The skin on your nose is flaking.
Your lips are rock hard if not bleeding.
Your cheeks are lit up like a Christmas tree.
We've all been there – especially during the colder months!
On the list of universal cold-weather miseries, winter skin ranks somewhere up there with drippy head colds and scraping ice off your windshield in freezing temperatures.
The good news is that for most guys, it's avoidable. You just have to know what your skin needs this time of year.
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Cold Weather Skincare Questions ANSWERED
The internet is FULL of questions from men wondering how to take care of their skin during the colder months.
I mean seriously, there are whole forums dedicated to this topic – so answering every question out there is pretty impossible.
However, there are some questions that come up time and time again and (thankfully) these are the easiest to answer quickly!
1. Should You Keep Your Skin Covered During Winter?
Winter skin dryness has two main sources – cold weather and dry air. If you can minimize exposure to cold air and winter winds, you can prevent them from stripping away your skin's natural oils.
Always wear gloves and cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or the collar of your jacket, especially if it's windy. The less direct contact between the cold air and your skin (especially your lips), the better.
2. What Moisturizer Is Best For Winter?
It's common knowledge that moisturizing should be part of your grooming routine to prevent skin roughness, but winter is the time to step up your game. Look for a thicker, richer, natural moisturizer and keep an eye out for certain key ingredients that fight winter chapping and flaking as well as the effects of dryness:
- Emollients – to stop the skin from losing its moisture. These include plant oils, mineral oils, shea butter, cocoa butter, petrolatum, silicones and animal oils (like lanolin). Avoid petroleum, which can prevent skin from breathing and lead to dehydration, inflammation, and breakouts. Plant oils are best–they penetrate the skin quickly and deeply for long-lasting hydration and have antioxidants and vitamins to nourish and protect the skin from winter weather.
- Humectants – to attract additional external water to the skin. They include sorbitol, glycols, glycerin, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid.
- Antioxidants – fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules in the body that cause cell damage. Antioxidants include tocopherol (vitamin E), lycopene (a carotenoid found in red produce), green tea, coffeeberry, resveratrol (from grapes), grape seed, genistein (from soy), niacinamide (vitamin B3), and l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
- SPF – the sun still ages your skin even in the winter.
- The basic essential – make sure you use a natural face cleanser for men, a specially formulated men's exfoliator and use a natural moisturizer for men regularly to keep your skin healthy, clear and bright.
3. Should Men Use Daily or Weekly Skincare Products?
Winter is a great time to pamper your skin a little bit. Try adding an intensive treatment to your routines, like a weekly mask or exfoliating treatment with a natural face scrub.
Leave-on masks and peels, used once weekly, are a great way to treat issues at the deeper layers of your skin. Just check the ingredients and make certain there's nothing that could build up or irritate your face. A leave-on treatment that's right for you will feel great – as well as look great once you take it off.
Going the extra mile for your skin makes you look younger and gives you a healthy glow that helps you look and feel more attractive. It's relaxing and even kind of fun, and allows you to put your best face forward.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies use substances like alcohol and petroleum in their skincare products because they’re cheap. But this can irritate and dry out your skin, which in turn can cause it to crack – leading to infections and even Eczema!
Sound familiar? Don't worry – VITAMAN's Natural Eczema Relief is perfect for guys who want to help relieve the signs of Eczema using high-quality, natural products that won’t WORSEN dry skin!
4. How To Fix Chapped Lips?
You can dodge the nagging discomfort of chapped lips entirely – even in winter – with a little proactive care.
The main cause of chapped lips is dry air whipping past them, carrying away all the moisture that should be there naturally. A coat of vaseline each time you leave the house will prevent the wind from having this effect. And if you tend to sleep with your mouth open because of winter congestion, a coat before bed is a requirement too.
If your lips do get chapped, the key is to take care of them consistently, hydrate, and protect that moisture-trapping layer. Carry your men's lip moisturizer everywhere (look for one with emollients like beeswax).
Make a habit of putting it on by pairing it with something else you do frequently, like washing your hands.
5. What Natural Oils Are Good For Men’s Skin?
Essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils, are necessary for your skin to retain moisture. Your body, however, doesn't make them on its own. To reap their benefits, you need to make sure to include them in your diet.
Salmon, sardines, mackerel, lake trout and other cold-water fish, flax and chia seeds, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, olive oil, and whole grains are all examples of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods.
Omega-3 and omega-6 supplements are also available, but keep in mind that they can't replace dietary fatty acids completely.
6. Should You Shave Less In Winter?
Shaving can wreak havoc on winter-dry skin.
The secret to coming out of a wintertime shave with your outer layer of skin intact? The right products plus the right technique.
The winter months are not the time for disposable razors. Get a quality safety razor or learn to use a straight razor. The reason for this is simple – you want a blade you don't have to make three or four passes with. With a closer and faster shave, your skin suffers less.
Use a moisturizing soap or natural shaving gel that's high in the ingredients discussed above (you want one that gives a rich, slippery lather). Make sure your aftershave balm isn't alcohol-based (which can be very drying) and consider swapping it out completely for a deep-hydrating cream.
Moisturizing should be your last step after shaving. Your soap or shaving cream and razor will open your pores and wear down the outer layer of your skin. Anything you put on your face during this crucial time will be fully absorbed by your skin, so make sure it's nourishing, not depleting.
7. Can Your Style Affect Your Skin?
For many, the biggest winter skincare struggle is sensitivity. With the outer layer of the skin becoming dry and brittle, irritation and redness are often par for the course.
As a rule, shirts and sweaters with a tighter weave will be softer and cause less irritation to the skin. Soft natural fibers like cotton and synthetic weaves like polyester that feel smooth to the touch are the best choices for shirts and other items that directly contact skin.
Particularly look out for shirts that are textured at the collar and cuffs, as these are areas most prone to flaky skin.
What Can You Do At Home To Help Relieve Dry Skin?
Aside from using the right products, there are also some easy steps you can take at home to relieve the symptoms of dry skin during the colder months.
While using products is definitely recommended, it's also important to understand the changes you can make to your daily routine that could have a significant positive impact on the overall condition of your skin.
1. Take Warm Showers (NOT Hot!)
Please note the key term used here is “warm” not “hot”.
Hot showers should be avoided in the winter as they strip the body of the essential oils needed to keep your body lubricated, which acts as a defence against cold temperatures.
Not only will your skin benefit from warm showers, but your muscles can also benefit from them as well.
2. Take Fewer and Quicker Showers
One shower a day is ideal and your best bet would be to stick with this schedule.
If you live an active lifestyle consisting of sports and regular trips to the gym, you will obviously have to shower more often.
If this is the case, keep the duration of your showers to a minimum. Really long showers have the same effect as a hot shower – they strip the essential oils from your skin and leave you dry and itchy.
3. Don't Use a Washcloth or Loofah
Most of us have been using a washcloth our entire lives. However, when considering your skin during the colder months, you might want to think twice before picking yours up.
Like most things on this list, the main factor here is that using a washcloth or loofah strips the oils from your skin leaving you at risk of dry and itchy skin during the wintertime.
So no loofah or washcloth? What to use? Instead, use your hands to wash your body.
It's a tried and true way of cleansing yourself and isn't as harsh on your skin!
4. Only Wash the Key Areas of Your Body
We all like to be clean but sometimes things go a little overboard.
Washing with soap too much can be damaging especially for those who wash more than one time a day.
Instead of washing every single body part with soap, focus on the key areas such as your armpits, crotch area, and your feet.
In a nutshell, areas of your body that tend to sweat a lot are the areas where soap is advisable.
This will result in you still being clean without causing much-needed irritation due to soap residue. You will also be able to save a few bucks in the bank without the overuse of soap.
5. Use A Humidifier
Most of the tips we discussed so far had to do when you are in the bathroom.
Given that we spend more time outside of the bathroom than in it, this next one is pretty important.
A humidifier is a great way to fight against dry air in your house. You should look into getting at least one in your home or two if it spans over 1,600 square feet.
Ideally, your goal should be to have each room in your house range from 45% to 55% moisture. This will ensure dry air won't have an impact on your skin.
6. Drink 8 Glasses Of Water
You should aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day.
As an alternative, you can look into eating fruits and vegetables that have high water content such as cucumbers and celery.
The simple task of drinking water is often forgotten but can provide huge benefits if you take the effort to drink more of it.
In conclusion – taking care of your skin should be priority number one for men. Having healthy and supple skin will make you look better no matter what you wear.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies use substances like alcohol and petroleum in their skincare products because they’re cheap.
But this can irritate and dry out your skin, which in turn can cause it to crack – leading to infection. Always choose men’s skincare products made from natural ingredients.