As the seasons change, so do the needs of your skin. Some gurus advocate being consistent with your skincare regime throughout the year. But when cooler, drier seasons like fall and winter come along, you’ll find the moisture draining out of your skin and hair faster than you can handle. That opens the door to irritated skin, dry scalp, and can eventually lead to breakouts, unsightly dandruff, and collagen depletion. No fear, though. In Week 1 of our Fall Style Diary, we’ll be offering some advice on how to put your best face forward this autumn, and keep that handsome mug and mop looking good all season.
1. Opt for thicker emulsions.
Imagine for a second that the air around you is a huge sponge, and your face is a puddle of water. If you don’t protect your skin with a substantial layer of moisturizer, the moisture in your skin will run out in no time. Moisturizers with a thicker formula can help slow the drying of your skin by forming a protective layer, so go for creams instead of gels as the seasons change.
Look for products that contain niacinamide, which boosts your skin’s natural barrier against the elements. It’s also friendly on acne-prone skin since it’s an antioxidant and has shown to reduce the red marks that acne leaves in its wake. For those who have naturally dry skin, products containing soothing natural oils like jojoba oil or shea butter are your best bet. Another potent moisture-retainer is sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is more readily absorbed than its counterpart.
Complete All-Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF15 Olay, US$8.99PC4Men Nighttime Repair Paula’s Choice, US$27
Anti-Age Moisturizer Clinique for Men, US$37
2. Styling products should do double-duty.
Who says your pomade is just for keeping your hairstyle intact? As the market for men’s hairstyling products expands, more and more companies are releasing waxes and gels that contain ingredients that not only hold the hair up but nourish it throughout the day. Why not get twice the benefit? If your hairstyle requires volume, consider using clays. These products contain bentonite, a volcanic ash that is rich in minerals and nutrients. If you’re a wax or styling paste kind of guy, look for those that contain oils known to improve hair quality, such as argan oil or coconut oil.
If leaving your hair product in overnight doesn’t sound good to you, find yourself some water-based styling products. Pomades, for example, come in oil-based and water-based versions. Oil-based pomades require harsher surfactants to neutralize, which in turn can severely dry your hair. Pick the latter, and you’ll find it easier to wash off at the end of the day.
V-rated Natural Wax V76 by Vaughn, US$26
Molding Clay American Crew, US$11.33
Fortifying Styling Paste Dove Men+Care, US$5.98
3. Don’t forget your body.
No one likes a man who scratches himself all the time. If you find yourself peeling at the elbows and knees, it’s time to make some changes in your bath routine. Understand that your skin is the largest organ in your body (contrary to the belief of some egotistical gentlemen), and your general well-being really depends on how this organ is doing.
As the climate turns cooler and drier, chances are you won’t be sweating the way you do in summertime. So, ditch the antibacterial soap and go for a gentler body wash that won’t dry you out. Use a body moisturizer that contains shea butter, coconut oil, or high levels of Vitamin E (usually labelled as tocopherol) to make sure your skin remains supple throughout the day. For best results, exfoliate once a week. No need for fancy scrubs; gently run a soaking wet 100% cotton face towel all over while you’re in the shower.
Kukui Cocoa Nourishing Body Butter
Andalou Naturals, US$13.95
Vitamin E Intensive Therapy Body Lotion, Fragrance-Free
4. Shave less. Or if you have to, keep it moist.
Autumn is the perfect time to grow out some facial hair. Shaving is one of the surest ways to strip the moisture off your face, so if you don’t have to, don’t. But if you need to be squeaky clean, make sure to use a conditioning shaving cream and follow with an aftershave that will not irritate your skin. Forget the traditional definition of aftershave – it doesn’t need to sting or feel icy cold to be effective.
Find one that has natural skin-soothing ingredients like oat and Vitamin E, little to no fragrance, and certainly no alcohol. Before those of you with a beard think you can get away with the moisturizing, remember your beard needs some love too. Coconut-oil-based beard oil is a definite necessity if you want to prevent your facial hair from resembling Tom Hanks in Castaway.
Dr. Carver’s Magnanimous Post-ShaveDollar Shave Club, US$9
Gunbarrel Beard Oil + Backwoods Beard Balm SetThe Mod Cabin, $35
After Shave LotionAveeno Men’s, $5.99
5. Health starts from the inside. Corny, but true.
Summer’s all sun’s out guns out, but come fall and most guys let it all hang out. Stick to your strict summer diet, and your skin will thank you. We tend to be more sedentary as the climate cools, and so eating right becomes all the more important. And while studies have not proven how drinking sufficient water affects the well-being of your skin, anecdotal evidence and sixth sense tell us they absolutely have a relation. So stay hydrated – but then again, when is it ever a good time not to? You get the gist.
This article is part of our Fall Style Diary series. For eight weeks in the fall/winter season, His Style Diary will be offering some nifty advice on how to best seize the final trimester of 2015. Our focus is, of course, style – the colors and fabrics to wear this season, must-have fall accessories, and even something for those who live in the tropics but still wish to get into the mood of autumn.
Next week: Latest Trends For Fall. Stay tuned by following the tag “FSD2015″!