Editor’s Note: This is the third post in our sponsored series with Dove Men+Care. We met the Dove Men + Care team at last year’s Dad 2.0 conference, and we were very impressed with the brand’s message, Get Comfortable In Your Own Skin. Our first two posts focused on the metaphorical comfort that dads are feeling as the definition of fatherhood changes. In this post, we focus on the more literal message– what should we as men do to take care of our skin?
Thanks to Dove Men + Care for setting up this interview with Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a board certified dermatologist, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
NYC Dads Group: We’re guessing many men out there still just use regular bar soap? Is this a problem? If so, why?
|Dr. Jeffrey Benabio|
Dr. Benabio: Yes, a lot of men still use bar soap and yes, it’s a problem. Bar soaps strip natural oils off your skin. When you think about washing dishes – you know how the soap lathers and cuts the grease leaving the dishes squeaky clean? Well, that’s what bar soap does to your skin. You don’t want squeaky clean because that means the natural oils have been stripped off, which leads to dry, itchy, damaged skin.
NYCDG: How do Dove Men+Care products resolve our varying cleansing needs?
Dr. B: Dove Men+Care Face and Body Washes do double duty by cleaning your face and body without stripping off natural oils and they moisturize using ultra-light MicroMoisture technology, keeping moisture on your skin, where it belongs.
NYCDG: There are a lot of different products out there that indicate a “skin-type,” how do we figure out what’s right for us?
Dr. B: I don’t place too much importance on “skin-types,” in part because your skin changes
based on many factors including weather, diet, and age. In general, you know how your
skin looks and feels. If it’s flaky, red, or scaly, then it’s dry. If it’s slick and shiny, then it’s
oily. Sometimes you can have combination skin with both dry and oily patches, which is
when you should choose products designed for that skin type.
NYCDG: We hear that the sun is the best source of Vitamin D, but we also hear that we should always wear sunscreen if we’re going to be in the sun. What’s the right answer?
Dr. B: Your skin needs UVB to make vitamin D, but the sun isn’t an effective way to do so. After a few minutes of being in the sun, your skin stops making vitamin D and starts making skin cancer. In wintertime, it’s actually impossible to make vitamin D from the sun in most of the US; the sun’s rays aren’t intense enough to work. Anyone who’s concerned should talk to their primary care physician who can order a vitamin D level test, if indicated.
NYCDG: What’s the latest on Vitamin D supplements?
Dr. B: Despite the hype, it is not clear what benefit vitamin D provides other than bone health.
Many other diseases are associated with low vitamin D; however, it’s impossible to know which came first, the disease or the low vitamin D. Boosting your vitamin D level has not been shown conclusively to reduce the risk of disease. People who have diseases and low vitamin D might have low vitamin D because their diet is poor, they don’t go outdoors, etc.
We know that very high levels of vitamin D can increase your risk of medical problems, including pancreatic cancer. For most healthy adults, 1000 ICU of vitamin D3 is more than enough and is the most reliable way to obtain and maintain a healthy vitamin D level.
NYCDG: Other than cleansing products and sunscreen, what other factors should we be thinking about as we protect our skin? (e.g. Foods we eat? Alcohol consumption?)
Dr. B: Exercising regularly, eating a healthy, well balanced diet, limiting processed foods and eating out, not smoking, and not drinking excessively are all important for healthy skin and a healthy body. Also critical, but often overlooked, is the importance of sleep. Most people need 7-9 hours a night but get far less. When you sleep, your body (including your skin) repairs itself. Keep depriving it of that repair time, and your skin will start to show signs of distress. Talking control of stress is critical too. Daily stress reduction techniques (it doesn’t have to be yoga, just something that you find calming and relaxing) are a good idea. Many skin diseases are exacerbated by stress, especially inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Most importantly: Unplug. Set a cut-off time each night, when you won’t read anymore emails or answer the phone. Also, enjoy life. Hang out with friends or family and do things you enjoy.
Having fun and socializing not only makes you feel better physiologically, it can actually improve your health, making you look and feel younger and healthier.