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Men: Winter-proof your skin

Winter is coming. And as temperatures drop, it's important to protect your skin from the brutally cold conditions. Whether you decide to keep your facial hair nice and trim, or grow a full beard for "No-shave" November, these skin care tips will help you maintain your rugged good looks.

1. Hydrate your skin. Cold winter air can dry out the skin, so it’s important to apply a good moisturizer to the face and body after showering or bathing.

“Choose a moisturizer that doesn’t have a lot of fragrance, color or preservatives in it,” says Dave Harvey, M.D., a dermatologist at Piedmont Newnan and Piedmont Fayette. “Consider over-the-counter moisturizers, like Neutrogena™, Cetaphil™, or CeraVe™.

2. Leave shaving gel on a little longer. When you shave, leave the shaving cream or gel on a little while to help minimize the risk of dry skin.  

“A lot of times, I’ll tell men to wet their beard, apply their shaving gel, and then wash another part of their body before using their razor," Dr. Harvey says. "Leave it on for about 30 to 60 seconds. That is usually enough time."

3. Minimize hot water use. During the winter, people like the feeling of a nice, warm shower or bath. But showering longer than 10 to 15 minutes can cause the skin to dry out and become red and irritated. Dr. Harvey recommends limiting showers to 10 minutes or less.

4. Groom your beard.  Growing or maintaining a healthy beard during the winter takes work, but it's worth it. 

“It’s important to let your beard grow out naturally,” Dr. Harvey says. “Trim it often, but not too closely.  And keep your beard hydrated with mineral oil or a moisturizer after wetting it.”

5. Seek medical attention for extremely dry skin. Some skin conditions are more common in the winter. Flaking in your beard, is often misdiagnosed as dry skin, but it may be due to dandruff caused by an overgrowth of yeast. 

“Psoriasis and eczema can also flare in cold weather," Dr. Harvey says. "These rashes can be treated by topical corticosteroid lotions that a dermatologist can prescribe." 

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.

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