Guest Posts

Flakiness, Dryness and Dullness: An Expert Guide to Winter Skincare

Well I suppose I should introduce myself! I’m Thom, a beauty writer and  the creator of I’ve been living inside the beauty industry for the past 5 years, working for some of the world’s biggest brands. I firmly believe that skin health is paramount and something us guys often overlook. So what does skin health mean? Skin types? Hydrators? Serums? It really is a jungle out there and is often difficult to know where to turn, but getting the basics right is important, and knowing your skin type is key.

Now skin types are very different from skin concerns, a skin concern relates to problems such as eczema, acne, blocked pores, dark marks etc. Your skin type relates to how much oil and water is present and guides you into knowing what needs to be added or taken away. This week, as we start to drift into colder seasons (did we ever leave them?), we’ll look at Very Dry / Dry skin – what it is, what it does, why it does it, and how to look after it.


Question: What is it?

If your skin is dry, you’re often presented with a number of sensations and visible characteristics all over. Firstly, you may find your skin is tight, generally everywhere; the texture is often rough and sometimes flaky, looking dull and not reflecting light well, looking generally tired and lacking in, let’s say, ‘jajoom’, or maybe let’s not say that…

Question: What does it do?

What’s happening here is that your skin is lacking in both oil and water, as well as having uneven skin cell turnover – meaning your cells don’t shed as quickly as they should and fit together in a mish-mash, rather than nice, smooth rows. Often your moisture barrier may also broken, this is a protective barrier of oil and water located under the surface of the skin, which when damaged, allows moisture to easily escape. We don’t want that!

Question: Why does it do it?

Many factors, often environmental, can wreak havoc on the skin, cold air and harsh conditions prevent the skin from retaining as much moisture as you’d like. Stress and illness is another factor, when you’re under the weather, your skin is the last on your immune system’s ‘to-do list’, meaning that it’s the first area indicating that not all is well. Finally a lack of appropriate protection – sun damage can cause all sorts of problems and with many of us returning from summer holidays, the sun has thickened our skin’s upper layer and as it changes, it will begin to noticeably dry out.

Question: How can I look after it?

It’s not that difficult to make a massive change to our skin, just as long as you use the right products in the right way. So these are things to look at –

Exfoliate – 2-4 times per week, gently removing the moisture sapping and dead skin cells, increasing skin cell turnover, meaning that cells at the top are newer, spongier and just that bit lovelier. Your moisturiser also becomes more effective. Great stuff!

Clinique Face Scrub, at just £17, is one of my favourites, a rich clay that once applied, opens pores, removes dead skin and leaves your face invigoratingly smooth and makes for a great shave. Massage into the skin and leave it on for just 30 seconds or so, then just rinse off avoiding your eye area.

Also look at Anthony Logistics for Men Facial Scrub at £36. This provides a lighter level of exfoliation, coupled with a really great facial wash, leaving you smooth and zingy fresh! Massage in and continue to massage as you rinse away.

Moisturise – using a great, rich and nourishing moisturizer, making sure you look for something that has great protection, with at least an SPF15 for daily use.

Treatment – If your skin really needs that little bit extra, look at a Treatment Serum designed to deliver specific and targeted results.

 REN Hydra-Calm Youth Defence Serum, at only £38, penetrates slightly deeper layers of skin than your moisturiser and delivers amazing plumping and hydrating results, smoothing skin’s texture and helping to restore healthy skin function. Apply this underneath your moisturiser and massage in until it completely disappears.