Dry skin is a horrible condition that can affect any area of your body at any time of the year. In summer, exposure to sunshine and heat can dry out your skin, as can air conditioning, and the chlorine found in swimming pools. In winter, artificial heating, cold temperatures, and hot water can all damage your skin. The English Shaving Company have some top tips for preventing dry skin all year round.
Preventing Dry Skin
Contact with hot water is one of the primary causes of dry skin. Whether it’s when you wash your hands, shower, or do the washing up, hot water can remove the sebum from your skin. Sebum is the body’s natural oil that protects and moisturises. Without it, your skin would be permanently dry and irritated.
Preventing dry skin caused by hot water should be simple: avoid exposing your skin to hot water. However, it’s not always that easy - for example, it’s important to use hot water when you’re washing up for hygiene reasons.
One way to avoid dry skin is to wear gloves when you do the washing up in order to reduce your hands’ exposure to the hot water. When you have a shower, set it to warm, rather than hot. If your skin goes pink then the water is too hot and will cause dryness.
Preventing Dry Skin when Washing
When you wash your hands, body, and face, one of the most important considerations is the soap you use. For preventing dry skin, you should choose the right cleanser for the job at hand.
Most body washes often won’t be appropriate for the more delicate and sensitive skin on your face and can dry it out. Ensure you use a wash that’s designed for your face. If you’re a bearded gentleman, the same goes for your beard. Choose a proper beard wash that won’t dry out your beard or the skin beneath.
It’s also important not to leave products on your face for too long - unless they’re intended for it! Wash soap off immediately to prevent your skin from drying out. Read more in our guide to men's facial cleansing.
Use a moisturiser immediately after you finish washing your face or hands - it is key when preventing dry skin. If you wait too long before applying, the skin will begin to dry out. Most moisturisers don’t just provide more moisture for your skin, but also trap the skin’s natural moisture.
It’s a good idea to choose a different moisturiser for different parts of your body. The skin on your hands is often much more hard-wearing than your face, so you need a different moisturiser for each. Usually, a thicker and richer cream or balm for your hands and a lighter one for your face - but it does depend on your individual skin type as to which works the best.
If you suffer from particularly oily skin, you might want to avoid moisturiser on your face altogether as it can aggravate skin conditions caused by excessive oil. It’s a better idea to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and simply pat it dry.
Aftershaves are a great way to moisturise your face after shaving. Choose an aftershave lotion or balm (rather than a splash) to provide an effective moisturiser that protects your skin and helps it recover following a shave. Avoid aftershaves containing alcohol if you suffer from particularly dry skin.
Read more about aftershave on our blog: 'Why Does Aftershave burn?'
To prevent dry skin on your feet, the best time to apply a moisturising cream is just after getting into bed when you won’t be walking around for a while. You could keep a pot of your favourite foot cream on your bedside table so you remember to use it.
Using lip balm is a simple and effective way to prevent dry skin on your lips. Chapped lips can occur at any time of the year - using lip balm throughout the day offers easy protection against the elements.
Preventing Dry Skin: Beard
When you have a beard, you can’t always easily see the health of your skin underneath. However, an itchy beard or ‘beardruff’ (beard dandruff) is a telltale sign that your skin needs some TLC. However, there are a few steps you can take to prevent dry skin under and around your beard before you reach this stage.
Beard oils are an effective way to moisturise both your hair and your skin. They are full of natural moisturising oils that repair dry skin and prevent it occurring in the future. When using beard oil, it’s important to work the oil through your beard right down to the roots for it to have its full effect.
Alternatively, you could use a beard balm. This has the additional benefit of adding a styling element, helping to tame and shape your beard as well as add moisture. If you don’t need the styling feature of beard balm, then oil is usually the best choice as it will moisturise more effectively.
For preventing dry skin, follow our tips. We’d love to hear in the comments if there are any other steps you take to protect your skin from drying out.