Crack the Code: A Man's Guide to Tackling Dry Skin

Last updated April 18, 2023

Men's skincare routines for dry skin

As a man, dry skin can be a real drag. It's like trying to keep a houseplant alive in the middle of the Sahara desert. No matter how much water you give it, it still looks parched and thirsty. And let's not forget about those pesky dry patches and flakes that make you look like you've been rolling around in a pile of dandruff.

It's probably time we stopped thinking skincare is only for women because taking care of your skin is not just about your own vanity; it's about your health too! A good skincare routine can help prevent premature aging, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and boost your overall confidence.

So, whether you're a rugged outdoorsman or a city slicker, a proper skincare routine tailored for dry skin can work wonders for you. But where do you start? Don't worry; we've got you covered. We'll walk you through the best men's skincare routine for dry skin. From choosing the right products to establishing a daily routine, we'll cover everything you need to know to achieve healthy, hydrated skin.

Related: Best Moisturizer for Men

Understanding Dry Skin

Before diving into the specifics of a skincare routine, let's first understand what dry skin is….

You know when your skin feels all dry and crusty, right? Well, that's because your skin barrier is messed up and doesn't have enough oils or lipids. And those lipids are important because they help keep moisture in. Without them, too much water escapes and your skin gets all dried out.

This process is medically called transepidermal water loss, leading to a skin condition called xeroderma or, in severe cases, Xerosis, when your skin feels like rough patches that can flake or look scaly.

Unfortunately, as a man, you're more prone to dry skin than a woman, and there are a bunch of different factors that can cause it. So let's take a closer look.

Common Causes of Dry Skin in Men

Weather and Environmental Conditions

Have you ever noticed that your skin feels drier during certain times of the year? Well, there's a reason for that! Cold, dry weather can really strip your skin of its natural moisture.

And it's not just the cold that can do it - exposure to hot or windy conditions can have the same effect. So if you're prone to dry skin, you should always watch the weather and adjust your skincare routine accordingly.

Harsh Soaps and Detergents

You may have experienced that tight, dry feeling after using certain soaps or shampoos. It's not just in your head - those products can also strip your skin of its natural oils.

Instead, you should use more natural products like the Huron Body Wash or Brickell Men's Invigorating Mint Body Wash. They are gentler, more nourishing and don't contain any harsh chemicals that could dry your skin.

Exposure to Chemicals in the Workplace

Nobody wants sandpaper hands, but unfortunately, If you’re in the business of building, manufacturing, or farming, there is a high chance that you'll come into contact with some gnarly chemicals that can suck the moisture out of your skin. So, always ensure you wear protective clothing and gloves while working.

Medical Conditions and Treatments

Sometimes, dry skin can be a symptom of a more serious condition, like diabetes. Thyroid disorders. In those cases, you'll need to talk to a dermatologist who can help you figure out the root cause of your dry skin. And if it turns out that your dry skin is just a result of taking medication like retinoids or diuretics, your doctor might be able to switch you to something else that's less drying.

Hot Showers

Who doesn't love a steamy, hot shower when it's cold outside? I know I sure do! But spending over 10 minutes in a hot shower strips your skin's natural oils, causing dryness and itchiness. So next time you hop in the shower, try to keep it short and sweet. Your skin will thank you.


As we age, It's like our body decides to turn against us and make us feel like a dried-up raisin. But hey, that's life, and we just have to deal with it. The key here is to moisturize like it's your full-time job! Invest in a good moisturizer that works well for your skin type, and apply it generously.

How Dry Skin Affects Men's Appearance

Without the necessary moisture and hydration to maintain your skin's elasticity, your skin can look dull and lifeless, with signs of fine lines, wrinkles and red patches around the nose and forehead. Not only is this unattractive, but it can also cause itching and discomfort, leading to further skin damage.

During the colder and drier months, your skin can become even more problematic as it produces more oil to compensate for its lack of hydration, leading to clogged pores and increased acne.

All these symptoms combine to create an unattractive, uneven, aging appearance, which can be difficult to conceal. However, taking the right steps to provide the skin with the necessary hydration can help restore its natural glow and keep you looking healthy and youthful.

Best Men's Skincare Routine for Dry Skin That Really Works

The truth is, you don't need a 10-step skincare routine with a million different products to get that glow. In fact, a simple routine with just a few key steps and consistency can make all the difference.

So, let's break it down and get you on the path to healthier, happier skin.

Step 1: Use a Cleanser

Here's where you need to start to get your skin looking bright. Hop in the shower and lather up with some body wash for 10 minutes max. Next, wash your face with some warm water and bar soap. Then, get a facial cleanser and give yourself a little facial massage for about 30 seconds before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Using the facial cleanser both morning and night will help remove dirt, oil, and impurities that can clog your pores and lead to breakouts while preparing your skin for the next steps in your routine.

Just remember to choose one that's specifically formulated for dry skin. We recommend top cleansers like Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash and Lumin Charcoal Cleanser. They contain hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid to help moisturise your skin as you cleanse.

Step 2: Tone

After you've washed your face with a good cleanser, it's time to give your skin a little extra TLC (treatment, love and care) with a toner. Now, I know what you might have heard. Toner is for ''old people," But that is not true. Toners are actually a great addition to anyone's skincare routine, regardless of age.

So, what's the deal with toners? They help balance your skin's pH levels, which is important for keeping your skin healthy and glowing. They also help regulate your skin's oil production so you don't end up looking like a greaseball by the end of the day.

For some added benefits, like reducing redness, minimizing pores, and giving your skin a little extra hydration, we recommend the Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum or Caldera + Lab's The Good.

Step 3: Exfoliate

Exfoliating helps to unclog pores and remove dead cells from your skin, allowing your skin to absorb moisturizers and other skincare products better.

You can use a physical scrub like the Dr Dennis Gross Universal Daily Peel or a chemical exfoliant, whichever floats your boat. But if you've got acne-prone skin, a chemical exfoliant with salicylic acid like Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant should be your new best friend.

Just remember not to overdo it, your skin needs time to regenerate, and constant exfoliation can do more harm than good. So stick to the recommended frequency (usually twice a week). And do it at night, after cleansing but before moisturizing, so your skin can chill out and recover. Trust me, you don't wanna go around dealing with a red face all day.

Step 4: Address the Eye Area

The skin around your eyes is delicate and prone to dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. And Let's be real; nobody wants to look like a tired raccoon with puffy eyes and dark circles.

An eye cream can help keep this area hydrated, reduce puffiness, and keep it tight, bright and strong. They are literally the epitome of ‘big things in small packages’.

But not all eye creams are created equal. Look for ones that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and caffeine to help brighten and reduce puffiness. You can check out these Best Eye Creams for Men for the best results.

Just don't forget to apply it gently with your ring finger since it's the weakest finger and won't tug on your delicate eye skin.

Step 5: Moisturize Morning and Night

If you're not already using a moisturizer in your daily routine, it's time to start. They're like the unsung heroes of a skincare routine, and men underestimate their importance. They do more than just make your skin feel smoother. But actually, protect it from harmful environmental factors.

We recommend having two different moisturizers in your skincare routine. For the daytime, you'll want a moisturizer with SPF to shield your skin from UV rays that can cause premature aging. Products like the Tiege Hanley Morning Facial Moisturizer for Men are lighter in texture and won't make you feel greasy or caked on.

At night, you can use a heavier, more nourishing moisturizer like the Geologie Moisturizing Face Cream to help your skin repair and rejuvenate while you sleep. Think of it like a power-up for your skin. With the right moisturizers, your skin will be ready to handle any harmful environment.

Step 6: Sun Protection

This final step is crucial, and I'm talking about something as simple as sunscreen. Seriously, It's not just for the beach or the pool anymore. You need to wear it every day, no matter your skin tone.

I know what you might be thinking - "But I don't want to smell like a coconut all day!" or "Sunscreen is too greasy for my skin." Well, there are so many options out there now that you can find one that works for you.

Check out our best sunscreen for men.

It's not just about avoiding a nasty sunburn - sunscreen is a must to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) radiation that causes aging and skin cancer.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that offers broad-spectrum coverage. So, if you want to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful, make sure you're slathering on that sunscreen every time you head outside

And with that, you're all set! Stick to this routine, and you'll be well on your way to a healthy-looking complexion.

Additional Tips for Managing Dry Skin

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Use a humidifier: Running a humidifier in your home can help add moisture to the air and prevent your skin from drying out.
  • Avoid hot showers: Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, so ensure you have short, lukewarm showers at temperatures between 96-99 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent damage.
  • Limit exposure to harsh chemicals: Some chemicals in cleaning products can dry out your skin. So, limit your exposure and wear protective gloves when handling chemicals.

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Overall Skin Health

  • Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can cause various skin problems, including dryness, dark circles, and wrinkles. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can cause inflammation in the body, leading to skin issues such as acne and eczema. Incorporate stress-reducing practices such as meditation, yoga, or exercise into your daily routine.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Your skin's health is influenced by what you eat. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help promote healthy skin. Some particularly beneficial foods for the skin include leafy greens, berries, and fatty fish.
  • Reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption: Alcohol can dehydrate the skin, while tobacco can cause premature aging and other skin damage. Limiting or eliminating these substances can help improve your skin's health.


As men, taking care of your skin may not be at the top of your to-do list, but it should be, especially if you have dry skin that makes you uncomfortable and affects your appearance and confidence.

A simple skincare routine that includes hydration with the right products and protection from the sun can give you healthy and glowing skin that will have you looking and feeling your best.

Remember, it's never too late to start a skincare routine, and it's never too early to prevent future skin issues. So, Give your skin the care it deserves, and watch as it transforms before your very eyes.