As seasons change, our skin does too. So it’s important to use the right skincare products to suit the time of year. There are so many skincare brands for men on the market that cater for different skin types. In fact, picking out products can feel a bit daunting. Skincare specialist, Stephen Thomas gives his skincare tips on how men can take better care of their skin in the autumn and winter.
What changes, if any, does your skin experience when going from summer to autumn?
During the summer the skin benefits from the rise in temperature which causes an increase of oil production in the skin. As a result, our skin is more lubricated than in autumn and winter months. However, we also experience an increase in sun exposure in summer which can cause sun damage and pigmentation leading the skin to eventually look dryer and less healthy over the cooler months. In autumn, when the days become colder, our pores naturally constrict. This means less oil production or sebum is produced by the skin. Most people seek out richer moisturisers to combat this issue.
What are the most important skincare products in autumn and winter? Are there any specific products that you’d recommend?
It would be important to use skin products that work to balance your skin condition rather than going along with a trend in products. Some people may get excellent results from products that contain squalane, while others may not have the same experience. Skincare is very individual and thankfully there is a lot out there for people to choose from to meet their needs.
Here in the salon, I work with ASAP Skincare, a very popular product line that harnesses the powers of nutrient-rich and active ingredients such as Retinols, Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA’s) like Glycolic and Lactic acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) like Salicylic Acid, Vitamin C, and DNA protective ingredients. These products contribute to increasing the overall health of the skin, minimising sun damage and premature aging, advanced aging and acne.
Another industry-leading brand, Decléor Paris is renowned for its rich and luxurious natural contents. Its products are great for the winter months because they pack the skin with intense essential oils that benefit the deepest layers of the skin.
Lastly, I work with Dermapen Dermaceuticals, a clinical brand which was developed to work alongside Dermapen in-salon microneedling which induces growth of new collagen in the skin, thereby reversing the signs of aging.
What is your advice to men who want to take better care of their skin in general during this time of year?
Skin should be taken care of all year round. It is a living breathing organ that comes up against so many internal and external challenges. As a result, we need to be aware of what the skin needs from season to season. Drinking more water and eating healthily can give the skin an internal boost of nutrition but the skin as an organ often falls short of the nutrition we digest. The body can use those nutrients to benefit the health of the vital organs first, thus the reason for skincare. I would recommend having a skin analysis carried out by a professional skin expert to put you on the right path for skin health. If this is not an option for whatever reason, then try to identify what skin type you have, focus on your problem areas. Is my skin tight and dry (dry skin)? Is my skin red, patchy and irritable (sensitive skin)? When you know your skin type, choose skincare products that meet the challenge and demands of your skin type so a balance can be created. Your skin will hopefully look and feel good and healthy as a result.
Are there any skincare products that you should use in the summer months but aren’t as important in the autumn and winter?
Weather can have a significant impact in what way the skin behaves so skincare adjustments may be needed. Summer sun can expose our skin to more vitamin D which is obviously good but too much sun can damage our skin as already mentioned. Most of the time people opt for lighter moisturisers in the summer, because they sweat more often and heavy moisturisers can feel suffocating. Sunscreen is key to preventing any long-term damage from the sun and prevention of skin cancers. In the winter time, we are still exposed to UVA rays that radiate from the sun. UVA can be responsible for premature aging in the skin, so the daily use of an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) should be continued throughout the autumn and winter months. I’d also recommend a heavier, creamier and richer moisturiser than what you used in the summer. A nutrient rich serum to combat winter dryness would also come in handy. These products can benefit our skin due to the reduction of blood flow to the skin’s surface. There’s also less sebum and sweat in our pores and as a result they become smaller in colder weather.
My number one piece of advice for lovers of healthy skin is…wear an SPF that is 30-50 all year round.
Are there any common misconceptions about using certain skincare products during autumn and winter?
The most common one would be that we do not need an SPF in the colder, wetter months. My number one piece of advice for lovers of healthy skin is…wear an SPF that is 30-50 all year round. It is the best anti-aging cream you can put on your skin.
Are there any big no-no’s when it comes to taking care of your skin at this time of year?
People would love to retain the colour they build up on their skin over the summer months and holidays. Sometimes they can be tempted to do the odd sunbed to keep their sun-kissed skin throughout the dreary winter months. This, in my professional opinion, is a big mistake. I am not a fan of sunbeds and any person who loves to take care of the health of their skin should avoid them.
For more information on the treatments that Stephen Thomas offers at his male grooming clinic check out stephenthomas.ie.