How to Maintain Great Hair, Skin, and a Beard During the Winter

man beard suit

Dr. Terrence Keaney Tells Us the Way it is.

Your Movember groove may be in full motion this month, but how much stamina will you have once the thermometer and humidity begin to dip down into the blue zone (a.k.a. freaking cold and dry). The winter months can be a challenge for a man to maintain clear skin and soft hair. The harsh outdoor weather combined with indoor heating can develop all kinds of damage to your appearance, including premature wrinkles, breakouts, a frizzy beard, and brittle, lifeless hair.

Thankfully, a man has at least three allies on his side: One, Dove Men+ Care. Two, expert dermatologist, Dr. Terrence Keaney, and three, your own commitment to yourself. And while you may be on your own with the third one, we’ve got you covered with the first two. So let’s get started:

Man and His Beard

Dr. Keaney, Photo by Louis Tinsley/DC Corporate Headshots

Urbasm: What is the key to getting a great shave without all the burn, cuts, and irritation?

Dr. Terrence Keaney: One of the most important things guys must remember about shaving are the steps you can take in advance of shaving as well as those you take during the shave and after. Guys should prepare their face by washing it with warm water. This will gently clean the skin and release any trapped hairs allowing for a smooth shave. When actually shaving guys should use a hydrating shave cream, full of moisture. I like the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Shave cream because it’s a rich lather that lubricates the skin. Post shave, I recommend a hydrating post shave balm or cream to soothe the face and lock in the moisture. Avoid using alcohol based aftershaves which can be drying and irritating.

Urbasm: Electric or straight razor? – is one better than another, or is it all about technique?

Dr. Keaney: If you suffer from hair bumps (a.k.a. pseudofolliculitis barbae), use an electric razor in order to avoid creating too close of a shave thus reducing the risk of a breakout.

Urbasm: And since we’re smack in the middle of Movember, what is your best advice to maintaining a thick and healthy beard throughout the winter season?

Dr. Keaney: Well, beard maintenance is not as easy as it looks – keeping a beard and the skin underneath healthy is very important. Guys should be washing their face daily and using a moisturizer or serum to keep the skin under the beard hydrated as well. Lotions and creams might not be best as they can get stuck ion the hairs and I recommend hydrating serums, gels, or oils.

 

A Man’s Skin (and Hair) are as Unique as His Personality

Man looking at reflection in bathroom mirror, wet face and hair

Urbasm: What are the most harmful things that most men do to their skin on a regular basis, and probably don’t even know the harm they’re doing?

Dr. Keaney: One thing guys often do – which I warn against – is over scrubbing or exfoliation. Guys tend to be overaggressive when using scrubs or exfoliants, which can be detrimental because it will strip the skin of essential oils. I recommended guys use either a bar soap when washing their body or a gentle loofa with a body wash that won’t cause too much over exfoliation.

Urbasm: Didn’t know there was such a thing as over-exfoliating.

Dr. Keaney: I also recommend using a body wash with great moisturization. The Dove Men+Care body washes are made with micro moisture technology to lock in the skin’s moisture creating healthier, stronger skin. Once you get out the shower, do not forget to apply a moisturizer within 5-minutes to trap in the water and moisture.

Urbasm: We’ve also heard it is sometimes best not to wash hair every day to avoid stripping its essential oils. Is this true?

Dr. Keaney: Everyone’s hair is different in how much oil their scalp produces. Those with oilier scalps may need to wash daily but shampoos can dry the hair so do not forget to use a hydrating conditioner to protect the hair from over-drying.

Urbasm: Is it important to clean your skin with a cleaning agent, or can just plain old water do a good enough job, especially if a man is prone to dry skin?

Dr. Keaney: For those prone to dry skin, using a bland, hydrating cleanser is still important. Water alone will not be enough to remove the dead skin, bacteria, and oil which ultimately may lead to acne and skin irritation.

Urbasm: Can a man learn how to care for his skin by watching what women do, or is our skin different enough that we require a different regimen?

Dr. Keaney: Male skin is very different than female skin. It is thicker and hairy. It produces more sweat and sebum. Because of the physiologic differences in male skin, a skin care regimen tailored to male skin is important to adopt. I do recommend that my male patients mimic the consistent skincare use that women often employ. My male patients are more likely to stop a skincare regimen before its effects are appreciated.

 

Tools of the Grooming Trade

Urbasm: What are the basic tools a man needs to maintain his youth?

Dr. Keaney: The most important thing guys can do to maintain a youthful look is to get in a routine now, and stick to that routine for the rest of your life. It is easier to prevent than correct. As part of the routine, men should be moisturizing every day. I recommend a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher. Even when guys walk around throughout the day they are susceptible to the harsh side effects of the sun.

Urbasm: That’s easy enough. Are there any ‘extra tools’ a man can use for those who are willing to put in a little more effort to improve his odds?

Dr. Keaney: In terms of putting in a bit more effort, adding a topical antioxidant and retinoid have been shown to slow the aging process.

 

If a Man Remember’s One Thing…

Urbasm: If a man forgets half of what we’ve talked about today, what should be the most important thing he ‘remembers’ about his skin?

Dr. Keaney: Understand that men’s skin is biologically different than women’s – guys have oilier skin and produce more sebum. Men also tend to have more hair on our bodies and skin. These difference are important especially on how men perceive skincare products against their skin. They are also one of the main reasons guys should be using products made specifically for men.

Urbasm: Yes sir, we discovered the advantage of using Dove Men+ Care earlier this summer. Thank you, Dr. Keaney.

About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created Urbasm.com, a site for every guy.





About Dr. Eric J. Leech

Eric has written for over a decade. Then one day he created Urbasm.com, a site for every guy.