Dry, Flaky Skin in Men: Cause and Treatment
Years back when I was working on beauty products research in France, one of the top priority topics was about treating men’s dry skin. Dry sky is annoying and common for women, and men suffer just as much. If visible, it may reduce self-confidence in public. People may see the flakes as they watch you scratch at them. The skin also feels sensitive and irritable, and it’s hard to not focus on the unpleasant sensations.
The good news is that most dry skin in men is easy to treat, the bad news is that most beauty products in the market only offer temporary relief and the dryness will come back as soon as you stop using them. There is however a way backed by science to efficiently treat dry skin deeply improving the condition of the skin.
Men often fail to consult others on what to do for relief. It may be a temporary or lifelong problem in some cases, but it needs attention according to your age, genes, diet, and time outdoors.
What are the Symptoms of Dry, Flaky Skin?
Dry skin manifests as a feeling of tightening after swimming or showering. It also shows up as a rough, red surface that itches all the time. It peels regularly in big scaly flakes as cracks in the skin appear suddenly. They may be deep enough to bleed. It may not be serious, but it is unsightly and requires a visit to the dermatologist if it doesn’t improve. It may interfere with your life and ability to sleep. It can even become infected.
The Causes of Dry Skin in Men
There are many culprits involved in dry, flaky skin. They usually work in tandem. We mentioned traditional soap as it strips moisture from the skin. Yet we use them diligently and have since childhood. Mom said to stay clean. But the bad news is that many soaps in the market contains chemicals that kill the good bacteria that protects the skin from the microbes that cause disease. Soap can be evil in leaving the skin exposed to dangerous pathogens.
Many soaps also strip the skin of lipids or fats that keep it soft and healthy. The skin is the body’s protective barrier so stripping it leads to unhealthy conditions.
Another issue with many soaps in the market is the use of ingredients that were proven to be dangerous for our health. Why on earth do manufacturers still use sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a known “mutagen” that changes cellular structures? Benzyl acetate, a carcinogen, is linked to certain cancers while benzaldehyde depresses the nervous system.
The weather is not as bad, but it is destructive, especially in winter when humidity plummets to a low level. Dry desert regions function in the same way with their hot temperatures all year long. The air lacks moisture, and the skin can lose a great percentage of its natural ability to stay hydrated.
Hot baths and showers can take their toll as well. Sure, they are relaxing, but they also strip the skin of its natural moisture and oils. Keep the duration of your body cleansing short and conserve moisture. Evaporation is happening all the time, thwarting the skin’s barrier function.
The chlorine in a swimming pool may kill unwanted bacteria but it will dry out the skin. Cut down the time in the pool to avoid stripping the skin of natural sebum, leaving it dry and itchy or make sure you thoroughly shower after your swimming session and deeply moisturize your skin. People with sensitive skin are most vulnerable. Rinse off the chlorine as much as possible or you might experience “chlorine rash”, requiring the application of hydrocortisone.
Underlying skin conditions are a clear cause of dry skin such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis. In brief, contact dermatitis manifests as an itchy, red rash due to an allergic reaction. The afflicted man will see a red, cracked, itchy rash. It is akin to eczema and neither improve with moisturizing.
Psoriasis is known for its typical thick, raised, red, or silvery patches of scaly skin. It is most commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp. It is triggered when the immune system goes into overdrive, trying to create new skin cells that pile up on the surface of the skin.
How to Treat Dry, Flaky Skin?
Here is a summery of the best ways to treat dry, slaky skin. I will detail each point later in the article:
- Hydration: inside and out
- Protecting the skin from the sun and cold weather
- Using an in-door humidifier
- Showering using warm water – instead of hot – and using gentle soap
- Exfoliate the skin regularly to get rid of dead skin and allow for regeneration
- Daily nourish the skin with natural oils
When it comes to treating dry, flaky skin, hydration is key whatever level of dryness is affecting the skin. Of equal importance is covering the skin from the sun, using a humidifier at night, showering in a new way with a sea salt body scrub, and forgetting traditional soap.
Hydration reigns supreme given that the human body is 70% water. It means drinking a lot (8 glasses per day) and using the right products. Water evaporates, leaving the skin dry. The body needs sufficient liquid, and if lost, it must be replenished.
As for covering up outside, it will protect the face from the cold and wind. The facial skin needs this as much as the rest of the body. Men can avail themselves of a scarf. In extreme heat, good sunscreen is mandated to avoid sun damage and premature aging. Avoid tanning if you don’t wish to look overly mature with a wrinkled leathery face. Then there is the big issue of skin cancer to boot.
Why a humidifier? Many air-conditioned or heated rooms lack moisture in the air, causing water evaporation. A humidifier can provide the right about of moisture to keep men’s skin healthy and hydrated.
Next comes showering in a new way. First, avoid overly hot water. Warm is best and not for too long as water can strip the skin of its valuable, natural oils. It is time to exfoliate to remove the flaky skin from anywhere on the body and boost circulation. The skin will absorb nutrients more effectively. You will exhibit a wonderful glow. Up your skincare regime to several times a week.
Consider a beneficial sea salt scrub. Salt is a natural exfoliator to handle the oils and impurities that cause acne. A scrub containing minerals like calcium and magnesium will do the job of making a man appear younger. Plus, these minerals relax muscles, boost circulation, and reduce inflammation.
Why the concern? The skin becomes dry as it ages, and it takes longer for cells to rejuvenate. Exfoliation and deep cleaning are the best if not the only way to remove dead skin skill. If not a regular practice, a man can experience acne, blackheads, ingrown hairs, pimples, and more wrinkles – all as a result of dry, flaky skin. However, some exfoliators are harsh, such as those with plastic microbeads that upset the ecosystem.
Using Argan Oil to Treat Dry, Flaky Skin in Men
We know the problem and its causes. We are eschewing the use of chemicals in traditional soaps and are opting for natural face and body cleansers and moisturizers. What ingredients are best? Well, there is a reason why many hydrating products have argan oil in them. Argan oil, also called ‘’liquid gold’’ is a highly rich oil extracted from nuts that are only produced in Morocco. This oil is a natural elixir for the skin, helping with moisture and anti-aging, and treating scars and discoloration. All this is backed by science.
The good news about using argan oil is that you will give your skin only what it needs: nutrients. You won’t be adding harsh chemicals that will dry in the long run or worse, can cause serious health issues. Pure argan oil is also very cost-effective, as a couple of drops will be more than enough to use on the face. Results can start showing as early as one week, and you will be sure that you are also helping your skin age, beautifully.
Not all argan oils are equal, and the best is extracted using traditional techniques that preserve all the nutrients present in the oil, like Little Moroccan Things argan oil. Low-quality argan oils are saturating the market, and are often quite cheap, while these oils will still offer some benefits to your dry and flaky skin, the best would be to invest in high-quality argan oil for best and faster results.
The causes of dry, flaky skin in men are multiple. You now know what to avoid to stop the flaking and itching and start seeing healthier results. There is never a time to use alcohol-based products or soap, gentle products are key. And when it comes to deeply treating your dry and flaky skin, argan oil can be really helpful and will probably give better results than many products in the market. With a few changes in your beauty routine, it’s possible to achieve a clear, firmer skin that looks younger and healthier.
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