Moisturizers and beauty creams aren’t just for women anymore. More and more men are discovering the benefits of proper daily skin care—especially in the dead of winter when skin tends to dry out due to exposure to the cold and wind. Chapped lips, dry knuckles, and itchy skin are not only extremely uncomfortable winter ailments, but are seriously unattractive physical traits. The good news is, it’s not too late to adopt a new skin care regime for the winter! Save yourself and your ego from flaking with these pro tips for maintaining smooth, touchable, hydrated skin all year round.
Choose The Right Moisturizer
Any drug store or beauty aisle can appear somewhat daunting if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Even selecting something as simple as a daily moisturizer can be confusing without basic guidelines. An important element to the perfect moisturizer is that it includes sunscreen—preferably with an SPF of 15 or higher. Even though you’re seemingly exposed to less direct sunlight in the winter months, the harmful effects of the sun’s rays can still reach you, especially since the white surface of snow makes an excellent reflector for the sun. So be sure to choose a moisturizer with a decent SPF rating.
Take Shorter Showers
A nice hot shower can be a beacon of bliss along the horizon of a long winter’s day, but spending an extended amount of time under a steamy showerhead can be detrimental to your skin. Hot water can quickly dry out otherwise perfectly hydrated skin by opening up your pores and allowing moisture to escape. Despite the comforting and calming qualities of a steamy shower on a cold day, the maximum amount of time that should be spent enjoying a warm shower is 15 minutes. To prevent your skin from completely drying out after every single winter shower, aim to limit your shower time to 10 minutes and reduce the heat from scalding to simply warm.
Hold On To Hand Cream
One of the most common skin-related complaints during the dry, bitter winter season is raw, dry, and even cracked knuckles. Our hands are particularly susceptible to dryness because they get wet more frequently than other areas of our skin—we wash our hands throughout the day, scrub dishes with them, etc; plus hands are generally exposed to cold air more often than other body parts—even if we wear gloves we remove them to text or adjust our iPod settings. The dryness on our knuckles is particularly problematic as the stretching movements of our fingers can cause extremely dry knuckles to bleed. Remember to moisturize your hands regularly, or you could end up with scabby, sore, unsightly knuckles.
Invest In A Humidifier
One of the easiest ways to reduce your skin’s irritation in the winter is to place a humidifier next your bed. Run it while you sleep and it will silently return moisture to the dry air in your home. This little device will reduce your skin’s itchiness and prevent your sinuses from drying out from breathing stale air all night. A humidifier is a quick way to improve your skin quality while you do nothing but sleep—no fancy lotions required.
Never Lick Your Lips
Licking your lips is a serious wintertime offence. Saliva tends to intensify the degree to which lips are chapped, which results even dryer, more sore lips that you may be tempted to relieve by licking—thus completing the horrendous cycle. The only cure for dry lips is to buy a lip balm and apply it liberally and regularly. Also make an effort to drink more water each day if you find your lips are still dry after using lip balm.
Although winter skincare does tend to be more complicated than a general morning routine, these tips can apply to any time of the year if you’re experiencing similar problems outside of the winter time span. Don’t be afraid to step into the skincare aisle at your local pharmacy and purchase a few of the above necessities. You will be happier with less irritable skin and your body will look and feel more smooth, hydrated and touchable.