Woman's hair blowing in the wind near a lake.

As winter saunters in to replace the pleasantness of autumn, it's likely your skin is still soft and sun-kissed from all the fun adventures you had during the summer. While winter definitely has its pros, too, there is one thing about winter you can never enjoy, and that is the battle of dry skin and dry hair. That is unless you're spending your winter in Brazil, then you're probably doing fine. However, if you're like everyone else, then something's got to give. Here are some tips to help you maintain your beautiful skin and lush hair this winter.

1. Treat Hard Water

Most people don't associate the water coming out of their faucets with preventing dry hair and skin, but it's true. Hard water has high levels of minerals that can make your skin flaky and your hair brittle. Even the best soaps and shampoos designed to combat dryness are no match for hard water.

The cure is to install a water softener unit to the main water supply of your home. It collects hard minerals and flushes them away before they ever reach your hair or skin.

2. Use a Humidifier

Your skin absorbs moisture from the air that surrounds it. If there is no moisture to absorb, your skin will stay dry. If the air in your home is dry, try using a humidifier with a setting of 60 percent. In no time, you should see results as your skin is replenished and relieved of itchy dryness.

3. Resist the Hot Water

On a chilly day, nothing feels better than a hot bath or shower. It's a relief from the cold that seems to permeate every square inch of your home; but, did you know that heat is actually stripping away the natural oils that help keep your skin and hair moist and smooth?

Avoid taking hot showers and baths. Instead, opt for warm water. It can be a difficult adjustment, but once you start seeing results, you might find you can adapt.

4. Moisturize After Bathing

When you take a bath or shower, you are covering your body in moisture. Your skin revels in it. Yet, the moisture is temporary, because once you're dry, it's gone. You can help seal in some of that moisture by applying moisturizer immediately after you've bathed or showered. It also helps to keep a bottle of lotion on the sink next to the soap dispenser. The same concept works when you wash your hands.

5. Drink Water

You can help your body stay replenished by drinking lots of water. If you enjoy a glass of wine now and then, limit yourself to just one or two. Wine is a diuretic and can cause your whole body to dehydrate. Keep in mind caffeine will do the same.

6. Avoid Soaps

Soap contains ingredients that are actually harmful to your skin. Most contain fragrances and alcohol that can strip your skin of its natural oils and nutrients. Switch to a beauty bar, such as Dove, that is gentle on your skin.

7. Skip Some Shampoos

Just as soap is harsh on skin, shampoo can be hard on your hair when used every day. Use a gentle shampoo, but don't use it every time you bathe. There are times when all your hair needs is a rinse with water.

In fact, you really don't need to wash your hair more than a few times a week. The longer you can wait between shampooing, the healthier your hair will appear.

Having beautiful and healthy skin and hair during the winter is achievable, it just takes a little more thought and work. Staying hydrated, and forming habits to help keep your skin and hair hydrated are all it takes to make it through the winter without all that annoying flaking and itchiness that can overtake your skin or the brittle and break-easy flyaway hair.

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About The Author

Mikkie Mills's picture

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer who's passionate about health, fitness, organic cooking and eating, and yoga. When not writing she loves traveling, hiking, and cooking. Find more from Mikkie on Google+.

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