Winter is coming… everyone keeps telling you and it’s on every magazine front around, but what does this mean? Essentially things are about to get a lot chillier and this change in weather can have a big impact on your skin and particularly your face.
The temperature change alone can drastically dehydrate your skin and create blocked pores, increasing your chances of blemishes and the dreaded ‘Winter acne’, so it’s key to move with the seasons and make some adjustments to your skincare routine to combat this.
You upgrade and update your wardrobe every season to suit the change in conditions, so why shouldn’t you upgrade your bathroom cabinet? Don’t get caught napping on your skincare routine, here are a few tips for upping your skincare game for Winter!
Never Fail To Prepare:
Maintaining good skin is all about the preparation and having a strict routine is the best way to ensure you tick all the boxes. The first step in any skincare routine is to remove the dirt and grime from the day/night before and this is where the importance of exfoliating comes in.
For any novices out there, exfoliating is essentially using a scrub or more grainy cleanser to gently remove dead skin particles and clean dirt from your pores. Without getting too vulgar, the build up of dead skin can create real problems, creating excess oil, clogging pores and ultimately creating spots or worse still, acne.
I like to exfoliate every morning or every other, depending on how my skin feels and looks. To avoid ‘over exfoliating’ and drying out the skin, it’s key to use ‘gentle’ motions when scrubbing and to use a scrub that isn’t too harsh or rough – there are plenty out there that are not dissimilar to rubbing sand into your face so beware!
My current fave is this ‘Nourish & Smooth’ from St Ives. Josie was sent this and often my curiosity gets the better of me and I often grab some of her products to try. Don’t be alarmed, this is very much unisex and the main reason I love it is it’s balance between a scrub and a mask, so it’s a ‘multi-tasker’.
The combination of natural exfoliant walnut shell powder with the soothing oatmeal makes it a great option for this time of year when the skin needs hydration and I typically use pre-shaving before showering. Exfoliating pre-shaving is ideal as the grains help raise hairs making them easier to ‘trim’!
It’s also great as a post shower mask – stick it on during a hot shower after cleansing and leave for 10 minutes after, gently wiping off with a flannel – good post workout!
Available at Boots, it’s a great value product at £5.95.
Keep It Clean:
When there is a chill in the air and the heaters are turned on, there’s likely to be a lot of grime about and it’s very important you reach for a decent cleanser every morning and evening to clean away an undesirable dirt that can clog your pores and creates blemishes.
Cleansing your skin is pretty basic and very much ‘Man 101’ these days, but the product(s) you use dictate how effective things are. The cleanser market is jam packed with both unisex and male specific products promising to improve everything from your skin to your health (!) and it’s crucial you pick a product that suits your skin and works for you.
If you have rather oily skin like me, this Zero Oil Palmetto and Mint Cleanser from Origins is a great shout. The ‘saw palmetto’ (a green plant that grows in North & S.America) helps limit excess oil production and the inclusion of salicylic acid stimulates exfoliation and ultimately unblocks pores.
I typically use this as a second step in the shower after the exfoliator in the morning or straight after the gym to remove any sweat and grime. It’s a fantastic all-rounder and a great product for the gym bag!
Available at John Lewis, it’s a bit pricier at £14.95 but has lasted me nearly 3 months, you only need a small ‘gloop’!
Hydration Is Key:
In the colder months there is less moisture in the atmosphere and your skin can become dehydrated, dry and flaky. To add insult to injury, the heating in your office and at home can further create problems and ultimately dry things out even more. All this means your skin is constantly fighting a battle against the elements and it’s important you ‘equip’ it with some firepower to fight back.
First up is a product I’ve only just recently started using but one that has already had a big impact on my skin, Age Rescue + Solid Water Essence by the chaps at Lab Series. Don’t be confused by the rather lengthy title, it’s essentially a ‘pre-moisturiser’ and a product to whack on beforehand to give your skin a refreshing glow and instant energy boost.
The inclusion of ginseng and caffeine help awaken the skin post-shower or getting out of bed and it’s jam packed with antioxidants to battle against the signs of ageing. For me I’ve enjoyed apply this straight after a mornings shower, followed by my hair routine allowing time for this to sink in. Then I reach for my moisturiser and apply on top.
It’s a great addition during the colder months and I think of it like adding another layer of protection and hydration. It can also be used solely as a moisturiser in my opinion, but don’t quote me on that!
Available at John Lewis, fairly lumpy but a great investment and will last 3-4 months easy.
Next up I reach for my daily moisturiser, the Super Moisture Balm from Clarins, a product that has been in my locker for as long as I can remember! The cold weather will deprive your skin of moisture and this needs replacing throughout the day. This bad boy from the Clarins Men Range helps keen your skin hydrated as you go about your daily routine and I keep a bottle (it’s handily sized) in my day bag to top up as and when.
The inclusion of ‘mourera fliuviatilis extract’ helps soothe the skin whilst bringing moisture and the intriguing Chinese galanga livens the skin and brings energy. All in all this a is a fantastic balm to keep your face looking sharp throughout Winter and is one of my all-time favourite skincare products.
Available at John Lewis and at £27.00 I think it’s actually good value considering it lasts 3 months minimum.
The need for added hydration doesn’t stop at the face, it’s equally important to look after the rest of your body when the temperature drops. Cold winds and humidity changes will impact all of your skin and it’s time to grab a decent body moisturiser to combat this.
I’m a big fan of Rituals and their Hammam Collection is an absolute winner. The ‘soul uplifting’ body creme is a particular favourite and the perfect product to hydrate all over and nourish the skin.
I like to apply this in the morning after a hot shower, a few minutes before getting dressed to let things sink in. The eucalyptus and rosemary combo not only smells amazing but helps brings a sense of calm to my morning routine!
Available at John Lewis for £17.55 which may seem pricey but it’s a worthy ‘luxury’ addition.
Don’t Forget The Eyes:
Dehydration can wreak havoc on your under eye areas and nothing ruins a look than big old eye bags! During the next few months why not upgrade your skincare routine with a product specifically designed to care for that under-eye area and treat any undesirable dark circles.
The Clinique For Men Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel has always been one of my favourites and comes in an incredibly easy to apply roller ball. The fast absorbing gel will help reduce puffiness under the eyes, hydrate and remove dark circles – a real warrior against the elements.
This tends to be the final step in my morning skincare routine, being sure to follow the cheekbones with the roller to apply. Don’t be tempted to roll on the actual eye bags themselves as this can actually have the adverse effect and further clog up the area!
Available to buy at John Lewis and priced at £22.00 – I keep saying it but if used correctly this should last as long as 6 months!
In addition to the above products it really goes without saying that to keep your skin looking healthy it’s crucial to stay physically hydrated and drink lots of water! It can be easy with the chillier temperatures to forget and just because you aren’t thirsty doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need a swig!
In addition to drinking more water getting enough sleep is another key element in maintaining fresh and healthy skin through Winter. It’s easier said than done but try to stay away from emails and social media and get the required Zs!
What are your favourite skincare products this Winter?