10 simple winter skincare tips for men
Navin Khosla has been a registered Pharmacist since 1995. He obtained his B.Pharm Degree in Pharmacy from the London School of Pharmacy, University of London in 1994, and has built a wealth of experience by working across the community pharmacy retail sector.
Winter can wreak havoc on your skin. It can dry it out, make it itchy and red, and exacerbate any skin conditions you may have. That’s not a great look! You really need to take care of your skin in winter and it’s easy to do too. It’s not even a case of using expensive skin products. In fact it’s not about using products at all. Here you’ll find your essential need-to-knows – now you can look after your winter skin by following 10 simple tips.
What does winter do to your skin?
Winter weather can be tough on your skin. It can cause it to lose water and receive less of the nutrients it needs to be healthy. But why?
Well, the air around you becomes drier as the temperature drops. All air contains water, but the colder the air becomes the less water it holds (the coldest places in the world are amongst the driest). If the air around you is cold your skin begins to lose water to the air. This process is called trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). It causes your skin to dry out, making it rougher and redder. Your skin can even crack and bleed if you lose too much water. TEWL gets worse in windy winter weather. Plus, indoor heating can also dry the air, so your skin loses water both when you’re outdoors and inside.
Cold temperatures also make the blood vessels in your skin contract, lowering the flow of blood to your skin cells. This can affect your skin health by reducing the supply of nutrients it receives. It can also reduce how much sebum oil your skin produces which can further dry your skin.
Lastly, lower levels of sunlight can reduce how much UV light your skin receives. And whilst UV light can damage your skin and cause sunburn, a certain amount of UV can be beneficial and help with skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.
All the above can make your skin drier, rougher, red, itchy and irritated. Your skin conditions can become aggravated, making life that little bit less enjoyable. So, what can you do to take care of your skin during the winter?
Our top tips and tricks for taking care of your skin during winter
Are you asking yourself: “how can I take care of my skin naturally in winter?”. Try the following tips:
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water each day is one of the healthiest things you can do, but it’s also the most important step you can take when keeping your skin hydrated during winter. There’s a lot of advice online about how much you should drink. It depends on how big and active you are. Drink enough water to keep your pee a pale-yellow colour and you’re good.
- Use a moisturiser and a lip balm: A high-quality moisturiser can work wonders on winter skin. You don’t need to spend a fortune or buy anything with magic-sounding ingredients. Opt for something on the thicker side as it’ll hydrate your skin and form a protective barrier on its surface. Your lips can become dry and chapped in winter too, particularly if you lick them, so use a lip balm as well. Again, you don’t need anything expensive – the cheaper products are usually just as effective as the more expensive ones.
- Eat a skin-friendly diet: Fruits and vegetables are full of the vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients your skin needs to be healthy. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can also help keep your skin hydrated. Yes, you can take supplements to help boost your intake of vitamins, nutrients and omega oils, but eating the healthiest diet possible will help with your skin and your overall health too.
- Get plenty of sleep: Your skin carries out a lot of recovery when you sleep. Make sure you get a good amount of sleep each night to give your skin the chance to heal itself.
- Buy a humidifier: A humidifier can stop the air inside becoming too dry. This can prevent your skin from losing water when you’re indoors as well as outdoors. For a cheap hack you can place saucers of water by your radiators. The heat will cause the water to slowly evaporate, increasing the humidity in the room.
- Turn the heating down: Lowering the thermostat and putting on a jumper can help your skin as well as your heating bills. A cooler bedroom can also help your skin to recover better as you sleep.
- Take shorter or cooler showers: Hot water can dry your skin. Try to shorten your showers or reduce the temperature a touch to protect your skin.
- Put hand cream next to the basin: The skin on your hands is particularly susceptible to moisture loss and washing them with hot water can make this worse. Keep a hand cream next to the basin so that every time you wash your hands you can apply some cream after drying them to protect your skin.
- Cover your skin: It’s a simple measure, but it works. Covering your skin when you’re outdoors can reduce how much moisture it loses and protect it from damage. On cold days make sure you wear gloves. You can even cover your face with a snood or a scarf.
- Take medication for your skin condition: If you have a skin condition like acne, eczema or psoriasis which gets worse in the winter you should use an appropriate medication. You can buy topical treatments and oral medications for eczema and psoriasis and you can buy effective prescription acne treatments like treclin.
How do you keep your skin hydrated in the winter?
Winter weather and indoor heating can dry out your skin. You can fight back by drinking plenty of water, applying a moisturiser to your skin, using a hand cream after washing your hands, turning your central heating down, using a dehumidifier in your home and taking shorter or cooler showers.
What should I apply on my face in winter?
You don’t need expensive products, miracle ingredients or concoctions of various items you’d find in your fridge. Use a basic facial moisturiser, ideally a thicker one, to keep your skin hydrated and protected from the elements. Use a lip balm to shield your lips too. You should make sure you apply any topical medications you have for skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis.
It might be cold outside, but you can keep your skin looking great this winter.