Posted: Oct 26 2015
Autumn has arrived and winter isn’t far behind. The sudden, but not unexpected, change in weather, is a sign that your grooming routine needs an update.
The theme for the colder chapters of the year is hydration. As the colder air brings a chill to your breath, the temperature drop will start to dry out your skin and hair. With less moisture in the air, it is extra important to keep on top of your body’s health, both inside and out.
Don’t: get chapped lips and coarse skin
Autumn (or Fall) and Winter can seem to blend together, the former being a stepping stone to allow us to come to terms with the rain and cold. Spending more time indoors and rushing when you’re exposed to the elements doesn’t mean you can forget skin care.
You skin is delicate and it’ll quickly tell you if its need of TLC. Lips especially can become chapped quickly during the autumn and winter months. It's not enough to lick your lips, in fact the drying moisture in the cold will cause more damage. Instead keep a soothing and hydrating lip balm in your coat pocket and apply before you head out each day. This will ensure you avoid chapped, sore lips.
The same goes for your skin. Though less will be exposed to the elements when you wrap yourself in a hat and scarf, your face and hands will still be exposed. To avoid your skin becoming dry and coarse to the touch, remind yourself to moisturise twice a day. Wash your face with warm (not hot) water and dry before applying a small amount of moisturiser.
Do: pat dry your hair before the cold air makes it brittle
When wet hair becomes cold it can quickly become brittle. If you don’t want to run the risk of damaging it, be careful to dry your hair fully before heading out.
Most of us have grown up not knowing how to dry our hair properly. We can damage our hair in a number of ways throughout the year, such as by over washing (everyday is too often for most hair), but in winter the risks are higher.
One way to avoid hurting your head of hair is to pat your hair dry. Yes, it sounds a lot more long winded BUT by not scratching and ruffling your hair with a towel, you’ll avoid damaging your scalp and allow your mane to maintain its natural lustre.
Do: hydrate by drinking water, not just pumpkin spiced lattes
One of the most important ways of keeping not just your body in good health, but your skin looking youthful, is to drink lots of water.
If you are taking the time to make sure that you’re staying moisturised on the outside, then keep hydrated on the inside. Cold weather might make you want to drink more hot chocolates or seasonal coffees but water is key to your health.
If a cold glass of tap doesn’t sound appealing after an icy walk to work, try a jasmine or mint tea. Our bodies can more easily break down the water for hydration when it's heated, so you’ll be helping to keep your body warm while staying hydrated.
Don’t: forget to hit the gym
By the time we hit September, your New Year’s gym drive might have completely disappeared. But with the winter months, Christmas in particular, encouraging us to eat more and more, it's easy to go that mince pie too far.
The best way to keep fit and healthy is to maintain your gym routine. Even if you wake up to pouring rain or would rather stay under the covers that hour longer, force yourself to hit the gym. You’ll feel that much better for committing and won’t have to worry as much about that shifting that belly come summer.
Do: keep your grooming routine consistent
When the days are getting longer and you are spending more time socialising outdoors, our grooming routines flourish. We get a regular trim, keeping hair short in the heat and facial hair trimmed or clean shaven. But this regular care and maintenance can fall by the wayside in winter.
While you can certainly let your hair grow during the colder months, you still need to keep it trimmed and styled with regular trips to the barber. The same applies for your facial fuzz. You can trial a moustache or beard, while helping a good cause by taking part in Movember or Decembeard, but don’t think it means you can stop shaving altogether.
Don’t: forget SPF protection
You might not be sunbathing; unless you are heading off on a tropical winter vacation, but the effects of the sun can still be felt of your skin. We’re not suggesting that you need to be applying suntan lotion all through December, but you do need some SPF protection. This is easily done as there are number of men’s moisturisers available with SPF built in.
Do: take advantage of winter fragrances
There is a difference between winter and summer fragrances for practical reasons, though some men choose to wear a single scent throughout the year. Due to the heat of the warmer months, scents evaporate faster. If you are using a heavy fragrance in summer then it can quickly become overpowering. Conversely, a light scent in winter can disappear quickly or become smothered by layers.
For the winter months you will want a stronger scent, typically with a smoky smell. Notes of wood, heat and spices like cinnamon are welcome in a winter fragrance. Not only will they be lasting throughout but as they don’t evaporate a fast you’ll have an attractive aroma all day.
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