Women and men - protect your skin this winter


Nov 19, 2014 by Smart Blog

The gender divide is over when it comes to skincare. Both men and women recognise the need to look after their skin, because a glowing, healthy skin is not just a cosmetic issue: it's a health issue too. Cracked, dry and flaking skin simply cannot do the job that nature intended: and that's bad news when you consider that skin is the body's largest organ.

Winter is the enemy of healthy skin in many ways. The combination of central heating and cold weather robs the skin of moisture, which reduces its ability to function well. Dry skin can also feel uncomfortable and irritating, while cracks in the skin increase the likelihood of infections.

Fortunately, good winter skincare is relatively straightforward and effective - as long as you stick to a sensible regime. What is more, men need not worry that they will end up using 'girly' products that make them smell like plastic roses. In fact, sensible un-perfumed products are just as good as most of their flowery, glittery counterparts - sometimes more so. So men (and women) of Britain, fear not - and read on to find out how your skin can look and feel great this winter.


The Basics

To function well, skin must be clean, moisturised and able to 'breathe'.

Everybody needs to keep their skin clean, regardless of whether they wear make-up or spend a lot of time outdoors. However, many cleansers designed for facial skin, even those in liquid form, tend to dry out the skin. Add that to cold weather and ramped-up heating and you have a recipe for dermatological disaster.

That is why some people clean their face with edible oils, such as olive or coconut oil, simply rubbing the oil into the skin and then wiping it off with a damp flannel or cloth. Another option is to clean the skin with a more 'gloopy' cleanser like cold cream, then moisturise.

Cleansing the skin with soap and water is popular, but can aggravate dry skin conditions because the soap disrupts the natural layer of oils on the skin, leaving it irritated and vulnerable. In winter, when this problem may be heightened, it's worth using a cleanser with a high oil content (for example a shower or bath oil or gel) rather than soap on the body. If you really don't want to give up using soap, then a good all-over moisturiser, applied after every wash, is really important.


Moisture Matters

Moisturising is crucial if you want to avoid dry skin. Most people need a heavier moisturiser in winter than in summer, but there is a balance to be struck, because many heavy moisturisers can block pores and cause spots or blemishes.

Many people with dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, swear by the more 'pharmaceutical' moisturisers that are available in most shops, they may cost a little more than average but they are very good at what they do. Most are also un-perfumed, which reduces another potential source of irritation - and makes them more attractive to many male customers!

To summarise, the key to healthy winter skin is cleansing and moisturising effectively. Bland, but substantial, products are often particularly effective and suit most skin types - and genders.