Despite the folklore appeal of the weathered loner, no one really likes dealing with a dry, chapped, and altogether unpleasant guy. And it’s no picnic being the owner of mistreated skin, either. So, in the interest of those around you—and yourself—it’s time to man up and moisturize. Here’s how.
Step 1: Upgrade your arsenal for the colder months.
That thinner lotion that got you through the summer won’t be up to the challenge of fall and winter, so reach for stronger stuff—Zirh makes several great options—before the blustering winds really chap your hide. Playing catch-up once your skin dries out is tough, so get ahead of the game. Look for something with hyaluronic acid, which removes toxins from cells to let the good stuff in, and helps lock in the moisture your skin needs.
Step 2: Exfoliate!
Not only will sloughing off that dead skin make your skin softer, it’ll help you get the most out of any products you’re using. Applying a moisturizer on top of dead, dry skin just puts a barrier between it and the skin that needs it most.
Step 3: Take warm (not hot) showers.
While it might be tempting to chase away the winter cold with a piping hot shower, think twice before dialing up the heat. Hot water sucks the moisture out of your skin in short order.
Step 4: Use a pre-shave oil.
In order to avoid razor burn caused by dry skin, oil your beard up before you shave it off. Simple.
Step 5: Equip your lips.
The sheer volume of lip balms and moisturizers available for your kisser these days can be overwhelming. Cut through the chaff of medicated options and avoid anything loaded with beeswax, which is all well and dandy when crafting an artisanal candle but doesn’t benefit your lips because it doesn’t hydrate your skin, just clogs pores.
Step 6: Lotion up those hands.
Your hands rarely get a break from the weather—they are constantly exposed to the sun, wind and cold. And while rough paws might be the sign of a hardworking man, they’re not winning you any points in the boardroom or the bedroom. And after all the good work you’ve just put in, don’t you want to make sure you’re 100%? Yes? Good, because now you are.
Nick Burns is the co-author of The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face.