During winter, most of us experience cold, windy weather outside and arid, harsh heat inside, which results in uncomfortably dry, often flakey skin. Understanding that it’s a challenge for some guys to even use a face lotion, we may be getting into tricky territory when discussing the use of face oils, but stick with us.
It’s true that we have been taught that oil on our face is bad. However, the fat-free craze largely played a roll in the obesity epidemic. We learned that our body needs good, healthy fats to perform at it’s peak. The same is true when it comes to your face and oil.
Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Founder of PFRANKMD and the PFRANKMD Skin Salons, tells us what makes men’s skin different from women’s and why oils may be the super easy skincare secret we guys have been waiting for. “There are significant biological differences between a man and woman’s skin — men’s skin is 20 percent thicker, making penetration of product more difficult. The greater the oil content in a product, the better the absorption through the skin barriers to hydrate the tissue.”
But beware, not all oils are equal — always avoid mineral oil and petroleum. “These oils clog pores, may be contaminated with toxins, and some studies have found them to be carcinogenic,” says Dr. Frank. The whole point of adding oil to our skin is to keep it healthy and hydrated, not to make anything worse.
Take a look at some great hand picked options in the most popular face oil categories for men:
“Pre-shave oils soften the skin and pores, with hair follicles leading to less irritation and a smaller risk of cuts or nicks,” says Dr. Frank. Because these oils are face-friendly, you don’t run the risk of clogging pores or furthering any ingrown hairs.
“Cleansing oils are more moisturizing, which is beneficial since men’s skin can become dry from frequent shaving,” says Dr. Frank. During the winter months, swapping out your regular face cleanser for an oil cleanser may be all you need to overcome that serious dryness caused by harsher ingredients that often strip skin of natural oils.
Sometimes a simple SPF day lotion isn’t enough. Solution? Add oil before you moisturize. “An oil would provide enough moisture, but it is also very important to additionally wear sunscreen daily for protection,” says Dr. Frank. That goes double if you are using a retinol, as they make your skin even more sensitive to the sun. Bonus: Both retinol and oil help guys with oily skin. Retinol helps with cell turnover and a couple drops of oil keep overactive sebaceous glands in order.
Adding a Vitamin A-derived retinol to your nightly routine is key to achieving true anti-aging success. Dr. Frank reminds us that “retinol can be drying, so the addition of an oil will add extra moisture.”
These days, guys are tending to their beards like never before. There are washes, conditioners, balms, and of course, oils. “They both soften and moisturize,” says Dr. Frank. This may be the obvious reason for wanting to add moisture to your crumb catcher, but an added benefit is the ability to add a subtle fragrance for you, and whoever is getting close enough, to enjoy.
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