While big, cosy sweaters and cups of hot chocolate can do wonders for your mood, winter doesn’t have the same pleasant effects on your skin.
Cold weather and drier air, coupled with indoor heating, can dehydrate your skin leaving it feeling dry and rough in winter. And, for men, your face becomes more sensitive to shaving and pollution, and more prone to premature ageing too.
But don’t worry.
In this updated winter skin care guide we’ll show you how to make this a season full of winter handsomeness.
Let’s dive in.
HOW TO WINTER-PROOF YOUR SKIN – AND WHY YOU NEED TO
Redness, sensitivity, irritation and dry, flaky skin; winter conditions are particularly tough on your face.
The main reasons your skin behaves this way…
- Cold, dry air outside - As the temperature outside drops, the air is less able to hold moisture and becomes drier. This prompts it to draw moisture from your skin, leading to that dry, tight feeling. And if you’re prone to dry skin anyway the condition can worsen and become extremely painful in winter.
- Over-heated dry air inside - Central heating, wood-burning stoves, and cosy fireplaces all reduce the humidity indoors and dry your skin out even further.
But you can take steps to make sure that your skin doesn’t become dry, itchy and damaged this winter.
A gentler, more hydrating skincare is required. Read on...
CLEAN YOUR FACE BUT WITHOUT OVERDRYING YOUR SKIN
As a man, your skin tends to be oilier than a woman’s. You naturally produce more oil, or sebum, because the sebaceous glands are more numerous and more active in a man’s skin. This excess sebum can clog pores and lead to blemishes and acne, so it pays to clean your face twice a day all year round.
However, washing your face with a harsh cleanser or soap and water can over-dry your skin at the best of times. And in winter it’s really important that you don’t rob your skin of essential moisture.
Glycerin is a naturally occurring ingredient that balances the water levels in your skin. It facilitates moisture and restores your skin to normal hydration. Perfect for when the cold, dry air is disrupting that delicate balance.
It’s also worth sticking to lukewarm water when washing your face. Hot water will dehydrate your skin even more.
The same applies when you’re taking a shower. Whilst it can be tempting to take long hot showers or baths when the mercury drops, the high water temperature, and the evaporation once you’re out of the shower, will dry your skin out.
EXFOLIATE THE RIGHT WAY TO BRIGHTEN UP DULL WINTER SKIN
The cold air causes dehydration leading to dry, flaky skin which can look dull and grey. It’s essential to exfoliate those dead skin cells away to improve your skin’s appearance. It also makes skin more receptive when you add hydration, allowing your shaving cream and moisturizer to sink into your pores and really go to work.
The right exfoliator will brighten and re-invigorate your skin. And by clearing away the dead cells will prevent in-grown hairs from developing too.
But here’s the thing.
It’s important not to be too rough!
Stick to gentle chemical exfoliators which include Alpha-Hydroxy Acids in the ingredients, rather than gritty (or physical) scrubs which can dry out your skin and cause tiny tears in the skin’s surface.
For example, OTIS Daily Face Wash includes Lactic Acid (not as scary as it sounds!) This is a naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid that will exfoliate your skin effectively but at the same time is gentle enough that you can use it every day without irritation – even if you have sensitive skin.
And because we’ve incorporated it into our Daily Face Wash you can clean and exfoliate in one step every morning. This makes sure that your skin is always in excellent condition and dead skin cells are swept away before they get the chance to build up and show as flaky skin.
HOW TO HAVE A GENTLE, EASY SHAVE IN WINTER
Let’s be honest, when the temperature drops, shaving can become a painful task. There’s nothing worse than being outside in the ripping wind with a raw, razor burned face.
Try introducing a more hydrating cream to your shaving routine to nourish your skin and protect against irritation and sensitivity.
Our Protective Shave Cream includes Shea Butter and Glycerin to improve hydration. It protects your skin and regenerates the protective lipid barrier which becomes depleted in winter.
A richer cream like this provides more protection between your skin and the blade.
We’ve also incorporated Apricot Stone Oil to lubricate your skin so that the razor glides easily over your face, resulting in much less irritation, and a super smooth shave.
LOOK YOUR BEST WITH HEALTHY, HYDRATED SKIN
The most important thing you can do for your skin in winter is moisturize it.
You’re always going to look your best if your skin is healthy and hydrated, and this is especially true in winter. Don’t wait for your face to get so dry that it needs to be rescued. Moisturise every single day to keep your skin smooth and soft.
But that doesn’t mean having to use a thick heavy cream that will leave a greasy feeling.
A lightweight cream with the right ingredients can be even more effective.
OTIS Hydrating Daily Moisturiser is as deeply hydrating and nourishing as a heavy balm. But is still lightweight and easily absorbed, so there is no greasy feeling.
It’s packed with powerful ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, to provide deep and long-lasting hydration to your skin, along with Aloe Vera and Glycerin to keep your skin soft and hydrated all day long.
To calm any redness and irritation from cold winds we’ve included D-Panthenol. This will also restore the barrier function of the skin which becomes compromised in dry, cold weather.
Anti-oxidants like Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E combat the aging effects of winter. While the peptide Matrixyl stimulates natural collagen production to smooth fine lines and prevent deep wrinkles from forming.
Even if you have oily skin, it’s still essential to use a moisturiser in winter to hydrate and nourish your skin. Choose one that is light and has the right ingredients – like our Hydrating Daily Moisturiser - and your face won’t feel greasy or break out. We promise!
DON’T SKIP THE SUNSCREEN
It’s totally possible to get sunburned during the winter so protecting your skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays is a year-round job. And for those working outside, sunscreen is always a must.
We don’t include a sunscreen in our Hydrating Daily Moisturiser because it causes it to become too thick and heavy.
And you should reapply sunscreen several times throughout the day, especially if working or playing outside. Whereas you only need to apply our moisturizer in the morning to keep your skin hydrated all day long.
The best way to protect your skin is to use a sunscreen that is light, absorbs well and is super-effective – one that you will be happy to keep re-applying. We think Anthelios XL by La Roche-Posay SPF50 is the best around.
KEEP YOUR HANDS AND LIPS HYDRATED TOO
It’s not only your face that can feel dehydrated and uncomfortable in the cold winter air. Your hands can get painfully dry and crack in winter as well. Whilst your lips become chapped and uncomfortable.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS
While it’s important to wash your hands often during cold and flu season, soaps and anti-bacterial hand sanitisers can be very drying. And again, hot water can be a culprit here too. Try to keep to lukewarm water when you wash your hands. It will be just as effective against bacteria but less damaging to your skin.
And you’ll need to restore any lost moisture. You can use our Hydrating Daily Moisturiser on your hands as well as your face. It will deeply hydrate your skin but without leaving a sticky, greasy feeling.
Alternatively, Kiehl’s make an excellent Hydrating Hand Cream which includes Shea Butter. We especially love the Grapefruit version for its delicious, fresh scent.
KEEP YOUR LIPS MOIST
You don’t need to be told that licking your chapped lips will only make them crack and peel worse. Instead use a lip balm, but not one that will dry your lips out even more. Avoid those containing menthol or alcohol. Our favourite is NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm – or simply stick to coating them with Vaseline.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN FROM THE INSIDE
Prevention is the key to keeping your skin in good shape all year round. And it pays to take even better care of your skin from the inside during winter.
Two things which will make all the difference -
a better diet
Try to Include foods rich in healthy fats and protein (like fish, walnuts, flax-seed, olive oil, soybeans) and vitamins A, C, and E (such as red peppers, broccoli, spinach, oranges, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, sunflower seeds, almonds). These will all help maintain your skin’s natural protective lipid barrier which is compromised by the dry or over-heated air.
drinking more water
To counter the dry air, it’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your skin healthy. Don’t underestimate the dehydrating effect of central heating and exercising outside.
The cold weather may not be your skin’s greatest friend but follow these tips and you’ll stay looking good all winter long.
I hope that you have enjoyed this improved guide.
Is there anything we’ve missed? Or maybe you have a question.
Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment below right now.