Newswise — ST. LOUIS – If you’re short on holiday gift ideas for men this season, consider a grooming product. Contrary to popular belief, a growing number of men are requesting recommendations for skincare products, says Natalie Semchyshyn, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University.

Even so-called tough guys can have skin that’s more sensitive to ultraviolet exposure than women’s skin, which makes it more prone to skin damage like skin cancer or brown spots.

“We tend to think of male skin type as tougher, thicker, but actually it’s more sensitive,” says Semchyshyn, who is also a SLUCare dermatologist. “Compared to women, their skin loses moisture faster, is more prone to dryness and doesn’t exfoliate as much.”

She offers five grooming essentials for men that could make their skin healthy and glow.

The BasicsYou can usually find several different skincare products on a woman’s dressing table, but that may not be a guy thing. Semchyshyn recommends a basic regimen for men.

“A six-step program doesn’t work for men. They’re not used to putting on layers of different things,” she says.

Whether it is a shaving gel or a moisturizer, looking for products that have some antioxidants and therapeutic ingredients is a good start. Antioxidants such as phloretin, ferulic acid and vitamins C and E help protect the skin against damage from UV rays and pollution. Colloidal oatmeal helps to soothe sensitive skin and sunscreen helps guard against skin cancer and aging changes.

“An all-in-one product that combines moisturizer, antioxidants and sunscreen is a good way to go.”

No SweatMen who work out or regularly play sports should take extra care of themselves, as sweating can clog and irritate the skin.

“The first step is to wash your skin to get the sweat off,” Semchyshyn suggests. “A gentle cleanser is excellent because it doesn’t strip the skin, it just cleans. After washing the face, using a moisturizer can make up for the loss of moisture from washing.”

Sweating can also cause the skin to become more acne-prone.

“Sweating clogs pores. So, along with washing, it’s important to use products with benzoyl peroxide on the chest, back and shoulders to unclog the pores as well as cleanse the skin,” she says.

Oil-free zoneFor oily skin, Semchyshyn recommends using a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid.

“These help exfoliate and balance the skin.”

Moisturizers with oil control and sunscreen are great for this skin type. And a gel that combines benzoyl peroxide with oil absorbing ingredients is good for very oily skin.

Exfoliate some moreMost men exfoliate while shaving, but that still doesn’t exfoliate the entire face.

“Dead skin cells can give the face a dull look,” Semchyshyn says. “Sonic cleansing brushes can help exfoliate the skin and are great for deep cleansing. They can be used daily and can even help with flaky body skin.”

Fight drynessWinter can be ruthless on the skin, more so if you shower multiple times a day, says Semchyshyn.

“It’s important to moisturize the skin and use a cleanser that doesn’t dry your skin,” she says. “Using a product that has natural oatmeal will moisturize and soothe sensitive skin. Moisturizers with glycolic or lactic acid in it will keep the skin hydrated and also exfoliate.”

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease