By Stephen J. Praetorius for GQ.
Does it you look like you're sporting a sweater vest every single day of the year? Are your arms, legs, shoulders, stomach, back, balls, and all manner of other body parts covered in a forest so dense you have trouble picturing what your bare body might even looks like? Have you destroyed three or more manscaping devices—be they electric razors, manual ones, epilators, or otherwise—all within the past year? Then you, dear friend, are what one might describe as a hairy-ass man. And sure, you may already know the bulk of what that entails (hell, we’ve given you guidance on the subject before), there is one thing you’re probably still overlooking: caring for the skin that lies beneath.
Yeah, you forgot that that was even there, didn’t you? Well it is, even though you rarely see it, and while your skin may have its spotlight stolen by the follicles that sprout forth, you need to ensure that it’s in peak condition regardless. Because someday soon, you may find yourself tempted to shave off a little more than usual, and the last thing you want to unveil is a dry, chapped, and otherwise damaged hide. And so, here are four furry guy-specific skincare tips that it’s more than in your best interest to follow.
1. Swap Out Your Regular Moisturizer
Ever tried to put a cream or lotion on a swath of skin that’s coated in hair? Well it’s not easy, we’ll tell you that much. That’s because the hair tends to act as a kind of barrier, preventing the moisture-rich elixir from making its way down to the parched surface below that’s so desperately in need. The solution: an oil-based formula, such as Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Hydrating Body Treatment, as opposed to the thicker solutions you’ve used in the past. These will be able to penetrate through even the densest thicket of follicles, while taking care of those hairs in the process. Think of it as a two-for-one deal, but for your body.
2. Take It Easy On Your Body
Here’s something you might not know: body hair can actually act as a natural exfoliant, decreasing the need for products with rough ingredients designed to scrub. How can that be, you ask? Because by simply rubbing soap or body wash on your hairy hide, you end up effectively brushing your skin with its own strands, sloughing off dirt and dead skin cells and leaving the outermost layer fresh and new. Kinda gross, but also kinda cool. Now, does this mean that you should forgo exfoliation altogether? Of course not. But it does mean that you can (and should) use them less, and when you do, they should be gentle, like the Exfoliating + Cleansing Bar by Anthony.
3. Don’t Forget About SPF
What a lot of guys don’t realize is that just because there’s hair, doesn’t mean that skin beneath is unsusceptible to the damaging effects of UV-rays. In fact, body hair actually offers very little SPF protection of its own--at least, as compared to beards, which do a pretty good job of it). So lather up when you’re about to face the sun, or you’re going to end up hurting like hell afterwards. Just make sure you use an oil-based one, for the same reasons we stated about moisturizers above. Our pick: Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil.
4. Learn How to Treat In-Growns Right
It’s just math, really—the more hairs on your body, the greater likelihood that some of them will, at some point or another, make an inappropriate U-turn and burrow into the skin, causing you a whole lot of inflammation and pain. Which is why it’s important that you discern now how to deal with them, instead of waiting until the moment arrives and inexplicably trying to pop it like a pimple (spoiler: that won’t work). We’ve spoke to this before, but the gist of the process is simple: give the body a few days to autocorrect, but if it doesn’t, try using a pair of sterilized forceps to yank that sucker out. If it doesn’t come easily, go see a dermatologist to handle it. See? Simple.
Who ever said skincare had to be hard?
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