This post was written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, but you can read the original post here.
YOUR SKIN, HAIR, AND NAILS ARE LIKE YOUR OWN PERSONAL BILLBOARDS: THEY ADVERTISE YOUR HEALTH TO THE WORLD. SO BE SURE TO SHINE ‐‐ HERE’S HOW!
If your skin, hair, and nails have been hidden beneath layered clothing, woolen hats and thermal socks for the winter months, it’s time to get them ready to show off again as warm weather approaches. Use these tips to look your best when you step out into the sun in your shorts and sandals.
1. Exfoliate your body from shoulders to heels to remove dry, dead skin cells and give your skin a soft, smooth glow. While the bathtub is filling with warm (not hot) water, rub your body with oil to seal the dry, scaly patches. Submerge yourself in the water, put a mild-textured exfoliant on a clean wash cloth, and lightly rub it all over in a circular motion (do your face separately). Rinse under a warm shower, pat yourself dry, and liberally apply moisturizer, which will be absorbed more deeply into this new layer of skin.
2. Brighten and tighten your complexion with a facial mask. You will feel rejuvenated as you peel off the mask and remove dead skin cells with it. Plus, once your mask is applied it provides a perfect opportunity to relax for 15 minutes while it seals your skin in its protective shield.
3. Protect your hands from the elements when cleaning and weeding. Your skin can quickly become cracked and rough by exposure to harsh cleansers and garden soil, so wear gloves every time. For added protection, keep some moisturizer where you store your gloves so you can apply it before putting them on.
4. Block the harmful rays of the sun whenever you go out by wearing sunscreen. Replace old products whose expiration dates have past and any that were exposed to high temperatures at the beach or pool last summer, or left in a hot car.
5. Condition your hair to prepare for the humidity of summer that replaces the dryness of winter. Those weekly deep conditioning treatments may only be needed twice a month now. And if your hair starts to feel limp or oily, a lighter conditioner may be all you need after regular shampooing.
6. Highlight your hair professionally for a fresh new look without making a dramatic color change. Highlights can also give you a jump start on the natural lightening provided by the sun and be used to make a gradual shift towards a lighter shade.
7. Style your hair for the change of season so it gets a break from the old routine. If you’ve been blowing out your look, try one that can be towel dried. If you’ve been holding your hair back in a ponytail, get a cut that keeps it out of your face. And if you’ve been going straight, maybe it’s time to make some waves.
8. Soften your ragged cuticles by soaking your feet and hands in warm water. Frayed cuticles leave your nails prone to infections, but clipping can damage this protective skin. Instead, soak and soften the cuticles, then gently push them back with a washcloth. Then you can blot them dry and apply cuticle oil for stronger, healthier nails.
9. Resume regular pedicures so the stubbly toes and calloused heels that have been hidden in boots are ready for sandals. Make a standing appointment in your favorite salon and enjoy the pampering that only a pedicure can provide.
10. Paint your fingers and toes in contrasting colors to announce spring 2013 has arrived. Creamy pastels, pearlized nudes and colors with sparkle and texture make up this season’s palette.