It’s freezing outside. But it’s hot inside.
Translation: the perfect storm for dandruff-ridden scalp, lips with hanging chads and skin so dry you could scratch a legible cry for help on it. So what’s the well-groomed guy to do in the dead of winter?
Hunker down, gentlemen. It’s time to revamp your routine with a little help from our seasonally inspired list of dos and don’ts.
Despite the frigid temps, your skin still needs to be exfoliated. A basic face and body cleanser with finely ground grit will slough off old skin cells and reveal new, moisture-rich ones. Scrub down two to three times a week (irregularity can end up just stressing your skin out) and follow with a healthy dose of moisturizer to get your skin through winter’s darkest days.
Don't: Take scorching showers
A long, hot shower to warm you up from the frigid temps can be tempting, but it’s also the quickest way to rob your skin of moisture. Steam created by the shower signals pores to open and release precious water from the body, leaving behind dry, itchy skin and dandruff on the scalp. A seemingly innocent respite from the cold? Perhaps not. So, limit yourself to six minutes, set the temp to somewhere around lukewarm and finish with a cold rinse on your head for flake-free hair.
Do: Use a hooded jacket
Whether it’s a zip-up, a pull-over or attached to your go-to winter gear, use a hood to protect your head from the elements. You’ll be targeting your body’s primary point of heat loss while caring for your perfectly positioned coif. You know, the kind that could be bulldozed down by stuffing it into a head-hugging ski hat.
Don't: Go grizzly
Just because the mercury has taken a dive doesn’t mean you should insulate yourself with extra layers of locks and a grotty beard. Stick to regularly scheduled programming -- a shave about every three days and a haircut at least every four weeks -- and let your down coat do the warming.
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Do: Avoid processed food
After a month of holiday dinner table gorging and office snacking, your body could use a rest. All those fatty foods and sweets can result in dull, tired-looking skin. Integrate lean proteins like fish with omega-3 acids into your diet. Your skin and that obligatory New Year’s weight-loss resolution will thank you.
Don't: Lick lips
Contrary to instinct, quenching your thirsty lips with saliva will only make matters worse. Grease them up (and regrease them throughout the day) with an oil-based balm in order to stave off cracks, cuts and those unsightly hanging chads.
Do: Use a humidifier
Indoor heating systems and space heaters certainly take the chill out of the air. But they suck the moisture out of it, which can leave your skin parched and itchy. Rather than bathing in body cream, treat the problem at its source by investing in a humidifier. Placing a few throughout your living space will help restore water to the air and to your skin.
Don't: Use understated aromas
Light fragrances are too flimsy for the cold. Take advantage of the season by swapping your citrusy cologne for something a bit bolder. Spicy, woody ones with base notes of tobacco, oak, vetiver, and patchouli are your best bests for weathering the winter months in scented style.
Seeking refuge from the cold only to get blasted with harsh heat indoors can spell epidermal disaster. But with these dos and don’ts for winterizing your regimen, it doesn’t have to.