Winter grooming can be something of a minefield, with usual routines no longer cutting the mustard and a plethora of whole new skin, hair and other skins to be concerned with. Maintaining your masculine charm is a must in the lead up to Christmas, with social events filling up every available evening and weekend, but flakey skin, lank hair and unkempt facial fuzz won’t do you any favours at all.
Here’s our guide to what to avoid and what you need in your life this festive season to keep things ticking over in the grooming department.
Avoid skincare products that contain alcohol, as they tend to dry skin out when applied topically – a cardinal sin when it comes to the winter, when skin enemies are already at an all-time high.
Don’t think you’re getting off scott-free with the boozing, either, as drinking too much of the stuff is equally as bad, and dehydrates you from the inside out. Given that it’s the festive season, we wouldn’t expect you to shelve the Christmas tipples completely, but spare a thought for your poor skin before you order that last pint. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the evening, too, as this will help to somewhat soften the blow.
Not only does facial fuzz look good, but it also serves as a great source of insulation during the winter – so why wouldn’t you want to grow a beard? That is, unless you leave it to fend for itself. Any self-respecting beardie knows that caring for the hair on your chin is just as important as the looking after the strands on your head.
Why? Because facial hair wicks moisture away from the surface of the skin, leaving it dry, dehydrated and prone to the dreaded beard dandruff. Massaging your beard and the surrounding area with a good-quality beard oil will increase blood flow, resulting in healthy growth, as well as keeping skin soft and well-hydrated underneath.
Ever wondered why dry skin is generally accepted as part and parcel of winter? Central heating is largely to blame, sapping moisture from your skin, and combined with the cold, dry air outside, it’s a recipe for disaster.
To keep the environment moist, invest in a dehumidifier – or if you’d rather not part with the cash, then a few bowls of water placed around the house or office will suffice.
Many neglect to protect against harmful UVA rays in the winter, but be warned – in winter, they can be equally as damaging to the skin. Choose a daily SPF moisturiser to guard against the damage that can cause premature ageing – let’s be honest, none of us want to look a decade or two older than we actually are.
Omega 3 fatty acids
If your diet is deficient in essential fatty acids then nasty shaving nicks, blemishes and other wounds will fail to heal properly. Skin becomes dehydrated and more prone to infection, so up your intake of oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, or take a daily supplement to top up your stores and keep skin happy.
Temperature changes experienced in winter can wreak havoc on the skin. Constantly switching between well-heated rooms and the cold outdoors will commonly upset the balance, and with cells failing to regenerate rapidly enough, skin is left dry, dull and flakey.
Invest in a good exfoliating facial scrub and use religiously two to three times a week to keep skin smooth, comfortable and more receptive to your moisturiser.
An estimated 50% of the population are deficient in Vitamin D, which is formed in the skin only on exposure to sunlight. In the winter, we don’t tend to get much at all, so a daily supplement is a must.