Women tend to be very well-versed on the importance of looking after their skin in the winter - there's a whole beauty industry promoting tips, techniques and products aimed at them, after all.
However, men aren't always quite as 'on the ball' when it comes to knowing how to ensure hydration doesn't fall by the wayside in the colder months of the year. The situation is better than it used to be - thanks to guys like David Beckham and George Clooney looking so immaculately groomed at all times - but it's fair to say that your male loved ones probably still have a minimal approach in terms of a skincare regime.
There's also the fact that barriers still exist, such as assuming that skincare products will be too feminine and that a routine is going to take too long; in the face of all this, perhaps it's time to step in and ensure your husband, son or the other men in your life learn how to keep their skin soft and supple this January and February - with minimal fuss.
Why we should all be taking extra care
It's important for both men and women to pay their skin some special attention in winter, as cold weather can worsen the tightness associated with sensitive skin and also strip away the protective lipids on even the most robust complexions, allowing vital moisture to leak out.
Men are perhaps more prone to facial discomfort too, due to shaving acting as an irritant to skin that's already quite dry and in need of attention.
Add to that the central heating and temptation to take long, hot showers and you've got a recipe for dehydration, flakiness, red patches and itchiness that can make for considerable discomfort.
Tips on preventing winter ravages
So, you know the importance of helping your body out at this time of year - but how can you get the man in your life to follow suit? There are a few things you can do to encourage him to follow a simple skincare regime that won't take up too much time or seem overly girly, so read on for our top tips.
1. Invest in some special soaps
Soaps from the big-name brands can be full of chemicals and really harsh, which throws the natural pH balance of the skin off balance and can cause extra dryness. Fortunately, here at Heyland & Whittle, our soaps are made from natural ingredients that work with the skin's composition, not against it. We also create a number of products that are manly enough for even the blokiest guys to use.
Try investing in some of our soap products and placing them right next to the sink so he can't miss them when he's washing his face in the morning and evening. For example, our Hemp and Walnut and Oatmeal and Spice varieties are both available on a soap saver for added convenience, with the latter especially suitable for itchy skin. They'll also provide enough lather for shaving, which is an added bonus.
2. Encourage moisturisation
You no doubt moisturise morning and evening, so don't let your loved one get away with skipping this vital procedure. Instead, look out for moisturising lotions and place one by the bed so he can do the same thing at the same time. If his job involves lots of manual work that will dry out his hands, consider buying a hand cream for use at lunchtime or the end of the day - it can always go in the car if he doesn't want attention drawing to it.
Our Olive and Fig hand lotion and Green Tea and Grapefruit body lotion will both be ideal, as they contain glycerin to draw moisture towards the skin's surface and keep it there, as well as lots of other beneficial ingredients. They're also nice and neutral in scent, so you shouldn't get complaints in that department.
3. Set good skincare habits
It is easy to do anything you can to warm up at the end of a long winter's day, but cranking up the central heating and spending too long in the shower will strip your skin of vital moisture. To ensure your man gets into a positive routine, set an example yourself. Keep the radiators warm but not blazing hot and consider setting a timer for the shower - this will benefit the environment too. Speaking of the shower, don't forget to put some manly products in there, either. Swap your usual shower gel for our Olive and Fig body wash for a hydrating treat that will last for hours.
Hopefully this has given you some good ideas to get the men in your life started on some good habits that will keep them looking and feeling great. Who knows - by spring, he could have a complexion to rival Mr Beckham's!