We may spend most of our time talking about designer garms and fresh kicks, but we know there’s a whole lot more to looking good than what you’re packing in your closet. Groom Service is your no-BS guide in how to look, smell, and feel better. This week, we talk looking after your skin in the dry chill of winter.
Summer and winter come with their own set of skincare rules. In the warmer months, you can ignore some parts of a skincare regimen, perhaps because your skin rarely dries out in more humid conditions or because your darker summer pigment masks any blemishes on your face. That said, never forget: always wear SPF.
In the cold temperatures of winter, meanwhile, the dry air and lack of sunlight are a perfect storm for breakouts, dehydration, and discoloration. You need to adjust and follow your regimen accordingly. Doing so will prevent said agonies and make it easier to look your best until summer comes back around.
Humidify your bedroom
You know how you sometimes feel the lack of moisture in the air? Imagine that every night, lying idle in your bed for eight hours, breathing in the dry air, and losing moisture from your skin and hair by the minute. This can leave your skin with dry patches, an uneven tone, and pimples.
One way to prevent this is to add moisture back into the air with a humidifier. Just fill it with water, crank it up, and let that little steamer pump moisture into your room (and consequently your skin and lungs). Just be sure to close your bedroom door or the effect will be lost. Contain the space you’re hydrating to make the device most effective.
Invest in balms
Balms are nourishing creams and salves that create a thick layer on the skin to prevent moisture loss while simultaneously pumping it full of hydrating ingredients. But not all balms are created equally. The balms you rub on your lips and hands shouldn’t be applied to your face.
Perhaps most important is an aftershave balm, which disinfects freshly scraped skin and adds a defensive layer that helps your skin to recover quickly shaving without the risk of germs and other environmental factors such as bacteria or dry, irritating air.
Apply a serum beneath the balm
If you’ve never used a serum, winter is the perfect time to start. Serums penetrate all three layers of your skin to hydrate the dermis and correct blemishes. They brighten your complexion, too, in addition to balancing your skin tone.
These benefits are doubly important in the cold months, when any discoloration or blemish is spotted easily and when hydration is harder to come by than ever. Best of all, when you follow a serum with a protective balm, you arm your skin with both a proactive offense and surefire defense.
Keep a concealer on hand
You won’t be getting as much vitamin D in the winter, even if the sun shines (we’ll address the sun’s UV rays in a moment). Any tiny blemish will show more prominently on your skin, especially if it darkens significantly in the summer.
It’s best to have a lighter-colored concealer at the ready, in case you need to dab it over any pimples or dark under-eye circles. Just give it a spot check as needed. There’s no need to lather it all over your face like a foundation.
Don’t forget SPF
They might be invisible to the naked eye, but ultraviolet rays don’t just vanish when the weather gets cold. They’re ever-present in the winter and especially potent at high altitudes or in the snow, as they reflect off snow and ice and find their way into your skin.
UV rays are a cause of skin cancer, sunburn, discoloration including permanent sunspots and moles, and signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. So when you stock up on balm, pick one with SPF and never leave the house without a layer of it on your face.
At this time of year more than ever, you should moisturize every part of your body, not just your face and hands. Your skin dries out all over when the air is devoid of moisture and that’s aggravated by those hotter showers you’re likely to take in the colder months.
After each shower — or bath, if you want to luxuriate — rub body lotion on pretty much everything. It’s a great bedtime habit to get into, along with a face balm, as the benefits are magnified while your cells regenerate as you sleep. Plus, one of the best feelings in the world is putting freshly cleaned and hydrated feet into wool socks. Try it.
Next up, we explain how to safely whiten your teeth.