Men's Grooming: Skin Care for Your Body
Stock up and save time in the morning with the right products for you.
Look and feel your best with deodorants and skin products for your specific needs and skin type. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be in and out of the mall in no time.
Bar Soap vs. Liquid Cleansers for Men
Many men prefer bars of soap to liquid cleansers. And for most men, bars are fine. But if you have very dry skin, try a cleanser. "What matters to most men is what soap looks and smells like. They usually don’t want a pink and flowery smelling body cleanser,” Dee Anna Glaser, MD, professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University, says. “But frankly, just about every product out there works equally well for skin.”
- If you insist on bar soap, look for moisturizing soaps with emollients such as glycerin and oils such as vitamin E oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil.
Moisturizers for Men
Most men don’t bother to use a body moisturizer. That’s OK if your skin is naturally oily. But if it tends to be dry, a moisturizer can help. The quickest solution is to use a moisturizing shower bar or cleanser. Another option: shower lotions and emollients that you put on in the shower and then rinse off. If that doesn’t keep your skin moist enough, apply a moisturizer after showering.
Focus on the areas where skin typically dries out: the elbows, knees, shoulders, and lower legs.
Dermatologist Vic A. Narurkar, MD, says, “Moisturizing your legs is particularly important and something many men don’t think about. Chronic dry skin, or xerosis, of the legs can exacerbate eczema and cause skin to turn a brownish, woody color as you get older.”
Many moisturizers trumpet the anti-aging properties of antioxidants. But there’s little scientific evidence that they protect the skin from oxidative damage when applied topically and at levels contained in these products. Some botanical ingredients, however, may have healing properties. Aloe, for instance, long used in moisturizers, has been shown to speed skin healing.
- If you have trouble with acne, look for a liquid cleanser and a moisturizer that contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or benzyl peroxide. These active ingredients remove dead skin and clean out pores, preventing acne.
Sunscreen Protection for Men
The sun’s UVA rays not only cause skin cancer, they also cause age spots and wrinkles as you get older. If you spend time out in the sun, protect your skin.
- Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that block UVA and UVB, with an SPF factor of at least 30.
Deodorants for Men
Men sweat more than women, and heavy sweating usually means underarm odor.
Dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, says some men can get by with a standard deodorant. “But if you have trouble with excessive sweating, a condition called hyperhidrosis, you may need to spend the extra money for a clinical-strength deodorant,” she says. Available over-the-counter, clinical-strength deodorants pack a higher percentage of active ingredients.
- For the best protection, look for products that contain aluminum chloride, which blocks sweat glands. (One drawback: aluminum chloride can stain the underarms of shirts and undershirts yellow.)