Men’s skin is slightly different to women’s skin, and therefore may benefit from using slightly different skincare products and regime. While the basics remain the same, good products and understanding the skin go a long way to promoting skin that looks and feels healthy and strong.
Skincare regimes for men – figuring out what your skin type is
- Normal skin – that is, your skin is clear and doesn’t react to products or the environment
- Sensitive skin – you react to products or the environment, get skin eruptions easily, and have to be more careful about what you put on your face
- Dry skin – you skin may flake or look pale with dusty dry skin, it may itch, or feel tight after a shower
- Oily skin – you look greasy often, and your face feels slick after a day of life
- Combination skin – you may have some parts of your face that are oilier than others, like your forehead and around your nose, but other parts may be on the dry side
Once you have your skin type figured out, you can move on to choosing your skincare products. How you go about choosing these does matter, since you don’t just want any old product. Choose good quality products by being informed about specific elements. You can improve on your skin if you are using the wrong products for your skin type.
Labels and ingredients
You want to match your products with your skin type. If you are prone to acne, choose moisturisers and cleansers that specifically state ‘oil free’ or ‘noncomedogenic’. These products will not clog pores. Sensitive skin types should look for hypoallergenic products that state ‘fragrance free’ or ‘mild’, but beware ‘unscented’ – unscented products can have masking fragrances. Fragrance is an infamous irritant.
Wash your face every day and after exercise
Don’t use regular bar soap; it’s full of oil strippers that leave your face dry and then it overcompensates with oil later, leaving you shiny. Soap is extremely drying to the skin, so use pH balanced soap (like Dove) or a gentle cleanser designed for your skin type. Use warm water, not hot water – hot water also strips your skin of oils. You want to keep some oil, because it protects and nourishes your skin the same way it does to leather.
Check your razor
If you shave using a multi-blade razor, it can shave the topmost layer of skin off. If you get razor burn, bumps or ingrown hairs, try a single or double razorblade instead. Avoid stretching your skin taut to shave, and make sure you wet and soften your stubble. This can be achieved with warm water or a warm facecloth. Your shaving cream should be moisturising, and shave in the direction of hair growth. Swipe the razor then rinse, and change the blade every 5-7 shaves to keep blunt-razor trauma to a minimum.
Moisturise every day
The point of your moisturiser is to create a very thin barrier over the top of your skin to keep water in. Hydrated skin means less fine lines and wrinkles, and you will look fresher and more youthful. It helps your skin not only look healthier, but perform better for it’s one main job: as a barrier to the outside world. Dry skin is far less protective than hydrated skin. Use moisturiser immediately after you have dried yourself after a bath, shower or shaving, when the skin is still slightly damp so you trap some moisture in. You’ll notice that if you wait longer, your skin may itch, even with moisturiser on.
Examine your skin
Check yourself out from time to time in the mirror, for new growths, moles, freckles or other spots. If you see anything unusual, get it checked – it could be skin cancer. Men are more likely to die from skin cancers, but it’s believed that this is because they don’t check themselves as often as women, and so by the time the cancer is discovered, it is more advanced. Additionally, for some reason men over 50 have higher incidences of melanoma. Use a ‘mole-check partner’ to help check your body periodically.
Use sunscreen – yes, every time
Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Being leathery and tanned isn’t healthy skin, so don’t let the sun steal your youthful looks by prematurely ageing you. Skin cells are damaged by UV light, and while you can’t see it, it changes the cell for good. Over time, this collection of damaged cells cause skin to become thicker and dryer, making wrinkles and deep creases an inevitability. Make sure to apply sunscreen regularly, especially onto ears, lips, the scalp if necessary, and neck.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to skincare for men. If you have questions or an unusual, uncomfortable or annoying skin condition, make an appointment to speak to your dermatologist. They can give you a checkup and assessment, and clear up pesky skin, hair or nail conditions.
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