Best Men’s Skin Care For Flaky Facial Skin

Cynthia Bailey, MD|March 27, 2012

  The Best Men's Skin CareI treat a lot of men in my dermatology practice. One of the most common skin problems I see on the facial skin of men is facial dandruff.  Yes, I can tell you that it's pretty common, and that most guys mistakenly think that it’s dry skin. They're stumped by it because they can’t get rid of the dry flaky facial skin by putting face creams or lotions on it. The face creams don't work because the real problem is facial dandruff! How do you know if you have facial dandruff? Facial dandruff may show up as subtle little areas of flaking "dry" skin, or it can be an obvious rash with redness, itching, and chunky flakes of "dry" skin. The parts of the face most prone to facial dandruff include:

  • The classic T-zone: This includes your eyebrows (and between the brows), forehead, around the sides of your nose, into the crease of your nose, and down along the sides of your mouth to your chin.
  • Areas of facial hair: If you have a mustache or beard these parts of your face will be more prone to facial dandruff. This includes the skin of your mustache and beard from your chin along your jaw line. Your sideburns can harbor dandruff too.

Because dandruff is a rash that requires medicated skin care products to control it, putting face creams on dandruff doesn’t fix the skin problem. Simply switching to medicated skin care products is often all you need to do.  Then - presto – no more "dry" flaky facial skin! The truth is that men have thicker and stronger skin than women, meaning, guys, we’re jealous. For you, all it takes is  a few low-maintenance, but targeted, skin care steps and you can have healthy and attractive skin for your entire life - skin that looks well groomed and youthful. Using medicated dandruff products is often one of those simple steps. In this five-part blog series titled The Best Skin Care for Men, I’m going to give you my low-maintenance skin care recommendations for the most common men’s skin problems that I treat in my dermatology practice. I’m going to cover each of these skin problems in a separate post so you can pick the posts that specifically fit your skin problems. Find the complete series at the bottom of the page here. Implement the simple skin care changes that I recommend and get ready to see a huge impact on how well groomed and "put together" you look - without a big effort. Post #2 is about dandruff.

Dermatologist’s Simple Grooming Fixes for Men’s Most Common Skin Problems - Dandruff

Facial Dandruff The simplest treatment for facial dandruff is using Calming Zinc ® soap and a Facial Buf Puf to wash your face. It delivers the needed medicine for treatment and removes any embarrassing flakes of skin.

Click here for information on Calming Zinc soap.

medicated facial dandruff soap

Calming Zinc soap is medicated with a full 2% pyrithione zinc (the maximum amount allowed) to treat dandruff, making it a powerful skin care step to control the facial rash.

Click here for information on the Facial Buf Puf.

Facial Buf Puf Sponge

(Yes, the one I recommend only comes in pink, darn it!)

It is even better to add one additional skin care step: apply Replenix CF Cream to help calm the inflammation, soothe, and lightly moisturize you dandruff-prone skin. It's not heavy so your skin won't feel oily with Replenix CF Cream. Many of my male patients use my Facial Redness Relief Kit which has both the Calming Zinc soap and the Replenix CF Cream. Add a Buf Puf and you're set.

Click here for more information on my Redness Relief Kits.

For severe and resistant facial dandruff see see more of my skin care tips in my post Dr. Cynthia Bailey's Tips for Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis Control. Dandruff Treatment for Hairy Facial Skin and "Dry" Scalp If you have beard and mustache hair it's easiest to treat those areas just like you do your scalp. The easiest treatment is to use my foaming zinc cleanser, which is a powerful medicated skin cleanser and scalp shampoo (as well as one of my go-to solutions for back dandruff and back acne).  On your scalp, scrub the medicated shampoo into your skin with my really great scalp scrubber.

Click here for more information on my Foaming Zinc Cleanser.

foaming zinc cleanser best for back acne

Click here to see my favorite scalp scrubber.

a really great scalp scrubber My complete post for general scalp dandruff treatment is Remedies for the Dry Itchy Scalp of Seborrheic Dermatitis. Dandruff of the Ears Dry skin on and around your ears can be embarrassing and it's usually also dandruff. Easily treat and control it using your medicated Calming Zinc soap or OTB Cleanser #2 when you shower. Lather your ear skin with a wash cloth, let the soap sit a minute or so while you finish your shower, and then rinse well before stepping out to towel off. If you still have really stubborn ear dandruff, I have 2 posts discussing treatment of this frustrating problem: Itchy, Crusty, Scaly Ears; More on Seborrheic Dermatitis Dandruff in the Ear Canal; How to Treat an Itch That Can't Be Scratched Back and Chest Dandruff That slightly scaly red skin and itchiness on your chest and upper back probably isn't dry skin anymore than it is on your face. It's probably dandruff! Dandruff loves the back and chest and, again, my favorite go-to products for this part of your skin are either OTB Medicated Body Cleanser #2 or Calming Zinc Soap. Apply them with the Body Buf Puf Sponge with Handle.

Click here to see the Buf Puf Body Sponge with Handle.

buy buf puf body scrub sponge with handle

To See the other posts in my 5 part series on What's the Best Men's Skin Care, click on the topic you're interested in:

  1. Age spots that can be easily lightened
  2. "Dry" patches of facial skin that just might be facial dandruff
  3. Clogged pores and acne
  4. Dry, flaky skin on the arms and legs
  5. Dry rough feet skin that just might be athlete’s foot

Photo: Thanks and gratitude to Vancouver Men’s Fashion Week 2011, photographer Christopher Shawn Pike and model Frank R. Bailey IV.


I’ll keep it short. Cetaphil (bar) soap for dry skin. I’ve dealt with the problem dry scaly skin beneath my beard for decades and tried many remedies. I googled it over a year ago and this was one of the sites I bookmarked so I figured I would let everyone know what worked for me. I was using Cetaphil soap for years on the rest of my body but never thought to use it as ‘shampoo’ for my beard. I didn’t have anything to lose so I tried it about a month ago and it is about 95% effective. It is moderately expensive soap (about $4 a bar) but as far as I am concerned it is a bargain!

It worked for me so I STRONGLY recommend you give Cetaphil (bar) soap for dry skin a try.

By Dan on 2016 12 02

Dry flaky skin around nose,eyebrows. Forehead. Will calming zinc bar soap and the facial buff puff be enough? Because the kit seems a little bit out of my price range.Thank You in advance for your prompt attention to this Email.

By Chris Brett on 2016 12 16

Hello Chris,
I have many patients and readers who start there for financial reasons and find it helps. Our shipping costs are crazy though and unfortunately they are what we pay the shipping company because we are a small biz. Look over the other general products and see if you can fin general soaps, chapstick, moisturizers to get that free shipping. We are sorry about the shipping costs and wish we had a way around it. The soap is our most popular product. The kit is the second. People love the Green Tea. It lasts longer if only a partial pump of product is used and it spreads just fine.

By Cynthia Bailey, MD on 2016 12 19

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