January 07 Old Man Winter
Old man Winter is finally here. Looking at the snow falling reminded me how ruff this weather is on our skin and hair. Making me ask, “How many men out there have actually thought about changes they should be making to their grooming routines, or worse how many men are out there with no routine at all?!”
With no idea of what you need, I’m sure one or all of these apply to you. Your skin has become flaky and dull or red, cracked and flaky. Your hands are dry, your lips are probably chapped. You might even have windburn. Your beard (if you have one) looks and feels like steel wool and your hair like feels straw.
Pretty picture? Absolutely not!
DON’T PANIC… I’ve got you covered.
Just a few small steps will make all the difference.
I think when men hear the term “grooming routine” they quickly start feeling overwhelmed. I get it completely. There are so many products out there that it can be confusing and somewhat stressful trying to figure it out. Don’t worry. No matter what skin type you have, dry, oily or combination, there are basic steps you should take to keep yourself looking and feeling your best. If your wondering if you can afford it, take comfort, just because there are products costing hundreds of dollars out there it does not mean that you can’t shoot for a decent mid range and substitute some out some of it with products you already have at home.
I’m gonna break it down for you.
his is the first step of any good skin care routine. Before you apply anything else you need to remove the dust, dirt and pollutants. You should clean your face at least twice a day, once in the morning and once right before you go to sleep. Stay away from bar soap. You can even skip soap all together opting instead for a good rinse with warm water before exfoliation.
Exfoliation is the method we use to get rid of dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities. It is best to exfoliate at night. The rest of your skin care will work much better after you’ve sloughed off the dead stuff. Keep in mind exfoliating too frequently can strip away your skins natural oils. Which is not a good thing. Its best to exfoliate about twice a week. If you have very sensitive skin try once every other week. Most importantly, be gentle guys! There are two basic types of exfoliators, physical i.e. a scrub or a simple washcloth with cleanser. Chemical i.e. salicylic or glycolic acid usually found in creams. Physical exfoliation is best for darker completions, oily and combination skin. Chemical exfoliation is best for dry and aging skin. If you are prone to acne its best to avoid this step.
It’s always important to moisturise but in winter as the cold attacks our faces, causing the skin to dry up, peel and even crack it’s never been more important. Find a moisturiser that works for your skin type to keep you looking fresh-faced and youthful. Lighter moisture for oily skin and heavier creams for dryer skin.
Make sure to moisturize at least twice daily. You can apply as needed throughout the day, especially if you have out in the elements longer than usual.
Some moisturizers are petroleum-based. Petroleum can actually dry your skin out more by slowing your skins own natural oil production. Choose something easy that has natural, nourishing ingredients. Go for an oil-based rather than a water-based solution, it will help your skin retain moisture in the winter. Try natural moisturizing oils, they’re hydrating ingredients like grape seed, olive, jojoba, coconut and more, help soothe dry, itchy skin.
Despite what a lot of people think beards do not protect you fro the elements. It needs just as much care as your skin. The good thing if you choose a natural oil-based product for your moisturizer then it’s going to work great for your beard as well. Do not wash your beard more than twice a week in winter. Rinse with warm water and moisturize. Oils like coconut have natural antibacterial and anti fungal properties to keep the cooties away.
A Close Shave
For clean shaven men its worth spending a bit of extra time on the prep and post shave routine. If possible shave after a hot shower your pores will be open and the hair softer. To eliminate drag and pull make sure to rinse your razor after each stroke. Instead of aftershave in the winter it’s a good idea to use a post shave cream. This will act as a balm to reduce the redness and sensitivity of the skin, reducing shaving rash which is a very common problem with dryer, winter skin.
Hydrate from the inside out. In other words DRINK WATER!
Typically water is not talked about in grooming guides but keeping hydrated will provide your skin with essential vitamins and minerals to look healthy and happy this winter.
Keep a good lip balm with you, it will keep dry lips from cracking, feeling bitten and looking like a blade cut through them! Nobody wants lips like that near them and it’s painful to look at!
Same routine, wash and condition like always, just not as often if possible. Try to use water-soluble grooming products that will rinse away in the shower without having to wash every day. If your hair still feels dry or over staticky then use a little coconut oil on the ends. The triglycerides closely match ours and will absorb into your skin and hair.
Remember, your hair and face are the first things most people see. No matter how stylish you dress, a great grooming routine shows attention to detail. Women will notice and love you for it.