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    A Guy's Guide to Skin Care

    If you're a man who's plagued with dry skin or razor burn, here's a quick face-care checklist.
    WebMD Feature

    You're a guy. A sports team gets your attention -- not your facial skin. But here's a news flash: If you want to look good, you've got to deal with your skin.

    "If men want to keep skin youthful and healthy looking, they've got to make skin care a part of their daily regimen," says Mathew Avram, MD, JD, director of the Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He's also a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

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    Sun and smoking are your face's worst enemies because both cause skin damage and wrinkling. "If you smoke, quit," Avram tells WebMD. "Using a moisturizer with sunblock is a very effective way to prevent aging and wrinkling."

    A Checklist for Great (Manly) Skin

    Choosing skin products:

    • Think "moisturizer" when buying soaps -- body and hand soaps, that is.
    • Buy a face moisturizer that contains sunblock or sunscreen.
    • If you've got dry skin, buy a light moisturizing body lotion for summer.
    • During winter months, buy heavier moisturizing creams or ointments.
    • If dry skin is really a problem, thicker and greasier is better.
    • Always use a good sunscreen outdoors (SPF 15 or higher).

    Preventing dry skin:

    • Take lukewarm showers (instead of hot ones).
    • Limit shower time to 5 or 10 minutes.
    • Apply moisturizing lotion right after drying from the shower.
    • Moisturize after washing hands.

    Getting a great shave:

    • Shave in a warm shower. Or carefully put a hot, wet towel over your face for a few minutes before shaving.
    • Massage shaving cream or gels into skin.
    • Don't shave too close. Use single-edged razors to protect skin from irritation. You'll also reduce potential for ingrown hairs -- especially if your beard is curly.
    • Shave only in one direction if you tend to get ingrown hairs. Shave in the direction of hair growth.
    • Wash with plenty of water. Pat gently with a towel; don't rub.
    • Apply moisturizing cream (containing sunblock) to soothe and protect the skin.

    Controlling acne:

    • Using a prescription retinol treatment like Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, Avita, or Differin at night can make skin less prone to breakouts.
    • Daily use of an antibiotic cream or benzoyl peroxide wash or gel can also help.

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