There are some key differences in skin between the sexes that need to be taken into account when developing a skincare regime; for example, men’s skin tends to be thicker than women’s. Many men prefer a hands-off, minimalist approach to skincare, so a regime simple works well.
When developing a skincare regime, we need a few fundamentals under our belt to inform choices. The goals of any skincare regime are to keep skin clean and supple, free from blemishes and breakouts.
Step 1: Identify your skin type
To figure out what products will suit your skin, you need first to establish your skin type:
Sensitive skin might burn or sting readily, redden or blotch easily, and may react badly to products.
Normal skin is not overly sensitive and is clear from obvious problems like pimples or dryness.
Dry means flaking, itching or rough skin, where you can either see or feel the skin’s surface is not hydrated or suffering oiliness.
Oily skin is greasy and shiny, with some areas usually worse than others, such as the forehead or around the nostrils.
Combination skin is dry in some areas while oily in others.
Once you’ve worked out which skin type you are, we can move onto the next step.
Step 2: Choosing products
Start reading labels to see which skincare products will best suit you based on your skin type. For example, don’t buy something for acne if you don’t have acne, as it will likely be quite drying. Conversely, if you have acne-prone skin, don’t buy products for dry skin, as they’ll probably add to your oil load. If in doubt, go normal.
Step 3: The regime
Washing your face
Wash your face every day before bed, after exercise, sweating or using sunscreen. You can use a dedicated cleanser, which should be mild. Your oily barrier keeps your skin safe from the outside world, and stripping this is not the goal. You want to cleanse your pores of the buildup from the day, including exhaust fumes, dust and other microscopic ‘bitties’ that float onto your skin and sit there until you wash them off.
If you like using a washcloth, feel free, but make sure it’s very soft. Crunchy facecloths can provide some exfoliation but are likely to rough up your face too much. Soft and smooth wins this race.
When washing your face, use lukewarm water, not hot water and not cold water. Hot water will cause your natural oils to become very liquid, and they’ll wash off, while cold water will snap your pores shut, and with that, the grime.
Regular soap will strip your skin, which is what happens when you feel ‘squeaky clean’. Avoid being that clean even if you’re used to it, and it feels good. Readjust your parameters of feeling clean since a good cleanser will leave your skin feeling lovely.
Check your shaving technique
Some multi-blade razors can strip the top layer of skin off, leaving you with no oily barrier and exposed skin. Razor bumps, burns and ingrown hairs can all be signs that your shave is just a little too close for comfort. Opt for a single or double razor blade instead while avoiding pulling the skin tight to shave.
Wet the skin and hair to soften before shaving, shave in the direction of hair growth, and use moisturising shaving cream. Rinse the blade after every swipe with the razor and keep your blades sharp/change out every 5-7 shaves, so you need less pressure for the same close shave.
Moisturising after cleansing is essential to keep moisture trapped close to the skin. When you cleanse your skin, a lot of the oily barrier will be lost (but with a good cleanser, not all), but it’s important to follow this up with a good moisturiser to seal the deal.
Apply moisturiser while the skin is still a little damp. Buff the face gently with a towel to remove most of the water, and immediately apply moisturiser for best results. Moisturised skin looks brighter and healthier than dull, dry skin. Plus, dry skin feels bad to the touch – rough and flaky. If your skin feels rough or dry during the day, moisturise more often.
Wear sunscreen, but not just any sunscreen
Protecting your skin from the sun, especially the face, is vital for retaining healthy and more youthful-looking skin as you age. Sunscreen prevents the DNA damage caused by UV rays, helping stave off wrinkles, fine lines, freckles and sunspots.
The sunscreen you choose is important since we now know that many sunscreens are endocrine disruptors, affecting fertility. Avoid chemical sunscreens, and opt for zinc-based products that are not absorbed but sit on top of the skin and reflect light, heat and UV rays. Do your homework here.
Additionally, ensure you don’t altogether avoid all sun on your body since we develop vitamin D as the UV rays cause a chemical reaction in our skin. Sunscreen blocks this process, so people who get no UV ray-skin action can be vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is critical for our immune system and bones, so get your levels checked at your annual checkup and supplement as advised.
Additionally, if you’re swimming or doing water sports, help keep those chemicals out of our waterways by opting for frog-friendly sunscreens.
See your dermatologist for anti-ageing
At ENRICH Clinic in Melbourne, our focus is on ensuring you have beautiful, healthy skin. We’re also cosmetic dermatologists who can work with you to achieve your anti-ageing skin goals. That might be reducing a double chin, softening some wrinkles or getting a skin lift. No matter your anti-ageing goals, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re not sure what is best for your skin or have skin issues and want support, get in touch. We can help!