The Shelf: Autumnal Skincare for Gentlemen

A change of season has a profound influence on our wardrobe, living habits and not so widely recognised- our skin. Take the transition from summer to autumn- linen shirts, chino shorts and seersucker blazers are replaced with merino wool layers, down outerwear and warming trousers. The same changes must be made to our skincare routine with excess-oil-expelling cleansers and lightweight gel-moisturisers needing to be replaced with gentler and more hydrating substitutions.

During autumn, the cooler weather and drier air combined with dehydrating central heating means a new approach to skincare is required.

Skin tends to be dry, dehydrated and rough as the mercury levels drop but this isn’t a time for mourning shorter days and less sunshine. This is a new season, full of autumnal handsomeness and a chance to repair, renew and reinvigorate skin from the summer heat and preparation for the cold winter months.


Before we get on to skincare product recommendations it’s worth mentioning that while there are plenty of products for externally enriching your visage, it’s down to you to take better care of your skin from within. This method follows three steps- more exercise, a better diet including meals that are rich in skin-benefitting omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flax-seed, fish, soybeans, tofu) and vitamins A, C, and E (cheese, eggs, yoghurt, oranges, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, sunflower seeds, almonds), and finally- drink more water.

Hydrating Cleanser


It’s advisable to switch to a creamier, gentle face wash that not only cleanses and refreshes but crucially- doesn’t rob skin of essential moisture, but instead provides extra hydration. It’s also worth noting that skin cleansed in hot water will dehydrate, so opt for luke-warm instead- the same applies whilst showering.

Shiseido Men Cleansing Foam 125ml, £25 at SPACE.NK

Gentle Exfoliation


Cold air will rip through the skin’s natural barrier function causing dehydration, irritation and dry flaky patches. Ergo, it’s advisable to gently exfoliate your skin twice a week. In addition, exfoliation will slew away dead skin cells to renew and reveal younger looking skin which will be more receptive to the next stage of your autumnal skincare routine- hydration.

Malin+Goetz Jojoba Face Scrub 118ml, £29 at MR PORTER

Nourish and Protect


To combat dryness and damage from cold weather and drying radiators, it’s essential to switch your lightweight moisturiser for something thicker and more nourishing. Thicker doesn’t necessarily mean poorer absorption and a greasy feeling either. The added ‘weight’ and a good quality moisturiser will help offer protection throughout the day too.

Ultra Moisture Day Cream 50ml, £29 at JOHN LEWIS

For those of you requiring an extra skin-nourishing boost, we advise adding in night time treatment product such as Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – it’s a replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that helps restore the appearance of skin by morning.

Lip Service


It goes without saying that dry, chapped lips are an unsightly affliction. The problem- lips lack the hydrated outer layer that skin has because they’re devoid of oil-producing and moisturising sebaceous glands. Therefore, we need to invest in a protective external source in the shape of a lip balm. Beeswax, shea butter and petrolatum are ingredients which help moisturise and seal hydration inside the lips to prevent and repair chapping.

C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Balm 3.7g, £8.50 at LIBERTY LONDON

Chris Beastall

Chris is the Founder and Editor of Ape to Gentleman. His interests lie in men's style, male grooming and leading a better lifestyle - through minimalist, basic and clean design.