Winter means cold days and colder nights. Grey clouds loom and grey faces abound.
While we can’t do much about the weather, the latter problem falls right under our jurisdiction. So remembering to take your umbrella to work is up to you.
But saving your face? We’ve got this.
When the weather outside is frightful, it’s difficult to look after your complexion. There can be unrelenting dryness, even for those lucky guys who don’t usually suffer from dry skin in the first place.
Then there’s the cluster of peripheral issues orbiting winter: moving from cold outside to hot inside isn’t your skin’s favourite trip; woolly jumpers can worsen issues in your dermis; the short days; the long working hours. That face made beautiful by the summer sun is long behind you. But there are some clever tricks worth deploying that’ll keep you looking good by the time spring comes around again.
By the time you’re done with our dry skin survival guide, your face will be a picture of summer in the midst of winter. Here’s to looking hot.
While we wouldn’t advocate wearing a stopwatch while you wash, it pays to keep an eye on the time in the shower. “Shower for too long and you’ll remove important oils from your skin. The same goes for heat: high temperatures aren’t good. Keep it short and warm.” Start the day by giving your skin a fighting chance.
Soap On the Water
According to skin scientists, soap can actually be your enemy during the winter months too. Products containing soap and fragrance can also strip oils from the skin. As a general rule, the nicer it smells, the more irritant it’s likely to contain. That’s not carte blanche to quit washing, of course.
If you’re a stickler for certain brands and unwilling to swap your favourite shower gel, your option is to go nuts during the next phase of your morning routine. Almond oil, when applied to your face on a daily basis, delivers anti-inflammatory linoleic acid – this in turn reduces redness and soreness, countering much of the adverse effect soap can have on your skin.
When it comes to regular moisturisers, immediately after your shower, when your skin is crying out for lost oils, is the best time to apply your cream. Get it all up in your face within five minutes of exiting the shower for best results.
Pull The Wool
There are so many factors causing skin dryness. One you might not be aware of is your clothing. Fabrics in your attire can irritate your skin. This is especially true in people particularly prone to dry skin or skin irritations. Wool is the most problematic. If it feels itchy when you put it on, that’s your skin reacting to the material. If this is a problem you suffer from, its best you layer with cotton garments and leave that woollen scarf around your neck behind.
Hands to The Floor
No men’s grooming guide is complete without mentioning that your hands and feet are just as important to keep looked after. These are such neglected areas, use a pumice stone on your feet and apply a cream afterwards. And carry a small hand cream with you to keep your hands moist and soft.
Mind The Chap
Skin-damaging UV rays still break through the winter clouds and can wreak havoc on your skin. You should still be thinking about SPF during winter. Get a good lip balm with SPF to start, as sun exposure can exacerbate chapping.
If you’re a snow sports guy and love snowboarding and skiing, then this is especially important for you. While on the slopes your still exposed to harmful sun rays for hours a day. Don’t be that guy with the goggle-shaped burn and flaking skin.
Layer Like a Player
Anyone who uses public transport will know that trains and buses are hotter than the sun in the winter months, and offices at work are sometimes like the sauna at your gym. Going from cold to hot doesn’t help the moisture in your skin. Your move is simple: layer smart so you can easily adapt to fluxing temperatures, be that at home, at work or the train or bus to work.
Your daily intake.
The right combination of fruits in a smoothie, when consumed daily, can actually give the appearance of a tan while improving skin health. That’s no small bonus in the winter months. Blend carrots, orange and lemon juice and some milk for a payload of carotenoids – a compound that adds colour to your skin. A healthy glow without having to emigrate to Bora Bora over winter.
Reviving dry skin is all about expert timing and the right product. Go easy on the exfoliator, put a moratorium on soap usage, turn down the thermostat and you won’t be wearing winter on your face this year.