Emerging from a harsh winter, men are shedding their clothing and, sometimes if they’re not careful, too much of their skin.
“You get that fresh and clean feeling from a good body scrub,” said Raymonde Green, a marketing executive in Manhattan. Five mornings a week, he works out at the gym and showers there afterward, a process that involves “a quick scrub with a washcloth,” he said.
Later on, things get more intense. “I’ll shower again at night and use a hard luffa with this Dove Men’s body and face wash,” Mr. Green said. “It gets a nice lather going.”
He is not alone in his aggressive scrubbing regimen, but men should be careful about overdoing it, said Dr. David Colbert, a Manhattan-based dermatologist whose clients include the actor Kyle MacLachlan and the interior designer Nate Berkus.
“Scrubbing is great for skin cell turnover,” Dr. Colbert said, “but I actually have to be careful when I recommend it. Yes, men have thicker skin than women — I mean that literally, not figuratively — and have more oil glands and sweat more, so they should scrub more. But take it easy there, Champ! This is not a competition of who can wipe their skin off.”
Dr. Colbert recommends that men use a gentle exfoliant once a week. “A luffa or brush is O.K., but it’s a breeding ground for bacteria, so you have to replace it every couple of months,” he said. “I’d stay away from straight pumice stones. You can actually give yourself calluses. It’s just too easy to overdo it with pumice.”
For he-men who may not know their own strength, there is the Clarisonic Smart Profile face and body brush, a battery-operated device with a long handle and a gently bristled oscillating head. “The machine runs at a certain speed — it’s easier to avoid trouble,” said Dr. Lauri Tadlock, a dermatologist in Bellevue, Wash., and a vice president at Clarisonic.
Another great option is Skinceuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub, a mild gel cleanser with natural ingredients (utilizing diatomaceous earth, since plastic microbeads are an environmental hazard) polishes away dead skin cells
Springtime is a prime season for men to rid themselves of dead skin. “You actually should never exfoliate during weather extremes,” Dr. Colbert said. “You’re taking a layer off your skin, and it leaves it vulnerable, whether in cold or heat.”
Orginially featured in New York Times by Bee Shapiro