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New York Times / Life - Entertain

5 Easy, Breezy Skin Care Tips for Guys this Winter

Don’t let the cold weather dry out your skin. Here are a few simple ways to maintain a good complexion.
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Maybe you’ve been told men’s skin is different from women’s skin (hint: it’s thicker, physically and not necessarily figuratively, and contains more oil glands). Perhaps you’ve also been advised by a friend, partner or lover that it’s time to start taking care of your skin. That’s especially true in the winter, with its harsh seasonal elements like wind and low humidity. Where to start? Below are five skin care tips from the dermatologists Paul Jarrod Frank and Harold Lancer.

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1. Don’t Over-Exfoliate

Dr. Frank, who practices in Manhattan and counts Madonna as a client, finds that men have a tendency to over-exfoliate. “If you’re shaving, you’re exfoliating your skin,” he said. “You’re taking off the layer of dead skin cells that protects your skin. The dead skin has a purpose: It holds in moisture.”

If a beard is not in the cards, then compensate for the shaving process by using a pre-shave oil to protect against stripping. (Olivina Organic Shave Prep & Beard Oil, $20, is excellent, with an outdoorsy cedar and bergamot fragrance.) Skip the astringent post-shave, but do slather on your favorite moisturizer. (SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture cream offers lightweight hydration without any greasiness, $62.)

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2. Clean Shaving Tools

Cleansing skin twice a day is important, said Dr. Lancer, who has a practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. But be diligent in cleaning instruments that touch your skin as well, Dr. Lancer added. “For example, every time you use a beard trimmer over your skin, you’re picking up oil and dead skin cells,” he said. “If you don’t clean it out with alcohol each time you use it, it can become an infectious cesspool that causes skin infections.”

If you’re being extra-cautious, Dr. Lancer recommends buying a bag of disposable razors (“the twin blade with an aloe strip is what I recommend to all my patients”) and throwing them away after each shave. “All metallic objects, when they do hair clipping, go through oxidation and rust and can be injurious to skin,” he said.

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3. Shade the Sun

Though the sun sets significantly earlier in the winter, don’t skimp on sunscreen. “UV rays are always present even if it’s gloomy or rainy out,” Dr. Lancer said, adding that most men forget to wear sunscreen regularly. (A skin care line called Ever makes a chemical-free SPF 32 that absorbs quickly and lightly moisturizes in one step, $45.)

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4. Invest in a Humidifier

Your local store may be trying to sell you a complicated skin care regimen, but Dr. Frank said his top tip has nothing to do with the grooming aisle. Instead, he recommends buying a humidifier for the home.

“Skin is our largest organ, so it’s reactive to our environment,” he said. “Even adding 5 percent more humidity to where you live or spend your time can make a big difference.” Don’t feel like spending on a fancy humidifier? In a pinch, Dr. Frank suggests throwing a wet towel on your radiator.

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5. Wipe Off Sweat

The wellness movement is creating fit bodies, but complexions can suffer. “Half the people who are showing up to my office in the morning are in their SoulCycle clothes and look like they haven’t showered yet,” Dr. Frank said. “After a workout, you have to get the salts from sweat off your skin as soon as possible.” (Nerium’s Double-Cleansing Botanical Face Wash, $40, is fragrance-free and gentle enough for multiple uses a day.)

Dr. Frank has seen many cases of rashes caused by sweat. “People think it’s from the workout equipment, but often it’s not,” he said. “When the salt sits on the skin, it’s drying and irritating, so please shower before you go to Dr. Frank’s office.”

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