Winter is coming, and with it, the need to protect your skin from the cold, frigid air. Whether you decide to keep your facial hair nice and trim or grow out a full beard for No-Shave November, the following skin care tips can help you maintain your rugged good looks.

1. Hydrate your skin. Cold winter air can dry out the skin, so it’s important to apply a good moisturizer to the face and body after showering or bathing.

“Choose a moisturizer that doesn’t have a lot of fragrance, color, or preservatives in it,” says Dave Harvey, M.D., a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Piedmont Newnan and Fayette. “Consider over-the-counter moisturizers like Neutrogena™, Cetaphil™, or CeraVe™.”

2. Leave your shaving gel on a little longer. When you shave, leave a moisturizing shave crème or gel on a little longer to help minimize the risk of dry skin. Aveeno Oatmeal™ Shave Gel is excellent for this purpose.

“A lot of times, I’ll tell men to wet their beard, apply their shave gel, and then wash another part of their body before using their razor,” says Dr. Harvey. He adds that 30 to 60 seconds is usually enough time.

3. Minimize hot water use. During the winter, people like the feeling of a nice, warm shower or bath. But exposure to hot water for greater than 10 to 15 minutes can cause the skin to dry out and become irritated and red. It is wise to limit showers to less than 10 minutes.

4. Groom your beard. Growing or maintaining a healthy beard during the winter takes some work, but it’s worth it.

“It’s important to let your beard grow out naturally,” says Dr. Harvey. “Trim it often but not too closely. And keep it hydrated with mineral oil or moisturizer after wetting it.”

5. Seek medical attention for extremely dry skin. Some skin conditions are more common in winter. Flaking in your beard is often misdiagnosed as dry skin, but it may be due to dandruff, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast. Psoriasis and eczema can also flare in cold weather. These rashes can be treated by topical corticosteroid lotions that a dermatologist can prescribe.

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.