Skincare is an oft-neglected topic in the wet shaving community. We all worry about finding the perfect razor and blade and debate the type of bristles used in our brushes. But all of this neglects the foundation of a good shave – good skin.
We like to think of proper skincare as laying the primer before you paint a wall in your house. Sure, you could save some time and just skip straight to the paint, but you’ll be painting directly onto a wall potentially strewn with bumps, cracks, and small holes. Putting a primer on first smoothes over these imperfections so your paint goes on nice and evenly. The same concept applies to skincare. Moisturized skin means strong and resilient skin that stands up better to a razor blade and razor burn.
And during fall and winter, when the temperatures drop and icy air and wind rip at your face, hydrating your skin keeps its natural protective lipid barrier up. This is the barrier which locks in moisture and prevents bacteria from entering your skin. Without supplemental moisture, you can look forward to chapped lips, flakes, itchiness, and the running motif of winter – ashy skin.
So it goes without saying that moisturizing is important.
Read on for what adjustments you should be making to your skincare routine to keep skin hydrated through fall and winter, and what ingredients to look for in products.
What tweaks do I have to make to my skincare routine in the winter?
For the most part, use products with a denser, richer consistency. If you’re using a gel cleanser, for example, switch to a more emollient one like Triumph & Disaster Ritual Face Cleanser, formulated without alcohol (which is very drying). It contains Tamanu oil, an antibacterial that promotes skin elasticity.
Avoid cleansers that foam as well as ones that contain sulfates (sulfates dissolve the outermost layer of skin).
If you don’t use a facial serum currently, now’s the time to do it: Layer it beneath your regular moisturizer. Serums are composed of smaller particles than moisturizers, so they penetrate deeper and stay locked in longer. We like Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum, which is brimming with protective antioxidants and peptides.
You can further strength your skin’s lipid barrier by making these changes to your daily routine and lifestyle:
- Avoid long, hot showers – these dry out your skin
- If you have the radiator running, put a bowl of water next to it so the air won’t be completely parched
- Eat a diet rich in omega-3s and omega-6s, which reduce inflammation and help skin retain moisture
What should I look for in fall/winter skincare products?
These ingredients are your skincare heavy hitters:
Glycerin – Glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture from the environment and traps it in skin. By doing so, it helps maintain the skin’s water balance. Glycerin also makes skin appear healthier because it’s highly emollient, making skin soft and reducing scaly, dry skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – A powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid keeps skin plump and hydrated. It can penetrate the outermost dead skin cell layer and moisturize the skin underneath. It also improves elasticity and acts as an antioxidant.
Non-Fragranced Plant Oils – Rich in antioxidants, plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, and jojoba oil can be mixed with moisturizer or applied afterwards to combat stubborn dry areas.
Ceramides – Your skin’s lipid barrier is made of 35-40% ceramides, so boosting it with some topical ceramides during the winter will keep it extra resilient. Ceramides are the glue that holds skin cells together. Anytime your skin suffers damage from a dry environment, the sun, or bad skincare products, the ceremides in your skin decrease. Replenishing your skin’s ceramides protects your skin overall so it feels better and looks younger.
Peptides – Peptides are animo acid chains that stimulate the production of collagen, which increases elasticity.
Do I still need sunscreen when it’s so cold and gloomy outside?
Absolutely. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the UV rays have disappeared. In fact, up to 80% of UV rays bounce off white snow, which means exposed skin is vulnerable to damage if you’re not wearing good sunscreen. And yes, you can still get a sunburn in winter.
Seal the deal after you moisturize with a broad spectrum sunscreen, like Game Day Men Moisturizer: Hydrator + SPF 30, which includes peptides and vitamin E.