As temperatures start to drop and we head into the onslaught of winter weather, it’s time to start thinking about “winterizing” our kissers. Oh, wait — it’s already too late!
“Cold winter air already has low humidity, which dries the skin; and then cranked up heat makes us even more dehydrated, further drying skin and making hair brittle,” according to Vicky Pena of the Boardroom Salon for Men (a chain of men’s grooming centers). “The real key to winter skin (and beard) health is to take good care of your skin year-round! The best solution is a regime that is convenient so you’ll do it every day.”
For example: “As we head into Movember,” says Pena, “Nine out of 10 guys won’t make it through the month. Their skin and beards become uncomfortable and itchy, which makes guys start constantly touching and rubbing their faces, and that leads to breakouts. Maintain your skin every day, year-round, and, when it’s time for winter beard season, you’ll be more likely to like it and keep it.”
Pena also points out that shaping a beard or mustache is key. For that, you may want to seek professional help to be sure you’re cultivating a silhouette that makes sense for your face’s shape and hair type. Our check out our guide.
“Keep in mind that the hair on the top of your head is different from the hair on your face,” adds Pena. “Don’t use the same shampoo for both. Scalp pores are different from face pores, so they react differently to cleaners and conditioners.”
Of course, it’s important to restore the moisture to hair and skin that nature and central heat have taken away. See below for some products that will help keep — or restore — that balance and keep you looking great all year round.
Shampoo and Conditioner
The Boardroom uses Bumble and Bumble hair products because they are known for their moisturizing properties. Experiment with different shampoos to find one that’s right for your hair and scalp. Pena recommends those that include natural oils like coconut, jojoba, or vitamin E. “It should provide what your hair and scalp need, but not weigh you down,” says Pena. You may want to use a conditioner every day in the winter when conditions are drier, but every other day in the summer to avoid an oily, greasy finish.
To keep beards clean and moisturized, here’s an option for a shampoo and conditioner designed for your face, not your scalp. Beardbrand’s Blank Slate is a fragrance-free wash, with a gentle lather and a touch of aloe. Follow up with the brand’s beard softener to nourish and condition your beard with more aloe, coconut milk, and shea butter.
Then follow up with one of our recommended best beard oils. Pena says they are great for making your beard soft and shiny, but they are also great for the skin under the beard. “The goal is to get the oil down to the skin and then pull it out through the beard,” she recommends.
Pena says Jack Black is well-known for men’s facial needs and, again, likes products that feature natural oils and are paraben-free. Jack Black’s Beard Lube is a three-in-one product, functioning as a pre-shave oil, a shaving cream, and an after-shave conditioner. Jojoba and macadamia nut oils help soften whiskers, while eucalyptus and peppermint refresh the skin — and they smell great, too!
Pena points out that we are constantly licking our lips, especially when they get dry, and saliva can dry them even further. Most lip balms are just wax, filling in the cracks and sealing in moisture. Lucky Bastard’s balm uses a ton of natural materials — calendula-infused almond oil, coconut oil, candelilla wax, shea butter, beeswax, and so much more — to create a product that is protective, moisturizing and, maybe most importantly, it tastes and feels good!
Oatmeal is great for more than just curbing cholesterol and warming up your belly on a frosty morning; it also makes for gentle exfoliation. Aspen Kay’s bar is also made with certified organic ingredients and is gentle enough for sensitive skin — even for babies!
Marlowe’s body lotion includes lots of natural ingredients, like passionflower extract for skin restoration and moisture, green tea extract for antioxidants and to protect skin from environmental stress, willow bark, and deep sea algae for further soothing properties. It’s more heavy-duty to battle winter’s dryness, but it’s not greasy and has a soft, pleasant fragrance.
Just because everything from your neck down may be covered up for the better part of the winter — other than all but the most intimate of moments — doesn’t mean that your skin, particularly your hands, might not be feeling winter’s effects. Be sure to exfoliate dead skin away regularly, and follow up with a whole body moisturizer.
When you do head out to brave the cold, don’t forget that, even though you’re not feeling the heat of a summer’s day, the sun’s rays can still do their damage. Throw on some sunscreen to beat the sun’s aging and drying effects. Thinksport’s mineral-based sunscreen contains 20 percent zinc oxide for broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It’s also water resistant, which may not be as much of a problem in the winter (just avoid face planting on the slopes), unless you work up a sweat. It also doesn’t contain chemical UV absorbers, PABA, parabens, or BPA.
Article originally published October 7, 2016. Last updated by John Jones on October 26, 2018, to include new and improved products.
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