Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dry Skin This Winter - Going Glycerine & Removing Alcohol from The Shave Routine

Wintertime in Northeastern Pennsylvania

It’s been very cold here in North Eastern Pennsylvania (a.k.a. NEPA). So many stores, restaurants, friends’ homes, etc. that I visit will tend to have the heat turned up – which causes a really dry environment that contributes to drying out my skin.  I’ve also been told that soaps, aftershaves, lotions, etc. that I use can also compound the issue.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking for some advice on how to heal, prevent, and/or help protect my dry skin (particularly my head and face) this, rather bitter, NEPA winter.  I’m not a skin expert, just someone who is experiencing really dry skin this winter and looking for remedies.  The following has worked for me and my hope is that from my experience, it can help someone in the same situation.

My Bay Rum Puck along with a few other soaps from the Colonel Conk line

Not too long ago I caught up with an old friend of mine who runs a natural soap store,(visit them at  He was educating me on soap and how some, particularly ones that tend to have strong fragrance, can rob the skin of moisture.  One suggestion I received was to try glycerin-based soaps (or a body wash with moisturizer).   My thinking shifted to shaving soaps and figured that it’d probably be a good idea to try a glycerin based shave soap for a while.  The Colonel Conk soaps are glycerin based; they also contain Vitamin E and avocado oil to aid in moisturizing.  I currently have their Bay Rum soap in my rotation and use it to shave my face and head. 

I also added pre shave oil to the routine.  In theory, pre-shave oil helps skin pliability by holding in moisture, and that aids in the protection of the skin during a shave.  There still seems to be a lot of debate on the benefit of preshave oil.   However, since I don’t find it to clog my pores and it doesn’t cause me to break out, I thought it would be a safe addition to my shaving routine.

Lastly, aftershave and moisturizer.  I can be a bit mysophobic, so I tend to carry around hand sanitizer with me to a lot of places.   It may kill germs but the alcohol content really dries out the skin.  Same with the aftershaves that contain alcohol.   I really do like my splashes.  But since this has been a pretty cold winter, I’m cutting the alcohol based aftershaves for a little while.  Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Shop Aftershave Gel is an aftershave with witch hazel that I currently have in the mix.  Game Day Men’s After Shave Balm is a serum based aftershave that I think has a soothing tingle to it.  For added moisturizer and protection, Game Day Men’s Moisturizer, Every Man Jack SPF 15 Face Lotion, or Razor MD's Post Shave Lotion (currently using the Naturally Unscented) round out the mix.
I find them to moisturize and protect.  Though I tend to use Razor MD Post shave if my face is windburned or if I have razor burn.
Razor MD Post Shave Lotions, Game Day Men's Aftershave and Moisturizer, and Every Man Jack Face Lotions

Other products that I like and had been using didn’t seem to be that damaging. Though, at times my face tended to be a bit dry and irritated. But I chocked that up to windburn. With my back and arms a little scaly I didn’t want risk making my face any worse.  Using a preshave oil, glycerin shave soap, alcohol free aftershave, and regularly applying moisturizer for the past 3 to 4 weeks seemed to have helped protect and prevent my face from becoming dry like my hands. 

As with most shave and skin related issues, your mileage may vary (YMMV).  So far, this product mix seems to be working for me.  Now if only the warm weather would return.

What have you been doing this winter to treat your dry skin?  Let us know in the comments below.

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