Ok guys, let’s talk about dry skin. Dry skin not only gets in the way of you looking your best, but it is also - to be blunt - really annoying. Men with dry skin say it flakes off, leaves cracks in their skin, itches, and it is a challenge to get rid of. (Check out the end of our article for tips about how to pick the best men’s lotion for dry skin).
Why is it so hard for men with dry skin to get rid of it? Well think about this: a few of the things that can make dry skin worse are hot showers, soap, washcloths, and towels. If you’re like most guys, these things are a major part of your daily grooming routine. We’ll talk more about how these may be making your dry skin worse later in this article. But first let’s cover the basics of dry skin for men.
Men’s Dry Skin 101
What is dry skin?
Normally our skin is covered with a very thin layer of an oily substance that is made up of fats and proteins. This layer has the important job of holding onto the skin’s moisture. Guys with too much of this oil have oily skin, and guys with not enough of this oily layer are the ones with dry skin. Many times people with dry skin do not have trouble producing enough oil, but may be unknowingly removing that oil from their skin. You can get dry skin anywhere on your body, and many guys say their dry skin tends to show up in patches. Dry skin on your face is particularly irritating because it can flake, making guys self conscious about their appearance.
What causes dry skin?
There are tons of potential causes of dry skin, but let’s break them down into 2 main categories.
- The first category is internal factors, meaning those within your body as opposed to in the environment. Internal factors often work with other factors to cause dry skin. Some men who have dry skin are genetically predisposed to it, just as others have genetics that make them more likely to have oily skin. Age is also a factor, since as we get older our skin naturally gets more dry. Health can be a factor for some men too. For instance, although these are less common reasons than external factors, some medications & medical conditions can contribute to dry skin. These include:
- Medicine for high blood pressure
- Medicine for high cholesterol
- Acne treatments
- Overactive thyroid
- The second category is external factors. These are more common, and include many everyday activities. External factors associated with worsening dry skin include:
- Hot showers, especially prolonged hot showers
- Using sanitizers with alcohol (these are very drying)
- Rubbing your skin too aggressively with a washcloth or towel
- Abrasive soaps
- Cold weather
- Low humidity
These factors make dry skin worse because instead of soothing and moisturizing the skin, these remove moisture or irritate skin. It may seem like drying your skin roughly with a towel can exfoliate, but it tends to just make dry skin worse.
What determines if you get dry skin?
The good news is that most men have a solid amount of control over their dry skin. There are some factors you can’t control, like genetics, age, and your own medical conditions or prescription drugs. But keep in mind that a lot of the time that men get dry skin, it’s the external factors doing the damage - and that’s where you have some power in this dry skin battle. For instance, using a moisturizer or lotion for men’s dry skin can make a big difference.
What problems can dry skin cause?
If you already have dry skin, we probably don’t need to be telling you this. But for those of you who do not have dry skin yet, or are just starting to notice some patches, here’s the deal: dry skin can get really itchy. And what’s worse is that when you scratch, this can damage your skin leading to more dry skin. It’s a bad cycle. Some guys even get rashes or bacterial infections with worsening dry skin.
So now that you understand a little of the science of dry skin… let’s talk about a solution:
How can I stop dry skin?
The best way to treat dry skin is with a men’s moisturizer or lotion that is designed to be gentle and strong. If you use a lotion that aggravates your skin, your dry skin will get worse. With dry skin, prevention is your best bet. And if we had to narrow this down to a single recommendation, we’d say that finding the best men’s facial moisturizer for dry skin is the #1 recommendation we can give you. This type of product can treat your dry skin immediately, and help you prevent dry skin over time.
Is there a way to avoid dry skin in the long term?
If your dry skin is caused or aggravated by external factors - and for most guys, this is the case - then you can take steps to avoid long term dry skin. Here are some steps men can take:
- Keep your shower short (5 minutes is ideal), and try to use warm water instead of hot water.
- Pat your skin dry instead of toweling off roughly.
- Moisturize immediately after showering or washing your face.
- Choose gentle washes that will not irritate dry skin.
- Avoid harsh aftershaves
- Use a good moisturizer that will work to prevent dry skin, in addition to treating it.
What’s the difference between a quality men’s lotion and a cheap lotion for dry skin?
If a lotion is not formulated to be gentle, effective, and moisturizing, it is not going to help your dry skin. Some lower quality lotions will leave you with a shiny look to your face. Rugged & Dapper’s Age + Damage Defense Men's Facial Moisturizer has a matte finish instead. This gives you moisturized skin without a greasy look. Another common concern with other facial moisturizers is that they can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts. Since no man is looking to replace their dry skin with pimples, we’ve created a facial moisturizer for men with dry skin, that works without clogging pores. Our facial moisturizer works as an aftershave as well, and has all organic ingredients with no chemicals.
You can learn more about our men’s moisturizer recommendation here.