I recently moved to Denver, Colorado, just in time to see the leaves change in all the beautiful parks around the city, taste various butternut squash soups at newly discovered restaurants, and take to the slopes for the beginning of ski season. And also, just in time for an already dry climate to reach an extreme that causes my sweaters to crackle with static and my skin to (literally) flake off if not moisturized. I’ve never had much of a dry skin/hair problem, but my new surroundings have left me scrambling for intense (but non-greasy) ways to keep my skin from cracking and my hair from being a frizzy, dry mess.
Here are some of the great standbys I’ve found–what are your favorites?
Face. For a dry face that needs intense moisture without causing breakouts, I love Snowy Owl Cove’s Daily Sanctuary Face Cream. Using all natural ingredients such as aloe butter and raspberry seed oil, this rich cream leaves skin supple and smooth without any of the unwanted grease.
Body.For a body moisturizer, I like something that absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling supple, but dry to the touch. For this purpose, I like Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Body Lotion. Creamy, but non-greasy, this 99% natural lotion leaves my skin moisturized with no irritation (even after shaving).
Lips. Although I’m sure many of you are familiar with this product, I just thought I’d throw my endorsement for Smith’s Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm out there. This product is hassle-free, smells good and lasts for months. Although it comes in many varieties, I like the strawberry best, as it smells good enough to eat and seems slightly thicker than the other ones. Bonus: Per the packaging, it can be used for everything from cracked cuticles to dry elbows!
Hair. I recently got my hair cut for the first time in Denver. Admittedly, it had been since August, and my hair was basically a bird’s nest of split ends. The salon was using a product line called Unite, which I’d never heard of before, and when I left, I was amazed at how soft, shiny and manageable my hair was. While all the products of this brand seem excellent, I would especially recommend their 7 Seconds Condition Leave In Detangler. While somewhat pricey (it’s available on amazon.com for $19.95), in my opinion, it’s worth it for healthy, moisturized, non-greasy hair.
All my extensive complaining about hot, humid weather and days of blistering heat aside, I can honestly say that I love summer. I spend approximately 8 months of the year awaiting Memorial Day weekend, the opening of the pool and Friday afternoons spent driving east towards the coast.
Along with time spent in the sun and water, however, often comes the unpleasant side effect of dry, brittle, frizzy hair. How can you keep your hair manageable in the summer months without resorting to products packed with potentially harmful chemicals? You might be surprised at how simple, affordable oils can work wonders for locking in moisture in hair and keeping it soft and manageable.
Try the following natural ingredients to find out which oil is most suitable for your hair type:
Olive Oil. For dry, brittle hair, this everyday oil can be a lifesaver. Try heating about 1/2 cup (be careful not to overheat it and burn yourself!) and applying it liberally all over hair. To lock the moisture in, keep the oil in your hair for about 45 minutes by covering it with a shower cap or plastic grocery bag. Then simply rinse and shampoo your hair as usual.
Argan Oil. A natural antioxidant, this oil is rich in vitamins A and E, as well as omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, which can revitalize parched hair on contact. To use, simply rub a few drops into towel dried hair, concentrating on the ends, and style hair as usual.
Jojoba Oil. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this oil closely replicates skin’s natural lubricating medium, making it perfect as a moisturizer for your scalp and hair. Try adding several drops to your conditioner or use alone to soothe dry hair.
Macadamia Nut Oil. Light and non-greasy, macadamia nut oil easily absorbs into your scalp and hair, delivering omega-7 and vitamins A and E. To reap the benefits of the ultra-moisturizing oil, massage a tablespoon into hair, then wrap hair in a warm towel. Rinse and lightly condition hair and style as usual.