Big, cosy sweaters and cups of hot chocolate can do wonders for your mood. But winter is not so great for your skin!
Cold weather and dry air, coupled with indoor heating, dehydrate your skin leaving it feeling dry and rough during winter. And, as a man, this dryness makes your face more sensitive when shaving, and more prone to premature ageing too.
But don’t worry.
We’ll show you how to take the best care of your skin and build a routine to keep your face smooth and hydrated however chilly it gets!
How to take care of your skin in winter … and why you need to
Redness, sensitivity, irritation and dry, flaky skin; cold, wintery 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.
Read on to make sure that your skin doesn’t become damaged this winter.
Gentle, hydrating skincare is what's required
#1 Clean your face but without drying out your 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.
But washing your face with a harsh cleanser or soap 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.
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
Dehydration from cold, winter air can lead to flaky skin which looks dull and grey. It’s essential to exfoliate these flaky 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 get to work.
The right exfoliator will brighten and re-invigorate your skin. And by clearing away the dead skin cells it 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. These are much better than gritty (or physical) scrubs which can dry out your skin and cause tiny tears in the skin’s surface.
Our Daily Face Wash includes Lactic Acid, a naturally occurring alpha-hydroxy acid that will gently and effectively exfoliate your skin. And it’s gentle enough that you can use it every day without irritation – even if you have sensitive skin.
By using our Daily Face Wash you can clean and exfoliate in one step - every morning. This makes 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!
So if you want glowing, healthy looking skin check out – A Man’s Guide to Exfoliation: FAQ's – where we answer all your questions.
#3 Opt for an easy, comfortable shave in winter
When the temperature drops, shaving can become a painful task!
The key to avoiding this is to introduce a hydrating shaving cream to your routine. This will 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, luxurious 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.
#4 Moisturize…a lot!
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 will leave 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 with powerful 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 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.
#5 Don’t skip the 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.
#6 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 easily get painfully dry and crack in winter. 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.
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
drinking 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.
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.