You Asked And They Answered, Your February Expert Survival Q&A

There’s no way around it, February is more times than not the longest, while ironically the shortest, month of the year. Flip-flopping between mile high snowdrifts and an artic chill to lazy hazy rainy days certainly doesn’t help the time pass by any quicker either. Plus, it plays a funky guessing game of never quite knowing what to do with the day-to-day grooming. To help make it through this wild west of skin, hair and body care month, we’re taking our questions to the experts.

Skin Care: To Hydrate or not
Always hydrate. This is never an option. The trick is to use the right product depending on what the weather is like. “Put down the heavy creams and oils when the weather warms up,” advises Toula Bintas, an aesthetician and co-owner of Allazo Skin Care. “Your skin doesn’t need such intense moisture when the thermostat goes up as it can cause unwanted breakouts.” Swap out your thicker face creams for water-based or gel formulations instead…that is until the temperature plummets and the wind and snow start again. When that happens, reacquaint yourself with your thick creams and serums.

Skin Protection: Ditch the SPF until summer
Umm no. Wrong. Sunscreen with it’s handy dandy UVA (ant-aging) and UVB (anti-burning) blockers is a 24-hour, 365 days a year deal. “The sun can penetrate the glass windows in your car, your ski goggles on the slopes, the clouds on your walk to work on a frosty cold morning,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist and founder of DLK on Avenue. “Protect your skin by wearing a minimum of a 30SPF every single day and reapplying it every two or three hours regardless of what you’re doing.”

Hair Care: It’s winter so you can skip shampoo and just use conditioner
Probably not. “Washing your hair with shampoo keeps you your scalp happy and healthy all year round, not just during the colder winter months,” says Daniel Naumovski, a Goldwell Artist and co-owner of TAZ Hair Inc. “And when you do wash it, make sure to use a shampoo first so that you’re properly eliminating product, dirt and oil and then follow up with a hair conditioner to keep your hair healthy and manageable.” For those using heavy waxes, pomades and gels every day, washing with a cleansing shampoo before your regular shampoo and conditioner ensures your scalp is properly clean.

Body Care: Swap your soap for a shower gel
You can if you like, but this really boils down to personal preference. Considering many soaps are formulated with softening ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter, they can be just as hydrating as a creamy shower gel. “But if your skin feels tight and dry or itchy at any point during the day, you may want to change your products or add a body lotion into your daily routine for extra hydration,” advises Dr. Nowell Solish, a dermatologist and founder of Cosmetic Dermatology Toronto Yorkville.

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