Update – 2/2/2018: I have updated some of the information in this article with newer, more effective recommendations that have, essentially, cured my severe red skin issues.
Like every other self-respecting dude out there, I like to make sure I look as fresh as possible. If you look good, you feel good and you’re more socially confident.
When you’ve got skin problems – especially on your face – feeling handsome is hard.
A lot of people understand the struggle because a lot of us had issues with acne in our teenage years. But, that’s when you’re 15, 16, 17.
I’m turning 34 in a few days and I was still struggling with my own skin issues until last week.
My Face Was Covered In Dry, Red, Itchy Blotches – It Was Fucking Embarrassing.
If you can imagine Michael J. Fox trying to put clown paint on with his shaky hands, it’s something like that.
My cheeks, temples, parts of my forehead, and most of the skin underneath my facial hair were covered with these red splotches. (See picture to the left)
I looked ridiculous.
I did some research into it and asked a doctor what the deal with my skin was. All signs pointed towards rosacea (or chronically dry skin, at the very least).
According to the National Institute of Health, rosacea is characterized by the following traits:
Frequent flushing of the center of the face, which may include the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, occurs in the earliest stage of rosacea. The flushing often is accompanied by a burning sensation, particularly when creams or cosmetics are applied to the face. Sometimes the face is swollen slightly.
There’s no cure for rosacea or chronically dry skin.
However, there are great ways to help manage it to the point where it’s basically unnoticeable.
There’s certain medications you can take but, if I can heal something without the use of pills, I’m going to do that instead.
So, I listened to my black friends – who vitally understand the importance of good skin care – and headed straight for the moisturizer.
I Tried All The Recommended Lotions & Moisturizers. NOTHING Worked. I Still Looked Like A Clown.
On my own, I purchased and tried 4 different moisturizers:
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
- Natural jojoba moisturizing oil
- Cocoa + shea butter lotion
- Aveeno Eczema Therapy lotion
I tried them for weeks at a time, sometimes doubling up. Despite all the product claims and recommendations, none of these products worked for me.
(The Aveeno product was pretty good but it didn’t totally do the trick for me. I wouldn’t blame you for trying it – it’s a good product.)
Being a stubborn fucker, though, I kept doing my research and experimenting for months before finding the 4 step process for healing my rosacea and chronically dry skin.
STEP 1: Stay Hydrated
I really shouldn’t even have to tell you this. But, stay hydrated.
If you’re thirsty, drink water (not beer or whiskey or sugary drinks). End of story.
It’s crucial for your metabolism. It’s great for your mood. And it helps your skin stay clear and balanced, acting as a natural moisturizer.
Your skin is 64% water. Of course water is going to keep it looking supple and nice! When your skin is well-hydrated, it’s less likely to crack and let in irritants like dirt and oil, causing skin blemishes.
My buddy Thomas Grabowski, a Psychology of Eating coach and an expert on curing acne through your diet, had this to say about hydration and skin quality:
Do you have bad skin? The solution to pollution is dilution. Stay hydrated!
This is coming from a guy who struggled with serious skin issues for his teens and early twenties. He knows how to handle these naturally.
So, next time you get thirsty, put down the Coke and reach for you Brita water filter. Your skin will thank you for it.
STEP 2: No More Hot Showers
I think most people love a good hot shower, especially after a hard workout.
Thing is, taking hot showers is one of the quickest ways to dry out your skin and further irritate your already red, rashy face.
The heat softens the oils in your skin, eventually stripping them from your skin. This leaves your precious skin dehydrated and with no protective barrier.
Now, you’re left with more dry, red skin. And, that’s not a good look.
What to do instead?
Take a cool-to-ice cold shower.
Cold showers are the best way to wake you up after a long sleep. They help with muscle recovery. They spike your testosterone levels.
Plus, think about how badass you are to start your day with a cold shower?! Might as well go kill a bear for breakfast.
STEP 3: Use SheaMoisture African Black Soap
Most people use some kind of face wash in the shower. It helps keep your skin clean and smooth and looking fresh.
If you suffer from rosacea and/or excessively dry skin, chances are your morning face wash is only making matters worse. It pulls out even more of the oil from your skin, only exacerbating the harm you did by taking a hot shower.
Instead of your Noczema face wash, wash your face with SheaMoisture African Black Eczema Therapy Soap.
This all-natural soap will wash the impurities from your face and will soothe any dry, irritated skin with its organic shea butter base. It cleanses along with a nice moisturizing effect. It also smells delicious – kinda earthy and like coconuts.
It’s also only about $9-10 for a HUGE bar that will last you for at least 3 months of consistent use. A bottle of your standard commercial face is gonna be the same price, last you a month at best, and dry the ever livin’ shit out of your skin.
This soap is really powerful shit, guys. Go buy it now.
STEP 4: Use 1% Hydrocortisone Cream
The last step of my rosacea/dry skin healing process is, by far, the most important.
1% hydrocortisone cream is a topical steroid that reduces the symptoms of skin inflammation, redness, and swelling. It will help heal eczema, rosacea, and any other excessively red skin issue you’ve got going on.
There are loads of hydrocortisone creams available at your local drugstore. Just make sure you get one that has added moisturizers or aloe in it. On its own, hydrocortisone will relieve the redness but leave your skin dry.
I’ve got pretty dry skin to begin with, so I use CeraVe SA Renewing Cream for extra dry skin along with my 1% hydrocortisone cream. I apply it a few times a day and it’s been keeping my skin in good shape.
Hydrocortisone cream has been a fucking godsend to me. Everything else has only partially healed the redness. This started working within an hour of my first use.
Hell, even if you don’t do any of the other parts of this process, using the 1% hydrocortisone cream will help heal the red, itchy blotches on your face.
No More Dry, Red Skin – Clear Skin Forever
Whether it’s genetics or just lifestyle catching up to you, dry, itchy, splotchy red skin can be a real bitch to deal with. It looks terrible and is hard to get rid of.
I’ve struggled with this for the better part of the last two years and have felt really insecure about it. It took a lot of experimentation but I found a great process that works to heal your rosacea and excessively dry, red skin.
It’s a simple 4 step process, just regularly do the following…
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
- Avoid hot showers/baths – take cool ones instead
- Use SheaMoisture African Black Soap to wash your face
- Relieve itching and moisturize with 1% hydrocortizone cream
You’ve probably been dealing with this problem for a while but it’s a hell of a lot easier to fix than you think. Just follow the above steps and get soft, clear skin quick!