Winter is gross.
Day after day, you're yanking on your shapeless puffy coat, moisturizing relentlessly (without really getting results) and keeping your fingers crossed at all times you don't slip on ice and fall on your face.
I'm the first to admit I'm not my prettiest in the winter, and I'm going to bet most people feel the same way.
While I can't make the cold weather go away (sorry, working on that one), I can offer up some expert tips from TULA probiotic skincare founder and New York City-based doctor Roshini Rajapaksa on how to look awesome all winter long.
Or just look awesome for that winter wedding you have coming up. Whatever floats your boat.
Start exfoliating ASAP.
During the dry, freezing cold months of winter, it's important to pay extra special attention to your skin. This means taking hydration and exfoliation to the next level.
Rajapaksa tells Elite Daily,
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Dead skin cells and debris tend to dull the skin. Give yourself a gentle exfoliating face mask or scrub the day before your big event to reveal a more polished and glowing look. And keep a hydrating mist spray in your purse to periodically refresh your face to maintain your glow.
On top of that, stay hydrated. If the whole "drinking eight glasses of water a day" thing isn't for you, try herbal tea.
Whatever you do, don't stop exercising.
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to spend your winter days curled up on your couch with Netflix and a bottle of wine.
While a bikini body may not be your focus just yet, exercise is key for staying happy when the weather's getting you down.
Studies show exercise busts anxiety and stress, improves confidence and makes you more creative and productive. And those are just the mental benefits.
Exercise stimulates the digestive system and the bowels, causing food and drink move through your system faster, getting rid of any bloat-causing gas in the process. A vigorous workout that activates the sweat glands also helps release any fluid you might be retaining.
Convinced yet? If not, just think about how happy you'll be when bikini season does roll around.
Eat the good stuff.
If your outfit of choice in the winter includes a puffy coat and huge sweater, I don't blame you for loading up on carbs whenever you get the chance.
But as they say, "you are what you eat" -- so don't let your loose, comfy clothes be an excuse to eat an entire sleeve of Oreos when you get home from work every day.
In order to look and feel your best, load up on foods that will keep you healthy and happy, like dark, leafy, green veggies and avocado (hello, healthy fats!) as well as yogurt and kimchi, which promote gut health and digestion.
And if you have a big winter event coming up, make sure you're not eating foods that will make you more bloated.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables can make you feel bloated thanks to raffinose, a sugar that is hard for the body to break down. In trying to do so, your body produces gas as a byproduct, which will make you bloat. Slash sodium to reduce water retention. This means carefully checking labels and, if possible, avoiding canned or processed foods.
Doesn't sound so bad, right?
Don't neglect your hair.
Let's be real: In the winter, you're not showing much of your body.
Your hair, on the other hand, is still out in the open. So take steps to keep it shiny and healthy throughout the winter.
Believe it or not, what you eat is important for hair health as well.
Rajapaksa tells ED,
Keeping your locks shiny and strong is tough during the winter but you can protect your hair from breakage by limiting your use of ponytails or buns. My favorite beauty foods for healthy and glowing hair are dark, leafy greens and radishes. Rich in silicon and sulfur, they are an exceptional hair-strengthening food that help build healthy hair. Also great are soy beans and lentils, which contain iron and zinc, and eggs, which provide biotin.
Hate to say it, but it's probably time to get off the couch, exfoliate your skin and take a trip to the grocery store. You can do it!