The RoyalShave Guide to Finding the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

Skin care. Handsome young shirtless man applying cream at his face and looking at himself with smile while standing in front of the mirror

At its core, the actual act of wet shaving boils down to two pieces: your razor and your skin, making contact for that sublime, smooth countenance. So we put a lot of thought into finding the perfect razor, blade, and shaving cream or soap.

But let’s focus on the skin part for a moment. You’re probably already aware that you should be moisturizing (on top of your aftershave), but how often should you be doing it? And are you using the correct moisturizer for your skin type?

While these questions may not rank high on your priority list (they’re certainly not quite as exciting as looking for a beautiful new razor handle or silvertip brush), they make a far greater difference in your daily shave than you think.

We’ve used this analogy before, but it’s worth mentioning again: think of shaving as painting the walls in your house – you can certainly apply the paint directly, but there may be bumps or cracks from painting over an uneven surface. Take the time to apply a primer before that first coat of paint, however, and you not only have a smooth surface to paint on, but also one that’s better protected.

Moisturizer is your primer, reinforcing your skin during the trauma of shaving.

Read on for tips on how to determine your skin type and find a moisturizer that will get your skin looking and feeling its best.

General Tips

  • First and foremost, schedule a visit to the dermatologist – He or she can determine your skin type and give you professional tips on caring for your skin, as well as suggest products.
  • Always read the label – The higher up an ingredient is on the ingredients list, the greater the concentration of that ingredient in the product.
  • Commit to a moisturizing schedule – Even if you have oily skin, you need to moisturize like clockwork: 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. Since most of us also apply a sunscreen during the daytime, a lighter moisturizer will do. To make sure you remember this step, just put it on right after you shave (this will restore natural oils and calm irritation caused by shaving). At night, you can go for something heavier that will penetrate deeply as your body naturally heals itself.
  • If you’re active and take a shower after your workout, reapply moisturizer.

Sensitive

Cetaphil

How do I know if I have sensitive skin?

Your skin is easily irritated, especially by products with many ingredients, fragrance, or exfoliating acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or Beta Hydroxy Acids).

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

The fewer the ingredients, the better. Aim for products that are marked hypoallergenic, paraben-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free (preferably all of the above).

Of particular importance is staying away from anything with fragrance, whether it’s synthetic or natural. Fragrance is one of the most common causes of sensitizing and allergic reactions. So while that moisturizer might smell delightful, it’s best to avoid it if you have sensitive skin.

Tip: Unscented does not mean free from fragrance. Usually this term denotes a fragrance which has been masked by even more chemicals.

SHOP: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Fragrance Free

Oily

hr_454-080-00_ernest-supplies-moisturizer

 

How do I know if I have oily skin?

Soon after you’ve washed your face, things are getting a little slick already, especially in the T-zone.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

Even though you might think you don’t need a moisturizer because you produce enough oil as it is, you still need to keep your skin hydrated or you risk losing vital moisture that keeps your skin resilient.

To avoid added sheen, opt for an oil-free moisturizer that lightly hydrates.

We recommend Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer because it contains protective antioxidants while keeping your face shine-free.

SHOP: Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer

Dry

hr_451-007-00_taylor-of-old-bond-street-dry-skin-cream

How do I know if I have dry skin?

Right after washing your face, your skin feels tight. You may have patches of redness or itchy, flaky skin.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

An oil-based moisturizer (such as a cream or an ointment) will soothe skin while preventing water loss. In general, the drier your skin, the heavier and the creamier the moisturizer.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream is emollient, meaning it will prevent water loss by forming a protective film over your skin. It also contains UV filters for added protection when you head outdoors.

If you need something even thicker or have a skin condition like eczema, try an ointment like Aquaphor, which is petroleum-based and is very effective for dry or older skin.

Tip: You can also dab some ointment on razor burn or a rash for instant relief and accelerated healing.

SHOP: Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream and Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment

Combination

Neutrogena Moisturizer

How do I know if I have combination skin?

Some patches of your skin are dry, while others (usually the T-zone) are oily. Your skin can also fluctuate between oily and dry depending on the day.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

You have two options:

  1. Apply a heavier cream (the creams suggested for dry skin above will do) on the cheeks, and a lightweight lotion on your T-zone.
  2. Use a product specifically formulated for combination skin, like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin. This moisturizer actually hydrates dry areas while mattifying oily areas.

SHOP: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin

Normal

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How do I know if I have dry skin?

You are blessed with even skin tone, no severe sensitivities, and barely visible pores.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

A general moisturizer will keep your skin in its already excellent shape. If you’re applying lotion right after you shave, try Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion, which is fragrance-free and leaves a smooth, shine-free finish.

SHOP: Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion

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Why You Need to Moisturize This Fall and Winter

Skincare is an oft-neglected topic in the wet shaving community. We all worry about finding the perfect razor and blade and debate the type of bristles used in our brushes. But all of this neglects the foundation of a good shave – good skin.

We like to think of proper skincare as laying the primer before you paint a wall in your house. Sure, you could save some time and just skip straight to the paint, but you’ll be painting directly onto a wall potentially strewn with bumps, cracks, and small holes. Putting a primer on first smoothes over these imperfections so your paint goes on nice and evenly. The same concept applies to skincare. Moisturized skin means strong and resilient skin that stands up better to a razor blade and razor burn.

And during fall and winter, when the temperatures drop and icy air and wind rip at your face, hydrating your skin keeps its natural protective lipid barrier up. This is the barrier which locks in moisture and prevents bacteria from entering your skin. Without supplemental moisture, you can look forward to chapped lips, flakes, itchiness, and the running motif of winter – ashy skin.

So it goes without saying that moisturizing is important.

Read on for what adjustments you should be making to your skincare routine to keep skin hydrated through fall and winter, and what ingredients to look for in products.

What tweaks do I have to make to my skincare routine in the winter?

For the most part, use products with a denser, richer consistency. If you’re using a gel cleanser, for example, switch to a more emollient one like Triumph & Disaster Ritual Face Cleanser, formulated without alcohol (which is very drying). It contains Tamanu oil, an antibacterial that promotes skin elasticity.

Avoid cleansers that foam as well as ones that contain sulfates (sulfates dissolve the outermost layer of skin).

If you don’t use a facial serum currently, now’s the time to do it: Layer it beneath your regular moisturizer. Serums are composed of smaller particles than moisturizers, so they penetrate deeper and stay locked in longer. We like Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum, which is brimming with protective antioxidants and peptides.

You can further strength your skin’s lipid barrier by making these changes to your daily routine and lifestyle:

  • Avoid long, hot showers – these dry out your skin
  • If you have the radiator running, put a bowl of water next to it so the air won’t be completely parched
  • Eat a diet rich in omega-3s and omega-6s, which reduce inflammation and help skin retain moisture

What should I look for in fall/winter skincare products?

These ingredients are your skincare heavy hitters:

Glycerin – Glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws in moisture from the environment and traps it in skin. By doing so, it helps maintain the skin’s water balance. Glycerin also makes skin appear healthier because it’s highly emollient, making skin soft and reducing scaly, dry skin.

Hyaluronic Acid – A powerful humectant, hyaluronic acid keeps skin plump and hydrated. It can penetrate the outermost dead skin cell layer and moisturize the skin underneath. It also improves elasticity and acts as an antioxidant.

Non-Fragranced Plant Oils – Rich in antioxidants, plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, and jojoba oil can be mixed with moisturizer or applied afterwards to combat stubborn dry areas.

Ceramides – Your skin’s lipid barrier is made of 35-40% ceramides, so boosting it with some topical ceramides during the winter will keep it extra resilient. Ceramides are the glue that holds skin cells together. Anytime your skin suffers damage from a dry environment, the sun, or bad skincare products, the ceremides in your skin decrease. Replenishing your skin’s ceramides protects your skin overall so it feels better and looks younger.

Peptides – Peptides are animo acid chains that stimulate the production of collagen, which increases elasticity.

Do I still need sunscreen when it’s so cold and gloomy outside?

Absolutely. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the UV rays have disappeared. In fact, up to 80% of UV rays bounce off white snow, which means exposed skin is vulnerable to damage if you’re not wearing good sunscreen. And yes, you can still get a sunburn in winter.

Seal the deal after you moisturize with a broad spectrum sunscreen, like Game Day Men Moisturizer: Hydrator + SPF 30, which includes peptides and vitamin E.

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