When you see skin care ads, they’re mostly geared towards women, right? Does that mean women care more about their skin then men? That’s open to debate, but there’s no doubt men have their own specific set of skin care irritations and issues to deal with.
When you look at human skin generally speaking, you find the same three basic layers in both sexes. From the outside in, so to speak, you have the epidermis, then the dermis, and then the deeper subcutaneous layer of fat and connective tissue, the hypodermis.
Hormonal factors, lifestyle choices, diet/nutrition/exercise factors, skin care routines and habits; they all contribute to creating different sorts of biological reactions, dermatological conditions and skin care needs for each individual person.
But it’s safe to say that most men, especially younger ones, face challenges posed by higher levels of testosterone in their blood. That can result in excessively oily skin, and trigger acne problems.
Men also have thicker hair follicles to contend with, including of course on their faces. That can lead to its own set of skin care problems, including ingrown hairs, aggressive hair growth in unwanted places, and shaving irritations such as the dreaded “razor burn”.
So, what’s a man to do with his skin? Or put another way, what’s a woman to tell the man in her life about how to take care of his skin? Well either way, let’s follow the KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) principle and stick to the three main components that comprise “The Big Picture” in Men’s Skin Care: Cleanse. Moisturize. Protect. How fussy a man wants to get with his skincare is up to him, but keeping up with these basics should be as easy as 1-2-3!
On most days, a moderate amount of dirt, oil, and bacteria builds up on your skin. For men who work outdoors and/or have jobs that require physical exertion, that can turn into significantly more than a moderate amount.
Choosing the right gentle cleanser for your skin type will help take care of that, without being overly drying. If you have oily skin and/or blemishes, you may want to look for a cleanser containing at least 2-percent salicylic acid, to prevent and control acne outbreaks. Or, if you have normal to dry skin, you can choose a gentle foaming or gel cleanser made from mostly if not all natural ingredients.
Whatever skin type you have, avoid cleansers with harsh ingredients that dry the skin, such as isopropyl alcohol. Also, avoid using overly hot water when washing your face, as it’s also overly drying. And when done with your minimum twice-a-day facial cleansing, don’t rub your face dry with the same vigor you might use on the rest of your body, just go easy and pat dry.
Moisturize Regularly & Correctly
Using the right moisturizer after facial cleansing can help a man’s skin in a number of ways – from reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, to evening out the complexion and giving the face a healthy glow, to combating razor burn and other shaving irritation, to adding much-needed daytime sun protection to your skin along with moisture.
Maintaining a well-balanced moisture level in facial skin is the key. Look for a moisturizer geared for your type of skin, and be sure that it’s oil-free and won’t clog your pores. A morning-on moisturizer should be mostly or all natural, lightweight and have a Sun Protection Factor or SPF of 30 or more; while a slightly more substantial bedtime moisturizer, minus the SPF but with retinol and hyaluronic acid, can be very helpful in maintaining a youthful appearance.
It also helps to moisturize from the inside out! Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day will not only help hydrate your skin, it will help every other organ in your body too.
Sun Protection Is Key
Whether men admit it or not, they care about aging. Chances are, most are looking in the mirror just about as much as women do, wondering where that new little smile line or age spot came from all of a sudden. And the answer is, many visible signs of aging are caused simply by sun exposure.
In fact, it’s estimated that up to 90 percent of premature aging of the skin is caused by UV radiation in sunlight. So, effective protection from the sun can go a long way to aging gracefully, and remaining skin cancer-free. SPF 30+ sunscreen in a daily moisturizer can be a huge help. So can applying – and reapplying every 90 minutes or so without fail – plenty of strong sunscreen to every inch of your exposed skin when sunbathing or otherwise spending hours under the sun.
Taking a little time (and maybe getting a little help from a fabulous female in your life) to develop a customized, daily cleansing and moisturizing routine that fits your skin, along with getting smart and careful about sun exposure, can only improve the look, feel and long-term health of almost any man’s skin. And it’s really pretty easy. But, men being men…means that reminders and other forms of assistance can only help!