(2 minute read)
It’s that time of the year again. The temperature has dropped, the scarves and hats are back out and you are probably noticing that your man mane is feeling drier than you would like. So, why is it that our skin and beards dry out during the Winter and what can you do to prevent dry, itchy, flaky skin?
Now you would assume, like most people do, that the colder weather causes dry skin. It is actually a combination of factors – but the decrease in humidity, not temperature, is one of the main causes of dryness in Winter.
The outermost layer of your skin is called the Stratum Corneum. This layer is built up of dead skin cells bound together forming a protective layer over the living skin cells beneath. But when the dry Winter air steals the Stratum Corneum’s moisture it contracts. This shrinking of the top layer of skin causes the tight, dry skin we all know and despise. If enough moisture content is lost, the layer can crack and flake resulting in painful and irritated skin.
A similar thing happens with your beard. The visible hairs that we see on your head and face are actually dead cells. Your body’s natural oils help to keep those hairs somewhat hydrated but when the humidity drops, so does your beards moisture content. If the dry air takes away enough moisture, that’s when your whiskers will lose their silkyness.
A couple of other contributing factors to why skin and hair can dry out during Winter are heaters and hot showers. Heaters, particularly storage heaters are notorious for drying out your skin and beard. When the heaters in your home or work come on, humidity goes down and you dry out. Hot showers never feel better than in the colder months but be careful not to over do it because that too can dry you out.
Proper beard and hair care is essential year round. However, in the Winter months the moisturise, moisturise, moisturise rule applies even more. For best results apply your moisturiser after a shower so your pores are open to absorb the product. If you are prone to dry skin I recommend moisturising before bed too. Now it’s time to apply your beard oil. This will replace the lost oil on the hair and keep you shiny and healthy.
The solution to the problem is a simple one. When the air gets colder we get drier, so double up on the moisturiser, don’t shampoo your beard and if you are not already doing so – use a good quality beard oil.
words by Josh O’Callaghan