What Is Dry Skin and What Are Its Symptoms?
Dry skin is an issue that affects men of every age and race. It can start to plague a person almost immediately after birth and continue through old age. Not only does dry skin affect your appearance, but it can also cause significant discomfort and pain.
While dry skin is a common condition, everybody’s skin is unique, so the affected areas, severity, and symptoms will be different from person to person. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- ● Tightness
- ● Cracks or fine lines
- ● Flaking
- ● Itchiness
- ● Irritation or pain
What's the Difference Between Dry and Combination Skin?
The term "combination skin" means that the skin has characteristics of being both dry and oily. Specifically, the oiliness occurs within the T-Zone of the face (which is the area across the bottom of the forehead continuing down the bridge of the nose), while other areas of the skin remain dry.
If you don’t have an oily T-Zone, then you are likely dealing with dry skin instead of combination skin. While your entire face will suffer from dryness, the worst areas are typically around the eyes and mouth, as well as on the cheeks and chin. In addition, those with dry skin will also have more prominent pores.
What Causes Dry Skin in Men?
Dryness is caused by a lack of moisture and oil, which are necessary for maintaining healthy skin. In men, the reasons for dry skin are broken into two categories. The first is uncontrollable factors, and the second is controllable factors.
Uncontrollable Factors for Dry Skin
Uncontrollable factors that cause dry skin may not be fully eliminated due to conditions in the external environment or internally in one’s body. For example, these can include the climate one lives in, hormone imbalance, and medical conditions.
Controllable Factors for Dry Skin
Controllable factors are actions or behavior that may directly affect dry skin and its symptoms. For instance, an improper skincare routine, unhealthy eating habits, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, and bathing routines.
One such controllable factor is how you take care of your skin every day. So, what is the best skincare routine for men with dry skin?
What Is the Best Skincare Routine for Men with Dry Skin?
The best skincare routine for a man with dry skin is simple and easy to follow, but highly effective. The routine consists of cleansing and moisturising.
However, if you have dry skin, it’s advisable to be more cautious when choosing a cleanser or moisturiser. Dry skin is sensitive and in some cases may react to alcohol, parabens, and fragrances, which can contribute to further dryness. When the skin is dry, its barrier is more sensitive, making it easily irritated by harsh chemicals and additives.
A few ingredients to look for when buying a moisturiser for dry skin include collagen, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, mineral oil, lanolin, and squalane, as these additives help lock moisture into the skin. You should also look for vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax.
Correct Cleansing for Dry Skin
Cleansing dry skin is a necessary process that should be done with care. Generally, cleansing your face twice a day can help prevent excess oil and dirt buildup and keep the skin looking clean. Washing your face in the morning cleanses the sebum accumulated during sleep, while cleansing your face at night removes the dirt and sebum that have built up throughout the day.
However, if you have dry skin, cleansing products don’t need to be used every time you wash your face, because cleansers not only remove dirt and sebum, but also can strip dry skin of the oil it needs.
To cleanse your face, start by washing your hands with soap and water, and then wet your face with lukewarm water. This is because hot water can wash away protective oils that hold in moisture, which leads to more dryness.
Next, create a lather on your hand with the facial cleanser using your fingertips. Once you have made enough foam, gently wash your nose, forehead, and cheeks.
Finally, use lukewarm water to rinse the cleanser from your skin. After you have finished your cleansing routine, gently pat your face with a dry, clean towel to prevent your skin’s condition from worsening or becoming infected. Avoid rubbing the towel too hard on your skin as it may worsen your skin condition. Click here for a more detailed video and guide.
When cleansing your skin, it's essential to use the correct type of products. Ideally, any products you use should be tailored specifically for dry skin. If you have a diagnosed skin condition or your doctor has told you that certain facial products can make your skin's dryness worse, tailor your cleansing routine to reflect the professional advice you were given.
Use a Hydrating Face Wash
Using a hydrating face wash is a great option when you're battling dry skin. An excellent hydrating face wash will contain natural ingredients such as those mentioned above (shea butter, vitamin E, cocoa butter, and beeswax) and will be free of strong fragrances. The product should be strong enough to penetrate the skin, but not so potent that it causes irritation. If irritation occurs, you should immediately discontinue use.
One face wash designed for dry skin is GATSBY’s own facial wash moisture foam. It's gentle on the skin, removes dirt and grease, and helps the skin's moisture barrier regain its natural hydration.
Correct Moisturising for Dry Skin
Maintaining good skin moisture is a great way to prevent dryness from appearing in the first place, as well as one of the most basic but effective ways to help reduce skin problems if you already have them.
Generally, moisturising in the morning and at night will provide the best results, especially when paired with cleansing. However, for dry skin, we suggest also applying a bit of moisturiser whenever your skin feels very dry and uncomfortable.
Start by cleansing your face. Then, apply moisturiser to gently hydrate your skin. Make sure to spread the moisturiser evenly across your hands and then gently apply without rubbing it on the skin. Next, apply moisturising cream in a circular motion, especially on dry areas. Finally, cover your skin with the palm of your hands to let the product soak in and touch up any areas that still feel dry. Click here for a more detailed guide.
Finding the Right Moisturiser
When searching for a good moisturiser, be sure to find one that is oil-based and has natural moisturising ingredients. It can be tempting to go for the cheapest product that has the word "moisturiser" or "hydrating" in its title, but it's best to take time to compare products.
Often, the best product for you isn't the cheapest on the shelf. So, if you can, focus on finding a moisturiser that fits the criteria above.
Additional Tips for Men with Dry Skin
Easy Ways to Prevent Dry Skin
Combating dry skin can be a long process. Aside from getting your skincare routine right, with a few small changes to your daily lifestyle, and minimal effort, you may finally begin to feel relief from your dry skin symptoms.
Make Moisturisation a Daily Practice
When you have dry skin, you should be moisturising it daily. In some cases, you might want to consider applying it multiple times a day, depending on the severity of your dry skin.
Use a thick cream or lotion and liberally apply it before rubbing it in with your fingers. If your skin still feels tight or irritated after application, you can apply more until it feels better.
Use Moisturising Shaving Products
If you shave regularly and have dry skin, try your best to use moisturising shaving products or aftershave. These will help keep your skin hydrated and give it a boost of moisture.
If you are concerned about irritation from shaving, consider using an electric shaver, as it is known to be much gentler on the skin.
Establish a Beard Care Routine
A healthy beard and healthy skin underneath go hand in hand. That's why you'll tend to notice that a dry beard comes paired with dry, flaky skin.
To get a grip on both problems, establish a beard care routine. This routine should include washing the beard and moisturising it daily. Use a dedicated beard oil containing jojoba or argan oil for maximum moisturisation.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
The sun's rays may feel wonderful, but they can do a lot of harm to the skin. The sun dries out the skin, so it's necessary to protect the skin during the summer months. You can do this by using sunscreen on your face every time you leave the house.
Exfoliate with Care
Just because your skin is dry doesn't necessarily mean that you should not exfoliate at all. Exfoliating your face helps to remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface that are the result of a process called skin cell turnover. As your skin repairs itself from the damage it receives throughout the day, the body sheds the dry, dead skin cells and replaces them with fresh, new skin cells. Exfoliation helps the skin look less flaky.
When you exfoliate, do so gently and avoid using overly abrasive products.
What to Do if Your Skin Becomes Too Dry
Use a Face Mask
Face masks are an excellent way to treat dry skin quickly and safely. It takes only a few minutes to use, and you can multitask while wearing one, such as watching your favorite YouTube videos or checking social media to fully maximize your time.
Use Face Cream
Face cream can be added to your skincare routine if you find that your skin is becoming too dry. Apply it at night and leave it on until the next morning. In most cases, you'll be instructed to wash your face when you wake up and then repeat the process the next night.
Use Moisture Retentive Lip Cream
It’s easy to overlook the importance of lip care. Lip cream comes in handy when your lips become dry by helping to maintain hydration. As they dry out, they can become flaky and cracked, and can even bleed, which not only is painful but also makes your appearance look unhealthy and unkempt.
There’s a good chance that if your face is dry, your lips will be dry too, so it’s essential to include lip care in your skincare regimen. Not only can lip cream help lock in moisture and protect from the outside elements, some contain subtle colours that help make your lips look healthier.
Even More Tips for Dry Skin
Hydration is key to having skin that is soft and smooth. When your body is adequately hydrated, your skin will be too. Make it a point to drink the recommended amount of water or tea per day — for most men, this is at least eight glasses per day.
However, if you're a more active guy who does a lot of sports or spends time exerting energy, it's never a bad idea to up your fluid intake to maintain hydration.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers are helpful when you have dry skin. They effectively put moisture back into the air, which allows your skin to absorb it. Most people use humidifiers in their bedrooms so that the skin, nasal passage, and throat can be moisturised while sleeping.
Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is crucial to how your body functions, and as such, it's vital to the way your skin looks and feels. Someone who doesn't get enough sleep is likely to have more unappealing, dried skin than someone who sleeps at least eight hours a night. A good night's sleep helps the skin to regenerate its moisture barrier.
Eat Healthy Food
Eating healthy food is a straightforward way to help dry skin. When you eat healthy foods that are high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, you naturally take in a lot of water. This, in turn, hydrates the body, including the internal organs, hair, and of course, skin. Foods particularly high in water include watermelon, cucumber, and bean sprouts.
Avoid Hot Showers
Much the same way that the sun causes your skin to dry out, hot showers can, too. Hot showers suck the water from the skin, causing it to dry out quickly. This isn't what you want when you already have dry skin! Keep the temperature of your showers on the cooler side to prevent excessive skin dryness.
Dry skin is a widespread problem with several relatively simple solutions. There are endless ways to care for your dry skin, from remedying the problem such as using hydrating skincare products and living a healthy lifestyle, to preventing the problem such as protecting the skin from the sun with sunscreen.