Dry skin is an irritating and unfortunate issue for many people. It’s important to identify the cause - whether it is due to genetics, the environment, or if it is self-inflicted due to excessive grooming routine and harsh products. And finding the best clean skincare regimen for dry skin will vary from person to person.
First you need to understand how to define dry skin and what causes dry skin. Then you need to find the best men’s natural skincare available to help you care for your skin.
What is Dry vs Dehydrated Skin?
Dry skin is identified by a lack oils and lipids. Itchiness and flakiness are the most common symptoms. In contract, dehydrated skin lacks water. Dehydrated skin is a condition that anyone can experience, but it is temporary. Dry skin, however, is a specific skin type, meaning it’s a longer-term genetic issue that only certain people will experience. Dry skin is not necessarily dehydrated, and vice-versa.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin on the face is generally caused by an impaired skin barrier due to a lack of oils and lipids in the skin. These oils are an important part of your skin's natural barrier. Folks with dry skin can experience redness, and itchy, flakey, and uncomfortable skin on face and or other parts of the body.
The most common causes of dry skin:
- Indoor Environment. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity. Even A/C during the summer months can cause skin to dry out as well.
- Living in cold, windy conditions or low-humidity climates. Dry skin is a common condition for people living in areas where winters are cold and harsh.
- Excessive Grooming Routines Stripping / Damaging Your Skin Barrier. Long hot showers or baths and scrubbing your skin too much can cause your skin to dry out. Bathing more than once a day can remove the natural oils from your skin as well.
- Harsh Products with High pH. Harsh products with a high pH will overclean and over strip the skin of its natural oils, compromising the skin barrier.
- Medical Related Conditions. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), rosacea, and psoriasis are more prone to having dry skin. Some people develop dry, thick skin after undergoing treatment for cancer, receiving dialysis, or taking certain medications.
- As people age, their skin thins and produces less of the oils needed for the skin to retain water.
How to Treat and Care for Dry Skin?
Modify the Water Temperature. Reduce the water temperature in your shower and take shorter showers. Exposing skin to hot water triggers a cascade of inflammatory chemicals in the skin, leading to dilated capillaries, collagen breakdown, and draining of vital substances like ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, which are vital for skin to retain moisture.
Simplify Your Grooming Regimen. Find a natural face wash for men and cleanse your skin morning and night with slightly warmer than room temperature water, never hot water. Follow with a moisturize with spf in the morning and in the evening with an antioxidant moisturizer to replenish and nourish the skin. Getting your dry skin under control depends on the holy trinity of humectants, emollients and occlusives. If you find your skin is still dry then consider adding a toner with skin nourishing ingredient like aloe, allantoin, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid for added moisture after cleansing before applying the moisturizer (to slightly damp skin). Another step might be to layer in a botanics facial oil (occlusive) on top of the moisturizer. Three to four drops warmed up in the palms of your hands the pressed into face and neck to seal in the moisture. Some oils to consider: Jojoba, grapeseed, rosehip, safflower, marula, squalene. You can use any of these on its own or create a blend that works for you.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids. To nurse dry skin back to health requires gently exfoliating the skin and then hydrating and moisturizing the skin to restore balance. A combination of a gentle face scrub for men and products containing AHA / BHA can purge the flakey dry skin allowing the moisturizers to absorb better into the skin. Always use gentle pressure when applying a scrub and let the scrub do the hard work. Adding a toner with AHA / BHA or a moisturizer with AHA / BHA will help minimize dry flakey skin.
Hydrating Mask. Hydrating masks contain nourishing ingredients like seaweed, glycerin, peptides, vitamin C, squalene, green tea will infuse the skin with added hydration and nourishment it needs for a healthy complexion.
Dry skin can be annoying, but with some changes to your grooming routine you can manage your dry skin and keep it under control.