- Winter is upon us – and that’s bad news for your skin.
- Cold weather and artificial heating can drain the moisture from your skin, leaving you red and flakey.
- INSIDER spoke to grooming expert and writer for Sweden’s Café magazine Jonas Öhman to find out the biggest mistakes guys make with their skin in winter.
- Öhman also told us some best practices for keeping your skin clear and hydrated in the cold weather.
Winter is a terrible time for your skin.
Snow, rain and sleet are the least of your worries as your skin strains to acclimatize to centrally-heated buildings, which drain the moisture from the air and leave your skin feeling dry and flakey.
The festive period also means plenty of festive drinking. “‘Not only is alcohol a diuretic forcing the water out of our bodies, but it also makes it more difficult to rehydrate afterwards so you will be left with dry, flaky skin and your fine lines and wrinkles will be more visible thanks to the lack of fluid in your skin,” skin expert Michaella Bolder told Elle.
Unfortunately, a lot of guys still don’t know what they can do to combat this period of skin Armageddon, and continue to make the same mistakes time and time again. INSIDER spoke to grooming expert and writer for Sweden’s Café magazine Jonas Öhman to find out what we’re doing wrong, and how to remedy it.
You use the wrong type of moisturizer
“Guys are obsessed with being as matte as humanly possible,” Öhman says. By this, he means they hate sticky or greasy lotions and instead opt for moisturizers that are thin and lightweight.
While this is all well and good in the heat of summer, or if you have particularly oily skin, it won’t do the job on a cold winter’s day
“People continue using their gels and light lotions, which results in them becoming dry, or flakey, or red,” Öhman says.
“It’s one of the biggest misconceptions: that you can use the same product all year round.”
Instead, opt for a heavier moisturizer in cold weather. While it might feel a little greasy at first, it will stop your skin from drying out over the course of the day.
You don’t use serum
Öhman says guys should incorporate a serum into their skincare routine during winter. It’s basically a lightweight moisturiser with smaller molecules that delve deeper into the skin.
While using a serum is not essential, it will provide an extra layer of hydration for your skin.
You can use these serums on their own, or in conjunction with your moisturizer – first, cleanse, apply serum, then your moisturizer as normal.
Öhman recommends Bulldog‘s offering in the serum bracket, which he says “is full of anti-oxidants, which are very beneficial to your skin and it doesn’t leave that kind of sticky, greasy feeling on your skin afterwards.”
You overdry your skin
“When people think clean, they think that is actually like dry skin,” Öhman explains.
“That feeling like when you wash your face with soap and your face goes all shiny and tight. That’s what people think of when they think ‘clean.'”
While your skin may be clean, it is also very dry, and there are plenty of other products you can use that will do the same job without that taught skin feeling.
Lots of people opt for foaming cleansers because it makes them feel cleaner, but that’s not actually the case, Bulldog Skincare For Men CEO Simon Duffy previously told INSIDER.
“Naturally-formulated shower gels are dodging an ingredient called SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) – that is a really cheap foaming agent,” he says.
“[the foaming agent] is actually more for the experience than the efficacy of cleaning.”
Instead, Öhman recommends seeking out a milk or balm-type cleanser, which may feel different at first, “because you’re not going to feel clean in the way that you felt clean in the past using foaming cleansers.”
“But will actually provide you with moisture instead of ripping moisture away from your skin.”
You don’t exfoliate
It’s particularly important to exfoliate during the winter period, because your skin is drying out much faster than normal. Going inside won’t save you either – artificial heating drains moisture from the air, making your home or office like a well-furnished Sahara Desert.
This build-up of dry skin will block your pores and lead to breakouts.
Öhman recommends exfoliating all year round, either via a mechanical scrub or a chemical one.
Mechanical scrubs use kernels or seeds to physically clear the dead skin from your face.
If your skin is a little more sensitive then you may be better off using a chemical exfoliant, Öhman says, because they’re more gentle.
Exfoliating will allow all your other products to do their jobs properly, rather than sitting on the surface of your skin.
You forget about your lips and hands
“I see a lot of guys with chapped lips and I think that’s just completely unacceptable in 2018 if you’re not a mountaineer, which I don’t think anyone is,” Öhman says.
“It’s so unattractive when you see a well-dressed man that takes care of himself in every way but their lips and their hands are all dry and flakey.”
It’s not just your face that will be exposed to the elements this winter. Lip balm is essential to prevent uncomfortably chapping and a dab of hand cream will stop your hands from cracking.
If you don’t like the way hand cream feels, or don’t want to get grease all over your keyboard at work, Öhman advises applying a small amount to the back of one hand then rubbing it in with the back of the other.