin!).