Colorado Skin Care 101 – For Men

In celebration of National Men’s Health Month, we thought this would be a good time to talk about skin care, with a focus on men. Colorado is a great place for outdoor sports and recreation, but the Colorado climate can make it particularly challenging to care for your skin. In  sunny climates like ours, there’s the risk of sunburn, breakouts, heat rash, loss of elasticity, premature aging and even skin cancer. Read on for some tips to keep your skin healthy.

Photo of man in running gear with his dog.

The challenges of a Colorado climate

With high elevations, low humidity, drastic seasonal and daily swings in temperature and close to 300 days of sunshine per year, Colorado can be particularly hard on your skin.  Our state offers an abundance of outdoor activities, like skiing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing and river rafting, that constantly expose skin to the outdoor elements. That’s why in Colorado, it’s even more important to protect your skin all year long. 

Skin care for Colorado

  • Drink water. The most effective way to hydrate your skin is from the inside out. Drink plenty of water to increase blood circulation, which in turn increases skin elasticity, restores pH levels, evens skin tone and helps prevent acne.
  • Moisturize. The thicker and greasier your moisturizer, the better it’ll work (think petroleum jelly, oils or a heavy moisturizer that contains no water). Apply it immediately after bathing or washing your hands, while your skin is still damp, to seal in the moisture. Moisturizing helps reduce fine lines and soothes dry, itchy skin.
  • Apply SPF every day. Even on cloudy days, the sun can damage your skin. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (that provides both UVA and UVB protection) with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply it throughout the day.
  • Use a humidifier. In the winter, when humidity is low, a humidifier set to 60% can help replenish your top layer of skin.
  • Limit shower time. Limit showers to no more than five to ten minutes, once daily — and use lukewarm water rather than hot — or you may strip away your skin’s natural oils. 
  • Avoid scented soaps. Scented soaps and products with alcohol can dry your skin. Choose scent-free whenever possible. 
  • Use fragrance-free laundry detergent. Like scented soaps, fragrances added to laundry detergents and fabric softeners can be harsh on your skin.
  • Eat foods rich in antioxidants. Exposure to free radicals caused by air pollutants like cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, dust and smog can cause skin damage. By eating a diet rich in antioxidants (e.g., blueberries, spinach, broccoli, eggs and salmon), you can destroy these free radicals and protect your skin.
  • Maintain a skin care routine. To help combat Colorado’s dry climate, choose an appropriate cleanser, alcohol-free toner and moisturizer — and be consistent with daily use. 

The importance of skin exams

Identifying skin cancer early is the key to effective treatment. That’s why it’s important for adults men (and women) to see a dermatologist for annual skin exams and to perform self-exams on a regular basis. 

An annual skin exam takes only about 15 to 20 minutes. During the exam, your doctor will check your body thoroughly from head to toe — particularly hard-to-see areas like your scalp, back, buttocks and behind your ears — looking for abnormal moles or growths. The size, shape, color and border can all help indicate any warning signs of cancer. If anything looks suspicious, your doctor may use a lighted magnifying glass (called a dermatoscope) to take a closer look or biopsy any areas of concern.

Be diligent about your annual skin exams and self-exams. Even the most serious types of skin cancer are curable, if caught early enough.

DHMP Staff Writer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational purposes only. Nothing contained, expressed or implied in this blog, is intended as medical advice nor should it be construed as such. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, medical diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician or health care provider. It is not meant to and does not cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects and reliance on the information on this blog is at your own risk. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified health care provider about any concerns or questions you have about your medical care and do not disregard professional medical advice based on the information herein. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.