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Winter skincare hacks all men must know
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Winter skincare hacks all men must know

While winter makes the skin dry and flaky, simple skincare tips like staying hydrated, and moisturization are effective
You need to choose the moisturizer based on your skin type
Topical application of moisturizers rich in ceramides and emollients are beneficial.

Dry skin is a common occurrence in the winter season. It can also make you more prone to breakouts. For men, it can be difficult to take care of their skin in the changing season as they tend to overlook the importance of a good winter skincare routine. However, experts say that keeping hydrated and following some basic skincare tips like moisturizing and using a mild face wash will help you make it through the winter season.

Why is it important for men to take care of their skin during the winter months?

The winter season brings with it low humidity and low temperatures. These conditions strip your skin of its essential oils, which disrupts the lipids (a barrier protecting the skin) that keep your skin hydrated. Dry skin is one of the most common issues men face during the winter months, says Dr Shireen Furtado, senior consultant, Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore. She says, “Inadequate moisturization can lead to skin problems such as eczema, a skin condition causing dryness and patchy skin. Men may not be as familiar with using moisturizer as women, but they often forget about the importance of moisturizing their skin.

Skincare tips for men during winters

Although men’s skin is more resilient and ages slower compared to women’s, a solid moisturizing routine and sun protection are essential for maintaining healthy skin in cold weather. One of the most effective methods to ward off winter dryness is to be proactive with your skincare regimen which includes lip balms, hydrating cleansers, and moisturizers, say experts.

Using gentle cleansers

Every day, your skin is exposed to pollution, filth, and impurities — which is why keeping your skin clean becomes paramount. Dr Furtado shares, “Some face washes have the tendency to dry out your skin, but that’s no reason to skip the entire ritual. Instead, make it a habit to thoroughly wash your face both morning and night to remove grime from the surface of your skin before it clogs your pores.” Opting for a mild, cream-based cleanser will be a better choice than a salicylic-based cleanser, the doctor added.

Moisturizing

Dr Deepa Krishnamurthy, consultant dermatologist, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore highlights the significance of regular moisturization in winter skincare for men. She says, “Moisturizers that consist of ingredients like ceramides, emollients, oleic acid, and hyaluronic acid will keep your skin hydrated. However, you need to choose the moisturizer based on your skin type — butter-based for dry skin or lotion and aqua-based for oily skin.” One should always pay attention to the label, ensuring that the product is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. Applying moisturizer on damp skin post-washing enhances its effectiveness, she shares.

Not taking hot water baths

One might enjoy taking steamy hot showers in the cold weather—although it might feel good at the moment, it is a major cause of dehydration. Dr Krishnamurthy says, “It’s crucial to avoid very hot water baths and opt for lukewarm water instead to prevent stripping the lipid barriers from the skin.” Hot water evaporates quickly, and if the skin is not instantly moisturized, the skin will age faster and it might also result in conditions like eczema, she added.

Applying sun protection

Even though we often associate sunscreen with warmer climates, UV protection is necessary all year round—including winter months. “Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen shield protects the skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays, which is beneficial in the prevention of fine lines and premature aging,” says Dr Pratiksha Jain, associate consultant cosmetologist, SPARSH Hospital, Bangalore. She advises to apply sunscreen to your face and hands before you step outside and reapply if you are outdoors for a longer period.

Staying hydrated

“During winter, people tend to drink less water than usual,” says Dr Jain. Drinking enough water will not only keep you hydrated but will flush out the toxins from your body and improve skin elasticity. Staying hydrated will keep your skin healthy and glowing from within.

Having the right nutrients

Dr Krishnamurthy highlights the role of nutrition in maintaining healthy skin. Including colorful vegetables, rich in antioxidants, vitamin C-based products, peptides, vitamin E, omega-rich foods, collagen, and iron-containing foods aids in combating dryness and contributes to soft, smooth, and supple skin.

Using humidifiers

A study, published in the journal Skin Research & Technology in 2023 says that using indoor heating devices during the winter season promotes moisture loss and makes the air extremely dry. As a result, the skin becomes very dry and flaky. This is when humidifiers come to the rescue. They help in dispersing the moisture more evenly in the air and prevent your skin from drying out, explains Dr Krishnamurthy.

Treating dry skin and eczema during winters

To address dry skin, Dr Jain says, “Topical application of moisturizers rich in ceramides and emollients are beneficial. One can also apply natural body butter like shea or murumuru butter as they are effective in preventing dry skin.” She explains, “If one opts for clinical procedures such as HydraFacial or hyaluronic acid-based skin boosters, they often require multiple sessions.”

However, in cases of eczema, relying solely on moisturizers may not suffice due to a compromised skin barrier. Barrier repair creams with calming properties like calamine, Centella Asiatica (Asiatic pennywort), and liquid paraffin are preferred. In extreme cases, additional medications such as antihistamines and topical or oral steroids may be necessary based on the severity of the condition, she added.

Takeaways

  • Cold weather and low temperatures strip the essential oils from the skin leading to dryness.
  • Inadequate moisturization during winter can lead to skin conditions like eczema.
  • Having a proper winter skincare regimen for men including cleansing, moisturizing, using sunscreen, including Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet, and staying hydrated can keep these skin ailments at bay.
  • Although it feels good at the moment, avoid hot water baths, and use lukewarm water instead.

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