If your body were a car, then alerts for dry hair, fine lines and rough skin would light up your dashboard – they’re all indicators that you’re low on oil. In fact, oil is the key to youthful skin and hair, says dermatologist Dr David Colbert.
What’s grinding your gears isn’t just the hard kilometres of a few late nights at work or play. It’s also the harsh cleansers you use. “If you over-wash your skin, it will age more rapidly,” Colbert says. Switch to these milder products that won’t dry you out, and roll back your odometer in the process.
Believe it or not, more oil is the best method of clearing skin of excess oil. “Oil loves lipid molecules,” explains dermatologist Dr Terence Keaney. Turn to a cleanser that binds with the lipids in skin and dirt but won’t dry you out. Massage four pumps of Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Anti-Dullness Cleansing Oil ($120) into your face, then add warm water until it turns milky. Finally, rinse.
Many shampoos leave your hair feeling dry. But this foam cleanses without leaving straw-like strands. The magic ingredient? Coconut oil. Research from the Journal of Cosmetic Science found people who used coconut oil in their hair daily saw significantly less breakage than those who didn’t. Go nuts. TRESemmé Expert Shampoo with Coconut Milk and Avocado ($10.99).
Your face can become irritated when it’s dry, leaving it prone to nicks when you shave or trim. Shaving oil can calm things down – look for plant and seed oils for added hydration. Bearded? An oil-based shaving product softens bristles without getting stuck in them like a cream-based lotion might, says Keaney. Before you shave, massage in ClarinsMen Shave Ease 2-in-1 Oil ($44).
Armpits on fire? Some deodorants can cause sensitive skin to react. Look for one containing hydrating ingredients like plant oils to protect your pits. NIVEA Men Sensitive Protect Deodorant ($6.49) is made for sensitive types, with no alcohol or preservatives and avocado oil to nourish. But it still stops sweat for up to 48 hours.
A few drops of anti-ageing oil on your face and neck each morning can help minimise wrinkles once they appear. You want plenty of peptides in there, along with antioxidants like vitamins C and E. This product’s natural ingredients, such as argan and rosemary leaf oil, brighten skin and slow the signs of ageing. Dr Dennis Gross Triple C Peptide Firming Serum ($99).
“Moisturising regularly is like putting money in the bank,” says Colbert. “As you get older, your skin will look better and better.” Use a product with lightweight oils for quick penetration. (Others just coat the surface, leaving your face shiny.) This mattifying gel-cream contains brazil nut oil to soften skin – and will also nix shine. The Body Shop For Men Maca Root Oil Balancing Face Protector ($22.95).