From an everyday vantage point, our skin might not seem that complicated. However, get a bit closer, and you'll see the truth. In just one square inch of skin, we have an estimated 60 hairs, 20 blood vessels, 600 sweat glands and 100 oil-secreting glands. It's no wonder it accounts for 16 percent of our weight [source: Men's Health Books]. It's also no wonder it is so susceptible to damage -- it has a lot going on. One of the most common skin challenges we confront is dry skin. This goes for everyone. So, men, you aren't immune to dry skin and its accompanying tightness, pain, flaking and itchiness. In this article, you'll learn the best skin cleansers to keep at hand to battle this condition.
But first you need to know whether you actually have dry skin to begin with. You may be ignoring the symptoms, want some actual proof of their existence or even be misdiagnosing yourself.
So how do you tell if you have dry skin? One place you can check is your face. An hour after washing, if no oil comes off a tissue pressed against your face, or if it feels tight and is flaky, you have dry skin. That said, sensitive skin can often be confused for dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, the dryness will likely be accompanied by stinging during or after washing. It may also have broken blood vessels or be red [source: Oakley]. As you shop for cleansers, note that some products formulated specifically for sensitive skin may not include ingredients that your dry skin needs, as outlined on the next page of this article.
Speaking of cleansers, though, if you have dry skin, does that mean you shouldn't clean it? No, of course not. Cleaning helps to do the following:
- Removes dirt and dead skin cells
- Kicks excess impurities to the curb
- Curtails odors
- Prevents infection
However, even though you still need to clean dry skin, your tactics should vary from your friends with normal, oily or sensitive skin. That's because cleansing can further complicate your condition by removing essential natural oils and disrupting the delicate pH (acidic) balance of your skin.
So what's a man to do? Well, for starters, you can choose a cleanser that's right for you. There are a lot of options out there, such as gels, creams, mousses and foams. You can even go with bar soap in some instances, but you'll need to be extra careful in your selection because they can be especially tough on dry skin.
Head to the next page to learn how to narrow your search for the perfect cleanser.