Here’s our advice on fine-tuning your skincare routine for the best hydrating, exfoliating, and moisturizing results to take care of your skin in winter.
The nights have darkened, the weather sharpened, and our skin feels the effects.
Winter is truly upon us. Social media platforms are filled with images of frosty mornings, snowy fields, and rosy cheeks, and alongside the extra heft required in our wardrobes, our skin needs the same kind of protection. Because while it is drilled in since childhood that the colder months call for a heavy coat, good solid shoes, and warming accessories to keep us fighting fit, most men can be curiously lax in applying that same vigilance to their skincare routines.
We would never dream of stepping out in searing temperatures without safeguarding our skin first with sunscreen, but we need to remember to apply the same stringent measures when the Fahrenheit plummets. As a result, irritation, redness, and cracked, dry lips are some of the less attractive side effects of the dry air of the winter season.
So the time to act is right now, and we are pleased to provide some invaluable advice on the best way to fine-tune your grooming routine to achieve the best results and take proper care of your skin in winter.
Winter Weather Calls for a Skin Hydration Regimen
The months might be damper and wetter than the heat of summer, but your skin needs hydration now more than ever. That is because we spend more time indoors, without as much fresh air, and our skin tends to dry out due to the effects of several factors, including central heating in our homes and hot showers to combat the cold air.
The sudden change in temperature as we go about our daily life stepping in and outdoors can dry skin, so a powerful moisturiser will help negate this and create a soothing moisture barrier across your skin.
It is also worth remembering that it is not just about what you put on your face but how you care for your body. Studies have shown that we feel 40% less thirsty in winter as we are not subjected to the beating heat of summer. However, our hydration needs stay consistent throughout the year. Therefore it is important to drink enough water. And if you are tempted by the barrage of winter ‘specialty’ coffees, please keep in mind that board-certified dermatologists recommend indulging in these in moderation – the excessive amount of coffee and tea can dehydrate your body as well as your already thirsty skin.
What is more, caffeine stimulates cortisol levels, the hormone that increases stress, and alongside the adverse mental effects of this, stress accelerates the production of corticotropin, which increases oil production and can lead to breakouts, resulting in having to deal with acne flare-ups and dry skin at the same time. There is no doubt that the cold, dark winter mornings might call for a strong large coffee to start the day, but be conscious of how much of it you are drinking.
Battle Dry Winter Skin With the Right Skincare Products
Aside from sapping the moisture out of our skin, fluctuating temperatures can cause skin to peel and even give rise to more serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. A combination of brisk outside air, comforting hot baths or steaming showers, and changes to indoor heating can cause excessive dryness, which may result in dead skin cells flaking off and creating a dry-looking complexion.
To avoid that, rid your skin of dead cells by using an exfoliant two to three times a week. Look for an exfoliant scrub with ingredients like willow bark and borage oil, which protect against skin inflammation, including eczema, dermatitis, and rosacea.
If your skin lacks hydration to the point where it is peeling, opt for an effective but gentle moisturiser or lotion with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid which can help lock in moisture. It is also advisable to use warm, rather than hot, bath or shower water, no matter how chilly your walk has been, because excessively hot water will strip your skin of natural oils and damage the skin barrier, which can really impact your skin health and leave your skin feeling tight and irritated.
You may also need to cut back on potentially irritating products such as retinol, retinoids, alcohol-containing toner, and vitamin C in the winter months, especially if you have sensitive skin that worsens with the dry weather.
Many of us tend to forget that the winter conditions take a toll on our faces and the skin below our chin, making it so important to use a good quality soap that will not dry it out.
You Still Need SPF Protection in the Winter
It might seem farcical to protect your skin against sun damage in the gloom of winter, but there are two kinds of harmful UV rays. UVB is the variety you notice on your summer holiday, as it causes immediate redness and burning. UVA, however, does not cause redness, but it reaches deeper into the layers of the skin and causes long-term damage, accelerating the aging process. UVA rays do not dissipate even in the weak winter sun, so add a broad-spectrum SPF and an SPF-containing lip balm to your routine, even on the gloomiest of winter days, to maintain youthful and healthy skin year-round.
The Link Between Sleep and Skin Health
Waking up feeling less than fresh will lead over time to dull, sallow skin - the Ghost of Christmas Past staring back at you in the bathroom mirror. Start the day (after not too many sips of strong coffee) with a daily facial cleanser to clear the clogged pores and dead skin of the night before. And consider introducing a humidifier to your nighttime routine to ward off the drier skin you experience in these cold weather months.
Shave With Caution
Preparation is paramount when it comes to shaving. No matter how much care you take during the shaving process, you run the risk of irritation and nicks if you have not laid the correct groundwork. The first step is to ensure that your skin is softened by a warm shower or by applying a hot towel to open the pores and soften the hair. Whipping up your lather to a meringue-like consistency and using a brush in a circular motion will ensure that each hair is coated. Shave in the direction the hair flows to allow a smooth, even glide of the razor, and once shaven apply a cold towel to seal the pores. And finally, we must reiterate how important it is to remember how exposed and raw your freshly shaven jawline can feel when venturing into icy climes. Add a layer of protection with a high quality aftershave balm that acts as a moisture barrier between you and Mr. Jack Frost.
No matter how harsh the weather might be this year, by following a good grooming routine, your skin will be suitably set to tackle even the lowest temperatures of winter months and enable you to enjoy the undoubted beauty of snow-covered landscapes, no matter how inconvenient they actually may prove to be! Explore our collections of moisturizing products to add to your winter regimen today.