While skincare for men used to consist of a few pity products on the bottom shelf at the drugstore, times have really changed. Ok Gentlemen…Winter is here and as the temperatures plummet during these cold, blustery winter months, you need to change up your skincare routine to best protect your skin against the elements. Lower humidity levels and decreased moisture in the air dries out your skin more quickly. Add to that the crankin’ up of the thermostats and your skin takes a beating! The best defence to prevent damaged skin and hair is a good set of products that provide great skincare for men of colour that’s easy to use, so you’ll do it every day.
Here are 5 skincare tips to keep in mind this winter:
1-Use a Moisturizing Cream at Night
From Joshua Tree to Cape Cod to anywhere in between, all winter conditions share one climatic factor: dry air that literally sucks the moisture from your skin. Even those blessed with radiant skin will experience itchy, easily irritated skin at this time of year. If you already deal with dryness, the winter climate can mean flaky patches, scales, cracking, inflammation, and even eczema outbreaks. Add in the effects of constant radiant heat in every indoor environment, plus the breakdown of the skin’s natural moisture barrier due to too much time in the blissfully hot shower, and it’s no wonder that your skin resembles a thrift store baseball glove.
2-Cleanse and Exfoliate
Preparing your skin to absorb the moisturizers or skin conditioners you will provide it this winter is an important first step in any skincare routine. Cleansing skin of the day’s oils, that are unique to black men and other men of color, is an important daily ritual that will keep your skin healthy and prevent the clogging of pores which can lead to acne and other unpleasant skin conditions. Choosing an all-natural facial cleanser and body wash for black men that contains ingredients that are highly moisturizing is a critical step in caring for winter skin. Showering for no more than 10 minutes with warm water, not hot, and selecting a gentle plant-based body wash will leave your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated!
3-Switch to a Gentle Face Wash
“When the weather is cold and dry, it strips the outer skin layer of essential oil, disrupting the skin barrier,” explains famous dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. Unfortunately, some face washes contain detergents that can have that same stripping effect, causing double the dryness to your skin. If your face has a tight feeling after you wash it, that’s a clear sign that your face wash is a bit too harsh for winter use.
“Things that are heavy in detergent can be very drying, so just switching to a gentle cleanser may be an easy fix,” Engelman says. Detergent ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate are what help some face washes lather up into a good foam, but they can also strip too much moisture from your skin in the wintertime. Switch to a non-foaming face wash, or at least one that’s SLS-free, to prevent over-drying your skin.
4- Treat Acne Carefully
A lot of guys — especially if they’re acne prone and used to being oily — are very harsh with their benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid or glycolic acid, because they’re just wanting to strip off everything, and that can leave our skin in an unhealthy state,” says Engelman.
Remember this: Winter is not the time to try and peel the years off your face with harsh products. Engelman recommends spot-treating acne when possible in order to avoid subjecting your entire face to ingredients it doesn’t need. If you use an allover product, such as Differin or Retin-A, you’ll simply need to take extra precautions during the winter.
“Exfoliants and retinoids tend to cause dryness that the winter climate may exacerbate,” says Lain. After you apply your product, let it dry, and then, “I recommend adding non-comedogenic moisturizer,” he adds. “If irritation still ensues, take a break from the acne products and use only moisturizer at night until the skin normalizes.”
5- Wear Sunscreen
It’s common to forgo sunscreen when the weather is cold, but it’s important to wear sunscreen every time you go outdoors. We recommend the daily use of broad-spectrum sun protection in order to help prevent premature skin ageing. The risk of sunburn is high during the winter months because ultraviolet light from the sun is intensified when it reflects off snow, making exposed skin extremely vulnerable to sun damage. we believe in the consistent use of facial sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF as part of a daily skincare regimen for healthy-looking skin no matter the season.