I went to the theatre the other night (because I am a very fancy person!) and somehow managed to forget every lip balm I have ever owned in a different jacket pocket or purse. By the time the curtain closed on the first act, I was considering how long it would take to jet to a Time Square-adjacent CVS for some emergency Chapstick.
If you’ve found yourself—or really, your skin—similarly parched this season, fear not. The key to keeping everything from your lips to your toes from becoming a flaky, cracked disaster is really just preparation.
Below, four men’s skincare tips for keeping your skin hydrated in cold weather
1. Drink up
Good grooming starts from the inside out. No industrial size tub of moisturizer you can buy at Target is going to offer better skin benefits than simply drinking a sh*t ton of water. And no face mask is going to balance your skin tone faster than a diet crammed from morning to night with loads of fruits and vegetables.
Though it can be hard to find all your favorites in season, I try to incorporate spinach into morning smoothies (quickest recipe ever: two handfuls of spinach, a banana, whatever fruit you have in the freezer, and enough coconut water to liquify). Smear avocado on toast for breakfast or as a snack. Pulverize squash into soup. The point is, you have options.
As for that whole, ‘drink more water’ thing, yes, downing your body weight (or what feels like it) in H20 each day can be su-u-u-u-pes boring, I know. So make it feel like less of a chore with supplements that add fizz, or fruits that infuse flavor.
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The skin on your body is thoughtful enough to generously prevent your organs from spilling onto the sidewalk each and every day. Return the favor with a super-moisturizing treatment that keeps your bod’s final layer feeling supple.
Side note: This is advice that women seem soooo much more comfortable taking than guys do. Is there something that feels unmanly about body moisturizer? Is it the scent? Because you have options there. Does it make you feel vain? Please, enlighten me, because while us ladies lather up on the daily, sometimes I feel the only time I see guy applying lotion is at the beach.
The “check your kitchen cabinets” approach works for skin treatments as well. No matter what the New Yorker might say, coconut oil is a terrific moisturizer: Buy it at the grocery store. Leave it out at room temperature so it’s in a liquid state, and pour some onto a cotton pad. Apply to skin. It’s as easy as that.
A word of caution: coconut oil can block pores, so if you’re prone to break-outs on your body, skip this.
If that’s too hippie-dippie for you (I get it), plenty of moisturizers make use of the ingredient without feeling all..Shouldn’t I be cooking eggs with this?, along with other body-smoothin’ oils like argan and jojoba.
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3. Address the dryness of your feet
Gentlemen, I implore you: if you don’t want to wake a lady up in the middle of the night with a wayward foot making contact with her soft, touchable skin, please take care of your heels.
Luckily, they’re hidden most of the time, but heels are massively affected by winter’s dry air. Loads of factors can lead to cracked, dry heels, from medical issues (including thyroid and circulatory problems), weight gain, lots of time on your feet, or dehydration. Some of these, obviously, are easier to address than others. Buffing heels with a pumice stone can get rid of most normal dry skin build-up. You’ll also want to try a heavy-duty moisturizer.
Here’s something kind of gross (maybe?) that I do every so often, too, and swear by. Right before bed, slather a bunch of healing ointment (I like Aquaphor) (like, really really like it) onto the soles of your feet, or wherever they’re driest.
Don’t even rub it in. Just really slop it on there.
Then, pull on some fuzzy socks to let the moisture seep in while you sleep. I promise you’ll wake up a whole new man. Or at least, the same man, with new feet.
There’s also schmancy new feet masks you can use that give the same effect in an even shorter amount of time. Technology! Or something like that…
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4. …And do something about those dry hands
Your hands often take the brunt of the weather, whether you’re stuck shoveling or just forgot your gloves. Just throw one of these in a work bag or tuck one into your desk at work—and use them liberally, before the first signs of dryness appear.
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DO YOU OWN BODY LOTION? BE HONEST…IF SO, HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE IT?