The winter holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier from a commercial standpoint. Now, it’s not uncommon for Black Friday/Christmas ads to start before Halloween. However, it’s challenging to think about wishlists, let alone skincare, when it’s still light out at 5 p.m. While putting gift shopping off to the last minute is perfectly acceptable — and may score you a sweet deal — early fall is the time to start thinking about skincare tips for colder weather.
Come winter, the dry air from the indoor heat and the freezing-cold air can do a number on our skin. Think dryness, cracked feet, and chapped lips. A little advanced preparation can go a long way. These men’s skincare tips for fall and winter will season-proof your regimen.
Fall is a transitional period. When it comes to fashion and style, you may find yourself layering by throwing on a cardigan in the morning and taking it off during an afternoon walk. It’s a transitional time for the skin, too.
As the weather cools, you may not feel as sweaty and won’t have the urge to wash your face constantly. Even morning workouts may feel less intense on your legs and skin because of the lack of perspiration. You may not have the heat on full blast, and frostbite risks are still at least a few weeks away.
What does that mean for fall men’s skincare? You’ll want to prepare your skin for the days ahead while giving it the TLC it needs now. You’ll want products that keep the skin clean, as well as moisturized and protected from the sun’s rays — a risk regardless of the month or weather.
The building blocks of skincare for men are generally the same all through the year, though there are some items to keep in mind as the temperature dips.
Your key fall products include:
- A gentle cleanser. Apply it with lukewarm water twice per day. It can be tempting to take a scalding-hot shower on a cooler day, but scorching water removes natural oils from the skin. As a result, skin can dry out faster, which is already an issue during the winter. Get in the habit of keeping water lukewarm now. Your skin should not look burnt post-shower.
- Moisturizer. Apply twice per day. If you shave, apply it after shaving. In the summer, lighter, thinner moisturizers feel better on the skin. You might personally enjoy a thicker cream in the winter. Fall is a good time to experiment with how different moisturizers make your skin feel. Start by applying a tiny bit to a patch of skin for a couple of days to ensure you don’t have an allergy to an ingredient.
- Eye cream. Eye creams specifically target the under-eye area. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may find yourself losing sleep. Investing in a good eye cream now can help you avoid dark circles and puffiness later.
- SPF. Yes, you need to apply sunscreen year-round. Even sitting by a car or office window exposes you to the sun’s rays, which are responsible for skin cancer and premature aging. The rays are still potent even when it’s cloudy and cool out. That said, you won’t need to apply as much if you aren’t often outside or by the window. Applying once before you go out in the morning and before you head out for your commute home should do. Opt for an SPF of 30+ with broad-spectrum protection.
- ChapStick. Getting in the habit of keeping lips moist now will help prevent them from getting cracked and chapped later. Choose a lip balm with SPF for added sun protection.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliating too often can dry out the skin. However, doing so once weekly can speed up dead skin cell turnover and give you a glowy look even as daylight hours wane.
- Foot care. If you have cracked heels, use a pumice stone to whittle away dead skin. Then apply a thick foot cream and put socks on to ensure the cream penetrates.
Outside of your typical skincare routine, invest in a humidifier now. Before you know it, you’ll be cranking the heat up. A humidifier can counteract the dryness.
The basic building blocks of a skincare routine are the same, regardless of the season: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen even in winter. However, late fall and winter present some unique challenges. Cold air outside and dry heat inside can dry out the skin. If that happens to you, making some tweaks may be beneficial. For example, a thicker cream may provide more moisture to the skin, and lip balms provide a protective barrier. Ultimately, you’ll want to stick with the products that work best for your skin year-round.
The weather outside may soon be frightful. Your skin does not have to follow suit. Knowing how the change in temperature affects your skin can help you prepare for what’s to come with the right products and regimen. Always apply a gentle cleanser with lukewarm water — hot water will only exacerbate your dry skin. A good moisturizer is essential, and a good humidifier can combat the dry heat of indoor heating units.
Even though it’s cold and often cloudy in the winter, SPF is still important because the sun’s rays are harmful at any time of the year. And remember: Before trying new products, do a patch test on a small part of your skin first. Repeat for a few days to ensure it doesn’t irritate the skin.
One of the best things you can do for your skin as the weather gets cooler is to make sure you’re always well-hydrated. As the weather cools down and fall transitions into winter, the air gets dryer, and that will cause your skin to lose moisture. And there is a way to combat this that is amazingly simple — and you’re probably doing it, anyway. Drink plenty of water. According to the Good Face Project, the key to combating dry skin is to keep your insides watered. By drinking water and eating hydrating foods, such as oranges, bell peppers, celery, and tomatoes, you can keep your skin looking healthy all fall and winter long.
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