Cosy sweaters and cups of hot chocolate can do wonders for your mood.
But harsh winter conditions aren’t so great for your skin!
The cold weather and dry air (coupled with indoor heating) will dehydrate your skin, leaving it dry, rough and chapped.
And to make matters worse…
This dryness leaves your face more sensitive when you’re shaving, and more prone to premature ageing too.
But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to protect against the elements.
You can build a routine that will keep your face looking smooth and hydrated no matter how chilly it gets!
Use gentle, hydrating skincare to make this a season full of winter handsomeness!
Why it’s vital to take care of your skin in winter
Cold, wintery conditions are tough on your face and play havoc with your complexion.
The reason 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 air inside - Central heating, wood-burning stoves, and cosy fireplaces all reduce the humidity indoors and dry your skin out even further.
You need to compensate for this to make sure that your skin doesn’t become chapped, cracked and red this winter.
Gentle, hydrating skincare is what's needed
#1 CLEAN YOUR FACE (but without drying out your skin)
Your first step - morning and evening - should be to wash your face.
This keeps your skin looking clear and healthy, as well as removing dirt and oil build up which can clog your pores and cause acne and blemishes.
But it’s important to avoid over cleaning.
A harsh cleanser or soap can cause skin irritation and leave your face feeling dry at the best of times!
And in winter it’s even more important that you don’t strip away your skin’s natural oils, because this can compromise the protective barrier of your skin.
The answer is to use a face wash that will effectively clean your skin, and at the same time keep those natural oils in place.
The best solution: use a good quality non-drying face wash like our Daily Face Wash that clears away excess oil and dirt, but without causing any dryness.
It contains Glycerin - to stop your skin from drying out – and hydrating ingredients like Aloe Vera and Allantoin. This facilitates moisture and restores your skin to normal hydration. Perfect for when the cold, dry air is disrupting that delicate balance of your skin.
And as you’ll see below Daily Face Wash gently exfoliates away dead skin cells too.
Giving you fresh, clean, healthy skin in one step!
It’s also good to stick to lukewarm water when washing your face, as hot water will dehydrate your skin even more.
The same applies when you’re taking a shower.
It can be tempting to take long, hot showers when the mercury drops. But the high water temperature, and the evaporation that occurs once you’re out of the shower, will dry your skin out.
We’ve got more on the best way to wash your face without harming or drying out your skin here – “CLEAN: the best way to keep your face looking fresh and healthy".
#2 EXFOLIATE to brighten up dull, winter skin
Gently exfoliating regularly is one of the best things you can do for your skin in winter.
Dehydration from the cold, winter air leads to dry, flaky skin and makes your complexion look dull and grey.
Exfoliation 'unglues' these dry, dead skin cells immediately improving your skin’s appearance.
It also accelerates cell renewal and stimulates your skin’s natural repair mechanism. So …
- your skin tone looks smoother and more even
- there’s less chance of ingrown hairs when you shave
- and your moisturizer absorbs easily, keeping your skin well hydrated and healthy
It also increases blood circulation to your face, bringing nutrients to the skin’s surface. Giving you a healthy, glowing complexion.
Avoid using a gritty, facial scrub to exfoliate your face! They're too harsh for facial skin, causing tiny tears in the skin’s surface and triggering even more dryness and irritation.
This does a really thorough job of getting rid of dead skin cells (but without causing irritation). And it’s so gentle that you can use it every day – even in the coldest conditions.
Our Daily Face Wash cleans, exfoliates and re-energizes your skin in one quick step. Making sure that dead skin cells are swept away before they get the chance to build up and show up as flaky skin.
So your skin is always in excellent condition.
In fact, exfoliation is one of the best things that you can do to improve your skin year-round! Check out – “A Man’s Guide to Exfoliation: FAQ's” - for more on this.
#3 Opt for an EASY, COMFORTABLE SHAVE in winter
When the temperature drops, shaving can become a painful task!
Your skin becomes sensitive and easily irritated in cold weather. So special care is needed when you shave.
The answer is to prep your skin well, use a nourishing, protective shaving cream, adopt a good shaving technique and apply a moisturizer afterwards.
A good hydrating shave cream will protect your skin, help reduce irritation and lubricate to allow the razor to glide freely.
We’ve also incorporated Apricot Stone Oil to lubricate your skin and soften the hair for a smoother, easier shave.
Leaving your skin beautifully hydrated and healthy.
Like all of our products, Protective Shave Cream is dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic and non-irritating.
It has also undergone and passed the rigorous European Cosmetic Regulations.
Plus it’s cruelty free.
We’ve got more on the best shaving practices here – “SHAVE: 9 tips for a pain free shave".
#4 MOISTURIZE…a lot!
After you wash your face and shave it’s time to seal in hydration with a moisturizer.
You’re always going to look your best if your skin is well hydrated, and this is especially true in winter.
Don’t wait for your face to get so dry that it needs to be rescued. Moisturize every single day to keep your face smooth and soft.
But that doesn’t mean having to use a thick heavy cream that leaves you with a greasy feeling.
A lightweight cream with the right ingredients is 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.
And it’s packed full of the best anti aging ingredients:
- Hyaluronic Acid - for deep and long-lasting skin hydration, making your face look smoother and firmer
- Matrixyl – a peptide which stimulates natural collagen production to smooth fine lines and prevent deep wrinkles from forming
- Aloe Vera and Allantoin – to soothe and soften red, chapped winter skin
- Glycerin - to keep your skin soft and hydrated all day long
- D-Panthenol - to calm any redness and irritation from cold winds. This also restores the barrier function of the skin which becomes compromised in dry, cold weather
- Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E - anti-oxidants which regenerate your skin and help combat the aging effects of winter
Even if you have oily skin, it’s still essential to use a moisturiser in winter to hydrate and nourish. 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.
Pay special attention to your eye area
Considering the eye area has virtually no oil glands and is the first to show signs of aging, it’s essential to keep the skin here well hydrated.
The best solution: you don’t need to buy a separate eye cream. Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer is perfect for the delicate eye area as well.
It will hydrate and soften the skin and diminish the look of any wrinkles. And with anti aging peptides it improves circulation, stimulates collagen and protects the delicate under eye skin from free radical damage, reducing the bags under your eyes .
#5 DON'T SKIP SUNSCREEN
Even on dull, cloudy days UVA/UVB rays are present, and capable of damaging your skin. And for those of you working outside, sunscreen is always a must.
Remember to reapply sunscreen several times throughout the day, especially if working or exercising outside.
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 that Anthelios XL SPF50 by La Roche-Posay is one of the best around.
UPDATE: We’ve discovered an excellent ultra-matte sunscreen in clear gel form.
It’s from the French skincare brand SVR and the product is called ‘SUN SECURE extreme SPF 50+’. The gel is very protective and leaves your skin looking completely matte, but it does have a heavy fragrance so it may not be for everybody!
Compensate for the lack of humidity in the air by using hydrating skincare every day
#6 Keep your HANDS AND LIPS HYDRATED too
It’s not only your face that can feel dehydrated and uncomfortable in winter. Your hands can easily get painfully dry and crack.
Whilst your lips become chapped and uncomfortable.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS
It’s important to wash your hands often but soaps and anti-bacterial hand sanitisers can be 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 to restore any lost moisture, keep a stock of hand cream nearby. 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.
KEEP YOUR LIPS MOIST
You don’t need to be told that licking your chapped lips will only make them crack and peel worse than before.
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.
Why is my skin so dry in winter?
The combination of cold, dry air outside and over-heated dry air inside leave your skin feeling dry and chapped.
As the temperature drops outside, the air is less able to hold moisture and so it becomes drier. This prompts it to draw moisture from your skin, leading to that dry, tight feeling.
On top of that indoor heating, wood-burning stoves, and cosy fireplaces all reduce the humidity indoors and dry your skin out even further.
How can I keep my skin looking smooth in winter?
You need to compensate for the lack of humidity in the air to make sure that your skin doesn’t become dry, chapped and red during winter.
The best way is to use hydrating skincare.
Wash your face with a non-drying face wash (ideally one that includes Glycerin). And moisturize your skin a lot! Again Glycerin is a great ingredient, but also look for a moisturizer which includes Hyaluronic Acid. This will hydrate your skin deeply, but won’t make it feel greasy at all.
Take care of your skin from the inside too
Prevention is the key to keeping your skin in good shape all year round. And it’s worth paying special attention to your diet during winter.
Two things which will make all the difference -
a healthy 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).
We’ve listed ‘An A-Z of the 27 Best Anti Aging Superfoods for Men’ here to give you some more ideas.
Dry or over-heated air in winter can compromise your skin’s natural protective lipid barrier. These foods will all help to maintain this protective barrier, and keep your skin looking smooth and healthy
drink more water
It’s important to drink plenty of water to keep your skin healthy at all times of the year. But it’s especially important to remember to stay hydrated in winter in order to counteract the dry air. Don’t underestimate the dehydrating effect of central heating and exercising outside.
And to keep your spirit strong check out: "Shake off the winter blues: 6 ways to boost your energy".
Freezing cold weather may not be your skin’s friend but follow these tips and you’ll stay looking good all winter long!
- Keep your face clean, but without drying out your skin
- Exfoliate away dead skin cells to instantly improve dull, winter skin
- Use a nourishing, protective shave cream for an easy, comfortable shave
- Moisturize… a lot!
- Remember to use sunscreen
- Keep hands and lips hydrated too
And take care of your skin from the inside as well
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
Use gentle, hydrating skincare to make this a season full of winter handsomeness!
SHOP THE ROUTINE.
All you need to stay looking handsome.