Before experiencing enough of winter, in the past, I’d always looked forward to winter vacations because it means I can do so many #OOTDs! All the clothes I’m gonna wear! All the boots that will make my legs look longer! #woesofbeingshort
Not gonna lie, getting to layer on my clothes in winter weather has always been the main thing that made me look forward to winter travel!
My infatuation with winter vacations didn’t last long.
Now, winter weather and snow scenes may look super pretty and dreamy in photos especially on Instagram, but in reality, winter is a very harsh weather to experience. Coming from Singapore where it’s summer all year round, winter is a season I experience only in short phases during travelling. Other than the possibility of falling sick from the weather, the physical body goes through changes from being exposed to the cold. If you’re not well-prepared for winter, your suffering will intensify.
Other than a good jacket, the best advice anyone can give you in preparation for heading to winter countries is…
Bring Your Moisturizer(s)!
Don’t wait till your skin starts peeling and cracking before you scramble to find proper skincare at the shops.
But which part of the body do you have to moisturize for winter? Is it just the limbs? In this post, I share the areas that are easily overlooked when you’re packing skincare toiletries for winter.
Ps: This guide is only for temperatures from 0 to 10. If you’re going to places with subzero temperatures, research deeper elsewhere!
Skincare Tips for Winter
1. Mix oil with your face moisturizer
You’ll definitely get dry skin in winter. The more light-weight, liquid face moisturizer you use at home will not be good enough for winter. A cream-based moisturizer with thicker texture would be better for winter.
Virgin Coconut Oil
This virgin coconut oil! is organic, natural and works wonders!
I’ll add 1-2 drops of virgin coconut oil (just a little will do) to my Dr.Ci:Labo moisturizer on my hands, rub everything together, then apply on my cleansed face. The moisture from the coconut oil will be all I need to combat winter. Don’t forget that coconut oil turns solid in cold conditions (it even turned solid in my hotel room in Bali), so what I’ll do is to run a tube of coconut oil under hot water, so I can pour it out.
Pure rosehip seed oil
Another option is pure rosehip seed oil. The seed smell might take a little getting used to, but it’s fine. I also add it to my body moisturiser and apply it all over my body.
Japanese horse oil
Use mask sheets
Some people might recommend mask sheets to moisturize their face. I for one don’t prefer to do that as much as I can, because I already feel very cold in winter – don’t need another cold thing on my face. When I’m not too lazy, I slap on an additional layer of sleeping mask on top of my moisturized skin, then go to bed.
Protect your hands and nails
When you reach a cold country, the area surrounding your nails will feel the dryness of the climate first, perhaps even before you disembark from your plane. Your hands will peel or flake little streaks of skin at the sides or at the area below your nails. This makes your fingers really sore and sensitive. It hurts to peel the skin off; it again hurts too afterwards.
Which is why you need to take special care to moisturize your hands in winter!
Travel Tip: Bring a small tube of hand moisturizer with you up the plane. Apply it before you feel the dryness set in. If you don’t have hand moisturizer with you (the plane lavatory should have, actually), rub some lip-balm around your nails as a temporary cuticle moisturizer.
Slather moisturizer all over your body
You’ll feel the dryness right after stepping out of the shower. The skin on your legs and arms will feel more rough than normal. That tight, prickly sensation is also unpleasant. You definitely don’t want to feel your skin flake off (*ouch*) as you put on your jeans.
Travel Tip: Avoid strong body soap in your shower – choose something milky if you can. Always slather on a good amount of body moisturizer straight after your shower, and before you put on your clothes to head out!
Don’t forget your lips
In winter, the air lacks humidity, which in turn causes dry, chapped lips. Licking your lips will make the dryness worse.
Kids will feel the dryness on their lips too, don’t forget to moisturize for them!
Travel Tip: Bring your lip-balm wherever you go and apply it frequently!
Good to take care of these areas in the cold weather too:
I have never learned my lessons. Whenever I travel to cold countries, I tend to fall sick, developing this dry, hacking cough that won’t let up, not even for weeks after my return back to warm weather. It’s the kind of coughs that makes me wish I didn’t have to breathe, because with each inhalation, I feel an impossibly itchy sensation in the throat. It gets so bad, sometimes I’ll be tearing, as if from misery (but actually it’s just the itch). Sometimes, the cough develops into bronchitis.
Travel Tips: Keep the neck and back of head wrapped up against the cold wind with a thick scarf. There’re TCM reasons for this, which you can read in this useful post for winter. Keep some lozenges with you. Also, drink lots of water to rehydrate!
. . . . .
Contact lens wearers will understand. You can feel how winter robs your eyes of moisture when you step outdoors! I haven’t found a great solution for this, the usual eye-drops can only provide relief for a short while. If you have recommendations of a good eye-drop for use in winter, please let me know!
In Singapore, I already put a light, cream-based leave-in moisturizer on my hair ends.
Travel tip: When I travel, again, my virgin coconut oil (see Face tips above) is a wonderful natural moisturizer for my hair! I’ll bring a tiny bottle of it mixed with lavender essential oil just so that the coconut oil smell is not overpowering. Does the trick and my hair will smell great!
Do you have other skincare tips to combat cold weather? Share with me!