Winter is starting to take hold, and in case the plummeting mercury and leaf-less trees weren’t a clear enough indication, your uncomfortably itchy skin might be providing extra unwelcome evidence.
The reason for your current situation is an utter lack of humidity in the air that robs your skin of moisture, in case you needed another reason to yearn for the halcyon days of summer. Even if you’re not a fan of moisturizing most of the time, this is the season to get on the wagon, and if you're already a proponent, it's the time to double down.
For Your Head
Think of your scalp as an extension of the skin on your face, even though it's covered up with your slick haircut. Just like your mug, it reacts to the change of weather, and can get tight and flaky if you don't adapt.
Keep everything comfortable and clean with nourishing shampoo that's not too aggressive, and a hydrating conditioner to restore some moisture. And stay away from styling products with a base of alcohol, which has a dehydrating effect on your skin just like it does to your body when you drink it.
For Your Face
Most guys are on the oiler side of the skincare spectrum, and as such, think they don’t need to moisturize. This is false.
Even if you’re already on board with face lotion, chances are you stick to oil-free or gel-based options out of fear of a greasy face. But this is the time to swap those out for a more hydrating, creamier variety. The cold, dry weather will balance things out.
And if you plan on hitting the slopes, make sure any exposed parts of your face are coated in a protective hydrator packed with SPF (the sun’s rays bouncing off the snow are killer) to avoid chapping.
Speaking of which, your lips will probably start molting at some point this season. It’s inevitable. Prevent the peeling and pain by regularly applying a petrolatum-free lip balm – you want one that has a more matte finish, so it doesn't look like you're wearing lip gloss.
For Your Body
In the shower, make sure whatever you lather up with contains humectants and emollient ingredients (that's a science-y way of saying ingredients that hydrate and soothe). You also want to avoid super hot water, which can exacerbate the dryness situation.
Once you hop out and your skin is still damp, layer on a rich body cream to help lock in the moisture. Because joints like ankles, knees and elbows tend to visually broadcast the season’s desiccation fallout with ashiness and flaking bits of skin, you may need to call in reinforcements in the form of heavier balms and salves there.
For You Extremities
If you frequently work with your hands or shun gloves in the colder months, your mitts can get pretty gnarly. Overexposure to the elements tends to leave hands red, chapped, and roughed-up, especially around the cuticle.
If you ever want to be able to pull your hands out of your pockets, spend a few seconds hydrating them whenever you start to feel dryness kick in. Rub in whatever kind of moisturizer you prefer, with extra on your cuticles to soothe painful hangnails or irritation. If you want to go one step further, apply an extra thick moisturizer before you go to bed to give it time to soak in while you sleep. If your feet are in similarly rough shape, make sure you hit them up, too.