There’s no sound quite so irritating as your 6.30am alarm, especially on a cold and dark winter morning.
With that first shrill ring, all thoughts of pre-work gym sessions or relaxed and healthy breakfasts fly out the window. The snooze button becomes your new best friend until, suddenly, you’ve got barely five minutes left to crawl out of bed, into the shower and out the door.
Shaving, moisturising or any other kind of grooming doesn’t even enter the equation.
But those harsh winds and biting rainstorms that leave winter mornings feeling so miserable and sleepy are also wreaking havoc on your skin, making your grooming routine more vital than ever.
The goal is to streamline the process so that winter-proofing your skin and hair takes up as little snoozing time as possible. Here are the three essential steps you can’t afford to skip.
Dry, itchy skin not only feels uncomfortable (and even painful in extreme cases), it doesn’t look particularly attractive either.
Unfortunately, it’s an unwelcome yet common side effect of the fearsome partnership between dropping temperatures outside and stuffy central heating inside.
Tackling it involves a two-step system. Your first front in the attack is to keep drinking water – about two litres – every single day. There’s no cheat or quick fix for hydration.
Secondly, you need to moisturise – morning and night, preferably. And, nonsensical as it may seem under the grey skies of winter, the sun’s ray can still cause damage so look out for a moisturiser containing SPF.
Aftershaves with attitude
Citrus scents which work perfectly for summer don’t translate quite so well to gloomy winter days, so don’t forget to update your aftershave.
You need one that will last all day – through clammy bus journeys into work and lengthy meetings in freezing cold offices – without being overpowering.
One of the best men fragrance releases of recent times is Hugo Boss Just Different. It’s an overall smooth aftershave with a cashmeran base, but the unique addition of mint means that, even if you’re barely awake on the morning commute, you’ll still smell fresh and vibrant.
Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of being a bit lazy when it comes to our hair, using whatever shampoo – even shower gel, we’re not that fussy – that’s to hand.
The only problem is, besides annoying your girlfriend no end, it’s not doing much to keep your hair supple and soft in the face of destructive winter weather. To avoid dry hair that’s impossible to style or grow, add a conditioner to your shower routine.
Facial hair is much the same. Exfoliate before shaving to get rid of dead skin cells and use a nutrient-rich oil for a neat and healthy beard.
In just three small steps you can survive winter looking healthy and presentable, without having to sacrifice quality slumber time in the morning.