Sandpaper may be great for refinishing a piece of furniture or smoothing out a patch job on a wall, but it’s not something you would want to be compared to your skin. Rough, dry skin is in no way a handy thing to keep around. It can be more than just frustrating with its redness, flaking, tightness, pain or itchiness. It can also be embarrassing, something that makes you tuck your hands in your pockets or hide those body parts more prone to roughness — say, the front of your legs, arms and even your midsection. There are self-care measures you can take to manage this — or perhaps get rid of it completely. Read on to learn the causes of, and five skin care tips for, men’s rough skin.

Causes of Men’s Rough Skin

Dryness is not the only cause of rough skin. Several other medical challenges also comprise the rough skin category, such as:

  • Psoriasis: Known for causing irritated and red skin, this condition is caused by an overactive immune system. Manifestations commonly appear on the feet, palms, back, face, scalp, knees and elbows.
  • Keratosis pilaris: This skin condition causes small bumps and rough spots on the thighs, arms and buttocks. Although not a serious condition or harmful, it does affect the skin’s appearance.
  • Eczema: Eczema is an umbrella term for skin conditions that cause rashes. Atopic dermatitis, which is a rash caused by an allergen, is a common form of eczema. Symptoms include inflammation, redness and itchiness.

#1 Make The Most Of Your Moisture

Men's Rough Skin: Make the most of your moisture

Just as you can’t count on your pull-up bar or running shoes to make you physically fit without putting in the work on your own, you can’t rely on your natural oils to keep roughness at bay. You have to put in the work — moisturizing. And your skin’s natural oils and your moisturizer have to work together.

Your skin has a nice coating of lipids — basically fatty, oily substances — that help keep it moist. When something strips that layer of lipids away, dry skin is the result. However, you can keep your skin’s moisture intact by basically glueing it to yourself with the help of a moisturizer.

Your first step is getting your hands on a moisturizer that works for you. Head to your local drugstore, where you’ll find plenty of economical options. You need a moisturizer that will help your rough skin, so go with a nice thick option without added alcohol or perfumes. Check for rough-skin-friendly ingredients, such as petroleum, glycerin and lanolin.

Your second step is actually using the moisturizer. Don’t be bashful! Slather it on three to four times each day, including right after you shower and when you wash your hands.

#2 Wash (and Shower) Wisely

Men's Rough Skin: Wash wisely

Credit: Askmen

Do childhood nightmares of being known as the “stinky kid” have you scrubbing your skin off every day? If so, you need to wash more wisely to help your rough skin. Watch your method and frequency.

As enticing as a steaming hot shower might be, stick with a milder water temperature. And keep your time under the water’s spray at less than 15 minutes.

Also, rethink how many times you put soap to skin. Sensitive facial skin needs to be washed just once a day [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Underarms and genital areas need soaping every day, but most folks can clean the other areas of their body just two to three times each week.

When it comes to your hands, though, the best way to stop the spread of infections, such as influenza, is to wash your hands after you use the restroom — every time. So wash away, but be sure to moisturize your hands after.

#3 Practice Product Prudence

When it comes to your products, what works for your sweetheart might not work for you. Although you don’t have to go fancy if you have different skin types, skin care options may be something you can’t share.

Men's Rough Skin: Practice prudence

Credit: Men’s Botanics

Earlier, you learned what to look for in your moisturizers, but what about cleansers for rough skin? First, when it comes to facial and body cleansers, go with a liquid option over a bar, which can be tough on your skin. Second, shy away from added ingredients not well-suited to men’s rough skin, such as alcohols, antibacterial detergents and deodorants. Instead, look for added fats and oils.

If your face and body are similar in skin type, try going double-duty and use the same product for both. And just as you can go with less-expensive options for your moisturizer, seek an affordable selection.

If you find that your skin care regimen just isn’t taking care of your skin issues, you may want to consider some over-the-counter helpers. For example, creams with urea or cortisone cream for itchiness control can help soothe rough skin

#4 Keep Irritants at Bay

All the moisturizer in the world may not be enough to protect your skin from the products and chemicals you can encounter on a daily basis — either from your own home or on the job. In fact, exposure to household chemicals, especially exposure involving sensitive skin, can lead to a rash, swelling or redness.

Therefore, proceed with caution. Follow these steps to protect your skin when working with different chemical products:

  • Keep your eyes open! Watch for warning labels, such as “danger” or “use in a well-ventilated area.” Always read the labels on products and follow directions.
  • Do not mix products together.
  • Cover up with gloves or a long-sleeve shirt.
  • Wash your skin after using a chemical product.
  • Avoid hazardous chemicals completely, if you can. Why not give good old-fashioned baking soda a try instead?

#5 Stress Less

Men's Rough Skin: Stress less

Credit: Peter Forster

The skin care regimen you follow and the products you use can get you only so far. You also need to consider a holistic approach to keeping your skin smooth. In fact, did you know that when it comes to skin challenges, such as eczema, stress can bring on flare-ups?

So to make sure that you don’t sabotage your other skin care efforts put stress management at the top of your list. This may seem daunting considering just how many stressors we have coming our way daily, but it’s certainly possible.

To curb the stress in your life, the first thing you need to do is put a name to it! Do you feel pressure from family issues, health concerns or your job? By identifying your stress, you can then determine if there are authentic steps you can take to mitigate it.

That said, some things may not be able to be changed. In those instances, add some healthy coping techniques to your life. For example, try meditating, getting physically active, playing or listening to music, practising yoga and connecting with friends and family in social settings. Practising these coping mechanisms will help your inner peace visibly shine through in the form of healthier skin.




Catch up with our previous stories on tips for dealing with other skin types for men!

Men’s Oily Skin: 5 Tips to Degrease

Men’s Dry Skin: 5 Tips to Pump H2O

Layering Hydration the Right Way

Oily skin is the bane of most people’s existence and is commonplace amongst many men. By mid-day, your forehead has enough shine to blind, and the oil still wouldn’t stop coming. Read on for five tips for men’s oily skin.

Men with Oily Skin: 5 Tips to Degrease

#1 Don’t Be Afraid of Products

Yes, your papa used plain old soap to wash his face every day. But he also gave you french fries before you had teeth. The man’s wisdom was not infallible.

There are warehouses full of products out there that companies spent multiple years and millions of dollars formulating so that you would buy them to make yourself look great. (Makes you feel kinda special, doesn’t it?) Men whose medicine cabinets are startlingly bare often just don’t know what to buy. And we don’t blame you — half the stuff written on the hundreds of bottles in the drugstore is gobbledygook, anyway. But be brave. A teenage boy can get away with just a tube of zit cream and a stick of deodorant in the bathroom drawer, but a grown man cannot.

You really only need a few things, like a gentle cleanser and moisturizer (we’ll get into that in a minute), and if you can’t choose on your own, there’s probably a sister or female friend around who can help. If you’re too embarrassed to do that, take a look around the bathroom of your most GQ friend the next time you’re over. It’s not creepy if it’s research.

Maybe the best thing you can pick up: a mattifier. Better than rabbit-out-of-a-hat sleight of hand, this is make-your-face-matte-instead-of-shiny magic in a bottle.

#2 Be Gentle

Men's Oily Skin: Be gentle to your skin

Credit: Hisu Lee

Of course, you’d want to wash your face when it looks like you’ve smeared olive oil all over it. But doing it 20 times a day in scalding water with a chemical-smelling, harsh cleanser isn’t going to work — it actually makes it worse.

You can certainly get your skin nice and dry that way. Too dry. And then your usually well-oiled skin will start freaking out because you’ve quite literally irritated it. As a result, your body ratchets up oil production to try to protect itself from whatever is attacking it: i.e. you.

Oily skin and acne are all too often BFFs, as well. If you have acne, it’s even more important not to scrub away at your face with gritty exfoliants and zillion-percent benzoyl peroxide washes. You have to be nice to it, instead. Use warm water and a gentle cleanser, and then schedule a trip to the dermatologist. Some cases of acne simply can’t be treated effectively with over-the-counter products, and the answer to your skin problem may be as easy as picking up a prescription for an oral antibiotic or topical cream.

#3 Yes, Moisturize

It sounds nuts: Slap some moisturizer on oily skin? Uh, sure, I’ll get right on that. But oil and moisture are two different things.

Everybody’s skin needs extra moisture. There are too many things out there — from cold winds to hot furnaces — that are busy stealing it from you. The best moisturizer for oily skin will be light and oil-free (bonus points if you find one with sunscreen). If the packaging says “rich and creamy,” move past it — it’s not for you, and it may actually be salad dressing.

After that, all you have to do is put it on right, which is where most people screw up. The second you get out of the shower or finish washing your face, pat (don’t rub — pat) your skin dry and then smooth on the moisturizer while your skin’s a bit damp so the moisturizer can soak in.

#4 Stay Away From Steroids

Men's Oily Skin: Stay away from steroids

Credit: Hush Naidoo

When you look in the mirror, you want to like what you see. We all have different tastes, but if your heart’s desire is to look like you’ve been working out with Ryan Reynolds for “The Green Lantern,” don’t think steroids are going to do it. Steroid use can help you develop some awe-inspiring musculature, sure, but not without side effects. Acne is the most common, followed by oily skin.

You know how steroids make your muscles bigger? They do the exact same thing to the sebaceous glands. And — surprise — bigger oil glands equal more oil. So if you want to look totally ripped, you’re going to have to do it the old-fashioned way. Unless you were really hoping for disfiguring scars, in which case, go for it.

#5 Make It A Routine

Discipline: It’s not just for the military. Good skin takes hard work. Drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscreen. Put in the time and effort to find products that work for you and use them like you’re supposed to. Wash your face, gently, every morning and every evening (even if your less-oily friends can get by with once-a-day washing). It doesn’t matter if you’re too tired or you’ve had one too many — you do it.

The good news is that this is the kind of hard work that gets you somewhere — well-tended skin looks nice. And if it’s still a little slick some days, comfort yourself that when you get older, you’re going to have a much easier time with ageing than your drier counterparts. While they’re slathering their newly thinner, less elastic, more fragile hide with Crisco, you’ll be sitting pretty. But in the meantime, you’re not helpless.

For all you know, James Bond endured the same oily problem. He just had a really good mattifier.




Catch up with our previous stories on tips for dealing with other skin types for men!

Men’s Dry Skin: 5 Tips to Pump H2O

Men’s Rough Skin: 5 Tips to Deal

Layering Hydration the Right Way

In past years, a man’s skin-care regimen generally consisted of aftershave and a mild sunburn. With our increasing longevity and continued research and development into skin care, many of us now see the sense in caring for the protective suits we arrived in.

The skin you’re walking around in is actually your body’s largest organ. It’s useful and resilient: It holds water in, it keeps bacteria and viruses out, and you can even spill drinks on it without it staining.

But if you have excessively dry skin — and many, many people do — your skin’s function is compromised. Not only will it feel tight, itchy and uncomfortable, but skin that’s scaly or cracked also offers vulnerable points-of-entry to dangerous pathogens.

#1 Use Moisturizer


Your skin has its own natural moisturizer, or at least it should. The surface of your skin produces a mix of lipids, oils and dead skin cells that come together to form a handy, protective layer. Most people need to wash this layer off, lest it continue building up into an oily mess that wreaks havoc on their pores, not to mention their dating success.

Various health conditions (such as diabetes or kidney problems) can cause excessively dry skin, but more often genetics is to blame. Not everyone’s skin produces lots of protective oil, and daily washing strips off what oil there is in the first place.

Moisturizer isn’t terribly manly, but neither is complaining about dry skin. While some men only dampen their faces with tears of joy when watching the stirring finale of a monster-truck rally, moisturizer really can go a long way in giving the skin a healthier appearance. And when it comes to preventing dry, cracked skin, it’s your first line of defense.

When it comes to moisturizer, some products are watery, some are oily and there’s practically no limit to what ingredients they may contain. Try a few out to find one that works for you. Start with something simple and greasy, with a short list of ingredients. Through trial and error, you’ll find one that keeps the itching and discomfort at bay.

#2 Wet, Then Moisturize

man washing face -2

Dry skin usually appears on the abdomen, arms, legs, hands or feet, but it’s also common on the face, where it creates a sensation of tightness. While dry skin shouldn’t be any reason for alarm, it can cause a minor revolution among your skin cells if it’s left unchecked. Dry skin occurs when skin cells that are near or past the end of their cellular lives clump together, creating tiny scales. The rest of your skin doesn’t like this, especially since these scales leave spaces between them that can easily be breached by allergens, bacteria or viruses. The rest of the skin may suffer, either from contact with an allergen or from an immune-system response to the excessively dry skin. The immune-system response may lead to swelling and inflammation. This is dermatitis.

As we mentioned earlier, you can prevent dry skin by using moisturizer. However, moisturizer can actually cause problems if you don’t wet your face first. Many moisturizers are occlusive, meaning they form a layer on your skin that keeps moisture from getting out. But if there’s little moisture in the skin to begin with, you’re just trapping in the dryness, so to speak. Always splash a little water on your face so the moisturizer will have something to seal in.

#3 Don’t Smoke


If you leave a trail of skin flakes wherever you go, you may want to limit your exposure to cigarette smoke. If you’re a smoker and you need another reason to quit, here it is: Smoking is not only going to prematurely age your skin, it’s also likely worsening or even outright causing its dryness.

When you’re a smoker, your face spends a lot of time in contact with smoke. Just like the inside of a chimney darkens in due time, your face is going to begin showing signs of the near-constant presence of tobacco smoke, as will your hands. Smoking damages and dries out the skin. In addition to the dryness caused by the smoke, particles and pollutants in the smoke will settle on your skin and form a residue. In time, this residue will result in blocked pores, discoloration and generally unhealthy-looking skin. We don’t need to cover all the reasons smoking’s bad for you, but if your dry skin’s driving you crazy — or if you just want to look your best — that’s all the reason you need to kick the habit for good.

#4 Avoid Winter Woes

Snow relaxing

Even people with oily skin may have to deal with dryness during winter, especially if they spend much time outdoors. When temperatures plunge and winter winds whip up, skin — and its ability to retain moisture — takes a beating.

During the winter months, the air is less humid than during other times of the year. In this way, the world is literally sucking the moisture out of your skin. Stopping that is no easy feat.

However, there are steps you can take to maintain healthy skin in the winter:

  • Stay hydrated. Give your skin its own chance to replace moisture lost to evaporation.
  • Avoid being out in the elements when possible. When outside, protect your face, hands and any other exposed skin from the cold weather.
  • Gently wash and moisturize your face once a day, and re-moisturize later in the day. Look for an oil-based moisturizer that helps your skin seal in its existing moisture.

These simple steps will help give your skin relief until spring rolls back around.

#5 No Dozing In Winter


Most people start — or end — the day with a nice, long shower, or even a bath if there’s time. It’s a great way to relax, and it washes grease and grime off your body. But as you strip away those oils, you also remove a very important protective layer that helps prevent moisture from escaping through your skin.

If you can cut out tub baths entirely, doing so will improve your dry skin. You can also help improve your skin’s condition by shortening your showers to just a few minutes and cutting back on the hot water. And be aware that soap dries out your skin. Try to avoid using soap unnecessary, such as soaping and scrubbing the backs of your calves after spending a leisurely winter’s day inside reading. If you haven’t broken a sweat since the last time you bathed, you can skip the shower entirely.




Catch up with our previous stories on tips for dealing with other skin types for men!

Men’s Oily Skin: 5 Tips to Degrease

Men’s Rough Skin: 5 Tips to Deal

Layering Hydration the Right Way

The days when a guy could just shave, shower and hit the road for a big date are all but a fond memory. Good grooming and plenty of it is the order of the day for both sexes. Owning the right tool to tame a cowlick, excise a hangnail or put some sparkle in your smile is important, especially if your social life involves more than delivery pizza and a series of solitary evenings in front of the flat screen.

Let’s take a look at five must-have grooming aids for the budding metrosexual. You don’t need to be a fashion conscious urban dweller to get on board with a regular grooming routine, either. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums, soft skin, and clean, short nails can keep you healthier, too.


OK, most men brush their teeth, but maybe not enough. The condition of your teeth can affect everything from your smile to your heart health, so brush twice a day and between meals if you can manage it. You might also want to consider brushing your tongue — yeah, it’s an extra step, but germs lurk and linger there, too.

We like electric toothbrushes over manual. Although there may be little difference in scientific tests between manual and electric methods, that’s only when the manual brushing is done correctly. Electric toothbrushes that use rotation oscillation make the process pretty idiot-proof and get the job done right every time. The brush does all the work, whirling around your mouth like a dervish, and all you have to do is hold on.

Rotation oscillation toothbrushes make it easier for you to get at the plaque under your gum line and do a more thorough job of brushing between teeth. If you tend to lose track of time while brushing, many electric toothbrushes also have handy timers to let you know when your molars and bicuspids are minty fresh and ready to greet the new day.

A Brush & A Comb

Even if your mane isn’t your crowning glory, you’ll still need these two tools to keep it under control. Hair is notorious for being unruly, especially when you have a big meeting or date coming up. When the wind blows, there’s nothing like a comb for a quick fix-up, so keep one handy at all times. A small or folding comb will fit in your pocket and help turn a bad hair day into, well, a better hair day. If you have very thick, curly hair, choose a comb with wide teeth. That way you’ll never be the guy who has to call his barber or stylist to schedule an emergency comb-ectomy.

For your morning grooming ritual, you’ll want a hairbrush, too. We like soft, natural-bristle brushes. They’re gentle but still perform some scalp massage without much risk of yanking valuable hairs out in the process. They’re also very effective at lubricating your hair with the natural oils from your scalp. If you have dandruff, though, opt for a stiff-bristle brush that will stimulate good blood flow and keep your dandruff under better control.

Nail Clippers


Nail care is important. Clean nails harbor fewer bacteria, and short, well-trimmed nails (and toes) will leave you less vulnerable to problems like hangnails and ingrown toenails. It’s easy to find nail and toe clippers in those cute faux leather, zip up kits, but save your pennies and invest in a pair of precision nail clippers and a larger pair of toe clippers.

Look for clippers that will fit the curve of your nail so that one or two quick snips will do the job cleanly. That way, you won’t need to use a file to tidy up afterward. Toenail clippers should make relatively straight cuts and be strong enough to cut your big toe nail without shredding it or forcing you to shift your grip.

Manscaping Trimmers

Manscaping is the manly art of hair removal, and your personal preferences (and those of your significant other) will dictate what types of manscaping activities you find essential for good grooming. You may want to carve a couple of eyebrows out of your unibrow, give the back of your neck a touchup between haircuts, banish those stray hairs peeking out of your nose or ears, thin your beard, or perform some landscaping on your back or points south.

There are specialty razors for all kinds of manscaping tasks. The trick is to marry the right tool with the task and learn to use it effortlessly. Some newer specialty razors have multiple blades and can perform more than one function by just switching out the head. They can be versatile and convenient — after a little practice. Single function razors, like those with spinning blades that won’t snag the tender skin in your nose or nick your earlobe, can only remove hair efficiently from a few areas, but what they do, they do very well.

A Razor

Choosing your style of razor is a very personal thing. Nine out of 10 boys and men over the age of 15 shave. Shaving is a rite of passage. Dads teach their sons, and boys emulate their fathers. It all sounds so traditional, and it would be if methods of shaving and facial hair fashions weren’t always changing.

If you went back a couple of generations, you’d get a good argument for using a straight edge razor to get a close shave. Fast forward a bit and you’ll find advocates of safety razors for ease of use. Today, proponents of electric razors will tell you that they’re as good as anything else on the market, easier to use and safer, too. Actually, you can still probably find proponents of all three points of view, together with hold outs who believe that shaving at all is ridiculous and unnatural.

The take away is that there are lots of options. We like electric razors because they’re convenient, available for use wet or dry, and you can almost always find a size, shape and blade style for your skin type and the task you have in mind. Whether you’re looking for long battery life, a lightweight option or just like the idea of an onboard moisturizer dispenser, you’ll be able to find it in an electric razor.

Hi everyone,

I am Valerine, a new member of the Porcelain family. Just to share a little experience with everyone…

Ever felt lousy about yourself because of your troubled skin? Envy others for their perfect skin? YES, this was exactly how I felt back then when I was a troubled teenage girl faced with really serious acne problems.

The lesson learnt? Don’t ever be LAZY and do not be afraid to seek professional treatment! I won’t say I have the perfect skin right now, but its certainly one that allows me to feel confident about. I understand how skin problems can lead to other emotional/confidence issues, and I am here to share with you my passion and interest in skin care. Hopefully, readers out there can benefit from the content and achieve Porcelain skin too!

Read on for my first entry!

When it comes to skincare, despite an increasing number, there is still a large male population who either “don’t care”, “lazy”, or thinks it is still a feminine sport. Well, skin is ultimately skin, and skin care for men is equally important as skin care is to women.

For those a little more interested, here are the key differences between men’s skin and women’s skin.

1. A man’s skin is usually firmer and about 20% thicker than their female counterpart. This is because a man’s skin contains more collagen and elastin. This also explains why men have less wrinkles and are less susceptible to aging.

2. Men have smaller oil glands (yay!), but despite that their skin tends to be oilier than women’s. This is because the male hormone, testosterone, increases sebum secretion. In comparison, the female hormone, estrogen, secretes much less sebum. This explains the higher rate of acne occurrences in men (especially teenage boys going through puberty).

3. Men also tend to have dirtier skin compared to women. Women might attribute it to their hygiene, but the truth is men have naturally larger pore size. This makes it more prone to clogging by dirt and sebum. Hence, deep cleansing is an especially important step for men.

4. Shaving. It strips the hydroltic film on the skin, causing it to be more irritable and inclined to skin problems.

After understanding the core differences, what are the steps men should take to better care for their skin?

  • Understand your skin type and select a suitable facial cleanser.
  • Always have a facial cleanser with deep cleansing properties that cleanse and clear clogged pores  thoroughly (remember to avoid those that can be over-drying)
  • For shaving, get a good shaving kit that includes shaver, foam, foam brush and aftershave.
  • Never use soap, body wash or (shampoo) to cleanse your face as they tend to be too drying.
  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on your face to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Exfoliate at least twice a week to get rid of impurities and dead skin cells.
  • Go to a facial therapist for thorough pore cleansing every month.
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Sweat the toxins out! Exercise!
  • Keep yourself hydrated with lots of water.

These steps are just generic guidelines to help you achieve better health and better skin. However, do note that if the skin problem is too severe, you might like to consult a professional Aesthetician for advice.

– valerine yeap