Back To School: Autumnal Skin Care

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In fashion, styles change with each season – and a bathroom shelf is no different. Primarily based on the weather, a grooming routine must be adapted to suit an environment. From skin care and fragrance to hair care, subtle changes can make all the difference in maintaining an optimal (read: attractive) appearance. With temperatures steadily descending, men’s grooming expert Chris Beastall tackles autumn.

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Fake It (above)

The truth is, we all look better with a tan – also known as a healthy glow. The summer brings this naturally, but as the sun’s strength wains so does our bronzed appearance. The easiest solution is to fake it.

St. Tropez Instant Wash Off (£10.21/ 50ml) is easily applied and quickly washed off. Best of all, it’s pretty much undetectable to the unsuspecting eye. For the uninitiated; dilute it first by mixing with your regular moisturiser.

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Remember to exfoliate with a face scrub first to ensure even coverage. And always avoid sun-beds – the risk of skin cancer completely outweighs a few weeks bronzed.


Reconsider Your Moisturiser

The warmer summer being replaced by cooler Autumn winds and central heating getting switched back on can lead to dry, tight skin. Cold air contains 30% less moisture than warm air, while central heating saps skin of moisture.

The solution is a thicker moisturiser, designed for harsher, drier conditions. It will provide a little extra moisture and protection.

Try Polaar Intensive Face Cream (£20.50/ 50ml) – inspired by the arctic, this pocket sized wonder is ample match for a barely-below zero British winter, let alone autumn. Rich in soothing liquorice extract, with olive oil and beeswax that soothes and moisturises, this ultra nourishing face moisturiser repairs and hydrates dry skin while offering day-long protection from the elements.

Opt for a moisturiser in a convenient travel sized tube, and place it inside your desk draw at work. Apply as and when needed throughout the day.

 

Night Owl

If you need a little extra hydration, you may wish to consider a night cream in addition to your daily moisturiser. Skin absorbs moisture better at night, and is at its peak repair time – making the application of a night cream a potent addition.

Try Murad Perfecting Night Cream (£46/ 50ml). Key ingredients include moisturising borage seed oil, green tea extract and vitamin E: powerful anti-oxidants which repair and defend skin from free radical damage.

Apply to a clean face. Twice a week, you may also benefit from scrubbing your face before application to ensure optimal absorption.

 

 

Beat The Sun 

Many men believe skin can only burn during the summer months, but while the risk of being burnt by the sun’s UVB rays is less, the intensity of its UVA doesn’t diminish. UVA is partly responsible for ageing of the skin, so wearing sun protection if you plan to be outside for prolonged periods has its benefits.

The easiest solution is to opt for a moisturiser with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) built in. If you’re an office based 8am-8pm type, then option 1 (above) is a fine solution, maybe consider the following for the weekend.

Try Aesop Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream SPF15 (£27/ 40ml) – it provides sun protection with mineral-based zinc oxide. A barrier to sunlight, offering sun protection yet light enough to wear daily, leaving skin soft and hydrated without clogging pores.

A multi-purpose moisturiser will not only help prevent sun-induced ageing but will hydrate and if the weather suddenly turns pleasant, sun burn.

 

Smell Great

Light, fresh, citrusy fragrances are perfect for the summer; clean and invigorating on humid August evenings. However as the temperatures drop through autumn, something warmer and richer will be far more pleasing to the senses. Opt for something woody or spicy – vetiver is en vogue right now, with its earthy, masculine staying power.

Opt for Geranium Pour Monsieur by Frederic Malle (£100/ 50ml) – ideal for the office, boardroom or evening wear. Geranium Pour Monsieur is a warm, enveloping fragrance with a head of vibrant mint and cinnamon on a deep base of musk, incense and sandalwood. An elegant option, guaranteed to please your olfactory senses and anyone who happens to get close enough to.

Apply 30 minutes after showering, as hot water strips skin of precious natural oils. Give your body time to cool down, and work up a little natural grease for scent to cling to.

 

Beard Maintenance 

The continued growth of popularity for men wearing a beard shows no signs of stopping. Like the hair on your head, your beard needs attention, too. Cleansing is important, and also conditioning. Keeping the hair and skin beneath in good condition ensures your beard is soft and skin beneath stays hydrated.

Try Mr Natty Frank’s Beard Elixir (£7.95/ 10ml) – an excellent astringent and moisturiser made with the best natural oils, essential for cleansing beard hair and hydrating.

Facial hair can be moisture wicking, so it’s important to hydrate the skin beneath – for dry skin or beard dandruff avoidance.

 

Repair Your Hair

The summer brings sun, sea and sand – all of which can take their toll on hair. Autumn is the best time to ‘feed’ your hair back to strength. Choose a shampoo and conditioner which repairs and replenishes hair. Use it for 2-4 weeks, and your hair will back to its best.

Molton Brown Papyrus Reed Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner (£18/ 300ml) is designed specifically for dry, damaged hair. Papyrus reed moisturises and rehydrates hair – plus, amino acid helps improve overall hair health and shine. The aromas of black pepper, tiare flower and amber smell great – not a bad extra.

Take it easy, though: conditioning is only necessary 2-3 times a week, particularly on shorter hair.