Winter vs Skin: How to Combat Dry Air

kfalpezWhether you are heating your home with central air or radiators, dry winter skin only gets worse once that heat kicks in. If you are lucky to live in a nice new home with a built-in humidifier then you may not know what I’m talking about, but living in an NYC apartment means I have noisy radiators. There is the bowl of water trick to disperse some humidity in the air with the heat, but mine are all covered up. I had to invest in a good humidifier to make my skin, sinuses and plants happy this winter.

IMB_kL23aq.gifI had a small essential oil diffuser which doubled as a humidifier, but once I got a larger bedroom it wasn’t cutting it anymore. I have since moved the small one to work which my co-workers are very thankful for. I did a lot of research and fell on this warm/cool mist humidifier by VAVA, not only does it look cool but it had all the features I wanted in a humidifier. It has a water filter but if you are concerned about the quality of your water the warm mist feature will take care of most of the impurities for you.

It also has a sleep mode to disable the screen light and sounds and a remote for all the controls. I have it running pretty much 24/7 and I have to refill it once a day. My plants seem to be suffering a little bit less and my lips aren’t as parched every morning. You’ll know it’s overkill if your rugs and carpets are damp or if your windows seem to be fogging up. If your bed is in a large living space, like say a studio, try to keep the humidifier close to your bed and on a higher surface, at least two feet from the ground.

If your face and sinuses seem to be suffering the most, you can also invest in a face steamer for a direct hit. I have this same facial steamer in pink which comes with a sinus attachment as well if you don’t want to smudge your eye make up. It boils water in the metal pan below and gives your face a nice steam facial, you can also add a drop of your favorite essential oil to make it an aromatherapy steam! Eucalyptus would be great for the sinuses while Lavender or Geranium would be lovely for the skin. I like to follow it up with a clay mask since the pores are open. Start with a clean face and use a toner after rinsing the mask to close the pores back up.

What do you do to combat dry air in your home? Any humidifiers or tools that changed your life?

Header Photo by Breather on Unsplash

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Cheap Hair Masks That Work: from Drugstore to DIY

giphy1I mix it up depending on how I will be spending my time when said hair mask is applied. For example, if I am going to hot yoga I like to apply my DIY scalp mask and some coconut oil through to the ends so that the heat and time can allow the oil to penetrate the hair shaft and do its magic on my scalp. The good thing about this combo is you can get up and walk around since it is an oily hair mask, not drippy. Most hair masks need water to apply and that can get a little messy.

DIY Scalp Mask

For great hair, you need to start at the root. Your scalp needs love and TLC if you want it to support and grow beautiful hair, so why is it the one place that we neglect the most? You can mix and match different oils to make your perfect scalp mask, but there are a few staple ingredients that are best for your scalp.

IMB_G2QOkS.GIFThis lineup consists of Coconut Oil, Castor Oil and some essentials oils: Cedarwood, Lavender, Rosemary and Tea Tree. The fats and omegas in Coconut Oil and Castor Oil are a wonder for the scalp, aiding with dandruff issues and sebum production to combat scalp acne. When combined with Tea Tree oil you have a nice refreshing scalp mask that can stop all your dandruff woes. Lavender is the most universally useful EO, Rosemary has antimicrobial properties and Cedarwood is very moisturizing for the hair. As a bonus, you can add Red Raspberry Seed Oil which will help with any psoriasis and eczema afflictions on the scalp. You are also welcome to add Jojoba or Almond Oil if those are your favorite oils if they work on your skin your scalp will likely be a fan too! Yes, I have a 54 oz tub of coconut oil, don’t @ me.

Mask Proportions

Most of these can also be used on their own to target specific issues, but keep in mind that the essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil (jojoba, almond, coconut etc), so do not apply them directly to the skin.

L'Oreal Total Repair 5If you aren’t the DIY adventurer, try L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This little tub of gold promises to erase 10 years of damage and I certainly feel results when I slather it on and leave it on for ~45 minutes while I take my weekly detox bath. It smells lovely and makes me believe that Blake Lively may actually be using the products she is a spokesmodel for.

Got any hair masks you swear by? Share your secrets Blake Lively! Because you’re worth it.