From fighting acne past puberty to scoffing at the first signs of wrinkles, it’s really hard to pull of the perfect complexion. Before assuming you just have bad genes ask yourself whether your skincare routine and lifestyle habits are up to par.
When it comes to skin care, men generally have always kept it simple. However, now and days more men are pursuing a healthier and younger-looking skin. Although there are key differences between men and women’s skin, for example, men’s skin is thicker than women’s; the basic elements of an effective skin care plan remain the same.
It is important that everyone, including men, understand their skin type:
- Sensitive skin may sting or burn after product use
- Normal skin is clear and not sensitive
- Dry skin is flaky, itchy or rough
- Oily skin is shiny and greasy
- Combination is dry in some areas and oily in others
Understanding your skin type helps you learn how to take better care of your skin and select the right treatment that is right for you.
Like food, it is important to consider product labels and ingredients. The skin care products you choose will depend on your skin type. If your skin is acne-prone skin, look for cleansers and moisturizers that say oil free or non-comedogenic, as these won’t clog your pores. If you skin is sensitive it is best to use fragrance free products, these products usually contain fragrances that can leave your skin feeling irritated and dry. Also, beware of products that are labeled as unscented, many of these contain masking fragrances that will also irritate your skin.
Washing your face daily is huge! Regular soap contains really harsh chemicals that can be drying to the skin. It is best to wash your face with a mild facial cleanser and lukewarm, not hot, water.
Watch your shaving technique: For some men, mutli-blade razors can work too well or shave too closely to your skin. If you often experience razor bumps, razor burns or ingrown hairs, use a single or double blade razor instead and do not stretch your skin taut while shaving. Before you shave, wet your skin and hair to soften it. Use a moisturizing shaving cream and shave in the direction of hair growth. Rinse after each swipe of the razor, and change your blade after five to seven shaves to minimize irritation.
Stay hydrated: Lotion and moisturizer is only half of the equation. Skin needs moisturizer from the inside out. The suggested water intake is six to eight glasses of H2O a day. Also keep tabs on how much alcohol and caffeine you’re gulping down. So, maybe just one less cup of coffee to start.
Moisturize daily! Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and make your skin look brighter and younger. For the best results, apply moisturizer to your face and body immediately after bathing, showering or shaving while the skin is still damp.
Check your skin regularly: New spots or moles that itch, bleed or change color are often early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any unfamiliar spots, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Men over age 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than the general population. However, when caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
Wear sunscreen whenever outdoors! To help prevent sun damage that can lead to wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer, before going outdoors, apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including your scalp, ears, neck and lips. For best protection, use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
Every man’s skin is different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to skin care. If you aren’t sure what skin type you have, or if have questions about how to take care of your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist.