Punxsutawney Phil might have declared spring is nearly here, but for many of us there is still lots of cold, wind, rain and other lousy weather conditions to endure.
We know it’s playing havoc with our mood, but we wondered how it was affecting our skin. So Queerty editor Dan Avery reached out to celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Andrew Sotomayor for advice on saving our epidermis until the sun comes out to play again.
What’s the number one skin concern during the bad-weather months—and what’s the best way to address it?
Dryness and roughness are the two biggest effects winter weather can have on skin. Over time, they contribute to signs of premature aging—including redness, enlarged pores and wrinkles. Men’s skin is actually more sensitive than women’s, and is more likely to show signs of irritation, like dehydration and redness.
Occasionally using a mild exfoliating cleanser will help break up dead cells, and allow your skin to absorb moisturizer better. I recommend Angelica Exfoliating Gel from L’Occitane.
When it’s windy, my eyes look like I’ve been crying—a guy actually stopped me on the street and asked if I was okay. How can I get rid of the just-dumped look?
Between the lack of sunshine and wet weather, we feel more stressed in the winter, and the first place you see it is around the eyes. An eye serum, like Genifique Eye Light Pearl from Lancome, applied morning and night will brighten dark circles and smooth puffiness.
It’s both a stress reliever before you go to sleep and helps wake you up in the morning. It’s really a high-tech version of putting cucumber slices on your eyes.
What’s the biggest mistake men make when it comes to their skin?
Many guys skip moisturizer—they think it’ll make their skin too oily. But the sebaceous glands in the face tend to overproduce oil when your skin becomes too dry. Using a lightweight product can bring things back into healthy balance—I’m a big fan of the Acai Damage-Protecting Toning Mist and Acai Damage-Correcting Moisturizer, both from Kiehl’s.
Also, a lot of guys go for whatever’s cheap when they’re shaving. But shaving foams with sodium laurel sulfate are a lot like soap—they can dry out and irritate your skin. Instead, use a low-foam shaving product like Cade Shaving Cream from L’Occitane, which has a creamy consistency and softens stubble as you use.
There are so many skincare products out there—even for men. How do we decide what’s essential and what’s just a gimmick.
Use products that are free of toxins like parabens and propylene glycol. Avoid cheap lotions made with synthetic petroleum, or mineral oil, that just temporarily hide dryness.
For seriously dry skin, consider using an all-natural oil like Skin Treatment Oil by Dr. Alkaitis. A little goes a long way. Use one or two drops on your face—or even in your hair before styling. My boyfriend is addicted to using this all over his body.
Your skin illustrates what’s going on inside your body, so in addition to using the right skincare products, avoid eating processed foods. Raw probiotics can reduce sugar cravings, green vegetables provide easily absorbable protein and minerals, and cutting down on fast food can help boost your energy and promote clearer skin.
If this sounds new to you, know that skincare is like hitting the gym. Every workout is beneficial, and developing a consistent routine will deliver lifelong benefits.
Andrew Sotomayor is a celebrity makeup artist and on-camera beauty expert who has worked with Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmy Rossum, Adam Levine and Adam Lambert. You can tweet Andrew your questions at @AndrewSotomayor or reach him via his Facebook page