This guide offers advice and tips for men with dry skin. We look at the reasons why you may be suffering from dryness, offer diet and lifestyle tips for preventing dry skin and recommend natural moisturisers for men to help you rehydrate your skin.
Why do men get dry skin?
Dry skin is often the result of a slowing down in the rate of sebum production resulting in dry, flaky and easily chapped skin. Although men's skin is naturally oilier than women's, it will still start to become drier after the age of 30 as your skin and body matures.
The problem of dry skin is aggravated by environmental factors such as strong sunshine, wind, cold, extremes of temperature, air conditioning, central heating and atmospheric pollutants, all of which strip the skin of moisture. Men who work outside or in air conditioned environments are particularly at risk of dry skin.
"Harsh shaving gels and alcohol-based personal care products all add to the problem."
Harsh shaving gels and after shave products, alcohol-based personal care products and frequent bathing with strong detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate all add to the problem.
Dry skin can also be a sign of dietary deficiencies, especially of essential fatty acids and vitamins A and B complex. Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics and can dehydrate the skin. Dry skin can also be the sign of medical problems so if you are concerned, please see your doctor. Certain medications, such as diuretics and antihistamines, can also contribute to skin dryness.
The best men's moisturisers for dry skin
- Choose a gentle alcohol-free moisturiser to replenish the water content of the skin. The ideal product will also contain a range of plant oils to feed and nourish the skin, and to reduce water loss from the skin surface – a good example is our Green People For Men - No. 3 Cooling Moisturiser.
- Hydration itself has powerful anti-ageing benefits but for extra help in this department, the No. 7 Antioxidant Repair Serum is what you need. This also contains active ingredients shown to increase long-term hydration of the skin, and is rich in anti-ageing ingredients and protective antioxidants.
- Always apply moisturiser to face and neck with light, tapping, upwards motions while your skin is still slightly damp. This helps lock in moisture and stimulates the circulation
Tips for men with dry skin
- Avoid going from very hot to very cold environments
- Keep rooms moist, especially in winter, by placing bowls of water by the radiators, or use a humidifier
- Avoid excessive exposure to strong sunshine and apply a good sunscreen to exposed areas of your skin
- Get plenty of sleep, as cellular repair is at its greatest when you are at rest.
- Regular exercise will nourish and cleanse your skin from within
- Avoid harsh after shave products, strong detergents and very hot water
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Diet for dry skin
- Drink lots of filtered water
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which have a dehydrating effect and can aggravate dry skin
- Guard against nutrient deficiencies by taking a balanced multi-vitamin and mineral supplement
- Snack on sunflower and pumpkin seeds and nuts
- Include plenty of oily fish in your diet. Also try one of the many Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential oil blends, or buy unrefined, cold-pressed vegetable oil such as flax or hemp seed oil. These oils can be used daily on salads and baked potatoes, or mixed into cold dishes
- Eat plenty of yellow and orange vegetables and fruits, rich in antioxidant vitamins C and beta-carotene, green leafy vegetables and wheat germ, sources of vitamin B5
- Increase your intake of vitamin E (found in avocados, whole grains, nuts and seeds), which is an antioxidant that protects the skin from ageing and maintains elasticity
- Ensure your diet includes zinc, which is involved in hundreds of enzyme reactions essential for skin health. Natural sources include oysters and sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Garlic, onions, eggs and asparagus are high in sulphur, which helps to keep the skin smooth and youthful
- Avoid fried foods, animal fat and hydrogenated vegetable oils, which increase the production of destructive free radicals
- Avoid soft drinks, sugar, chocolate, crisps, or other junk foods