Skin Care for Men : While skin care is gender neutral both in term and practice, it is usually implied as a feminine practice; something only women should be indulged with. The word doesn’t even make it to men’s vocabulary.
I cannot help but wonder why? What makes men think they shouldn’t pay as much attention to their skin?
Exposure to the sun, pollution, and dust makes skin, any skin, vulnerable. It calls for us to put in the norm-breaking gear: male skin care is a thing and you need to embrace it, period.
Now for those who do care for their skin, it usually sums up in after shave creams, body splash sprays and … I guess that’s it! And to make things even less agreeable, most often these products make the best presents for those who insist on getting presents for men they barely know.
As a woman, I step up for all men, and say no to the neglect.
A proper skin care routine takes a little more than just washing your face every night and using your after-shave cream.
With an overflow of information out there and influx of formulas in the market, it’ll take only a few minutes for you to learn about your skin, figure out the right regimen and find the best products. That’s what we’re here for.
We take it slow, make it easy for you to understand the basics of skin care and what your skin needs on a daily basis
. Read this quick and easy guide, buff up your commitment levels, as successful skin care requires consistency, and get into the habit of tending to your skin.
Let’s go through 3 main steps of basic skin care routine men need to take on:
Step 1: Cleaning
Cleaning the skin usually goes a little further than just rubbing soap on your face and rinsing it. The skin produces sebum, a kind of oil, for lubrication. At the same time, it is constantly exposed to the sun and impurities in the air.
Not to mention that as skin is constantly rejuvenating itself, dead skin cells accumulate in it. All these factors negatively affect your skin, causing acne break outs, wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores.
While soap has proved an effective substance for handwashing, it is by no means good for your face. Soap tends to strip the essential oil of your skin off your skin, causing excessive dryness.
Your skin finds this unnatural and tries to counter the effect with increased oil production.
I think you can imagine the topsy turvy that will follow. So, let’s just put soap aside and go for gentle oil-free and lightweight cleansers.
Use foaming cleansers once in the morning and once at night. Gently massage the cleanser on your damp skin for 30 seconds.
Ingredients to look for:
Try to choose cleansers with moisturizing factors such as hyaluronic acid, and exfoliating ingredients such as salicylic acid.
Tip: In addition to foams and gels, toners are also used for deep cleaning of the pores. They are especially useful for unclogging the pores and preventing acne.
In case you have an exceedingly oily skin and acnes have just driven you only a little short of crazy, toners are strongly recommended to be used at night, after cleaning the face with a face wash. Just please make sure your toner does not contain alcohol, as alcoholic contents tend to dry the skin and result into adverse effects.
Step 2: Moisturizing
I know, I know; this is the most dreaded thing in the world for a man. Who likes glossing their skin with substance that feels heavy on the skin and makes one feel like you need wipes all the time? If you have ever felt this way after moisturizing your skin, you have probably used the wrong moisturizer for your peculiar skin type.
I will save you from the frustrating details: all moisturizers cannot be used for all skin types. This calls for you to know your skin type. But the rule of thumb is to use water-based rather than oil-based moisturizers. You can look for words like oil-free or noncomedogenic on the products.
Hydration contributes to the smoothness, firmness, and freshness of the skin. Our living environments and cleansing materials take their toll on the skin moisture. Moisturizing is absolutely necessary for restoring hydration and nutrients to the skin.
With a moisturizer, you can not only replenish the skin’s hydration, but you can also help form a protective barrier on your skin.
Note that the amount of the used moisturizer may vary depending on where you live. It is essential to use moisturizers once after every time you clean your face in climates with moderate humidity.
However, drier climates and different seasons of the year, such as the winter, call for additional usage of moisturizers.
Ingredients to look for:
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and humectants make the most effective moisturizers that don’t clog the skin pores, while maintaining the moisture of the skin.
Step 3: Include SPF
The UV rays of the sun wreak havoc on our skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, spots, and skin cancer (in the long run) appear mainly due to them, when the skin is left unprotected. This is why all dermatologists insist on using sunscreen or moisturizers with contents of at least SPF 30 on a daily basis.
In case you don’t like layering your skin with different products, you can use moisturizers that contain SPF, in the morning. This way you will be able to both protect your skin and keep it hydrated.
These 3 steps are the corner stones of every skin care routine. You need to be consistent with them and get into the habit of repeating them all day, every day.
However, in case you are looking for more, we have included some extra steps for you to make the most of men skin care products and enjoy pampering your skin.
Skin pores tend to get clogged with excessive oil, dead skin cells, and environmental impurities. This condition can lead to acnes, oily skin, and enlarged pores.
Exfoliation is the process of removing all the unwanted materials from the skin pores. The unclogging helps skin rejuvenation and tackles skin problems such as the ones I already mentioned.
Exfoliants come in 2 types: chemical exfoliants and physical or abrasive ones. Abrasive exfoliators such as scrubs tend to be a little harsh for the skin at times. So, it is better to use chemical exfoliants, massage the product on the skin for about 30 seconds and then gently rinse it away.
Ingredients to look for:
Alpha hydroxy acid and salicylic acid are 2 of the ingredients that make an exfoliant effective.
As men tend to shave their faces quite a few times in a week, they also somehow exfoliate their skin. You can use exfoliants only on areas where you don’t shave, like your forehead.
Also, you can apply it only if you have an extra oily skin, with acne breakouts and clogged pores. In this case, you can use an exfoliant once or twice a week. Never forget to moisturize after exfoliation.
One of the most effective but often overlooked steps in skin care routines is applying serums. Serums are nonobtrusive and light products which are made up of different active ingredients and nutrients.
They can be used to moisturize, exfoliate, induce collagen production, and counter the effects of active radicals. So, the function of a serum depends on the active ingredient included in it. If you’re not sure which product to choose, you can go for one with multiple ingredients.
They are most effective when used after exfoliation or cleansing of the face, before applying a moisturizer.
Ingredients to look for:
Serums may contain various ingredients to fulfill their specific function. Some of these ingredients include: hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, retinol, and epidermal growth factors.
Use an Eye Cream:
Come on! Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself a bit more. Indorse yourself in a little bit of eye cream magic and you’ll see what I mean. The skin around your eyes is really tender. It loses moisture quite quickly, and with aging wrinkles just don’t hesitate to appear.
The result? You appear super tired and considerably older if you leave the area untreated. Don’t tell me you like that!
More specifically, eye creams address dark circles, remove the bags under your eyes, keep the area hydrated, restore the worn-out oil tissues making the skin feel firm, and keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Apply an eye cream once in the morning and once at night, after cleaning and moisturizing your skin.
Use Acne Kits
Acne breakouts don’t know gender. They might know age though, which is why teenagers tend to get more acnes. But even adults complain about acne flare ups every now and then. Hmm what should we do?
Acnes happen when excessive sebum, dead skin cells, or other factors are trapped and clogged in skin pores. The area with clogged pores bulges out and noninflammatory acnes such as and blackheads or whiteheads appear.
If the clogged pore gets infected by bacteria, then the acnes become inflammatory.
Sometimes you don’t stand a chance for treating some of the deep inflammatory acnes, such as cysts and nodules, with home remedies or acne kits.
In order to treat acnes, you need to know why they happen. So, your first step will be to diagnose the kind of acne break out and the reason behind it. Then, you can proceed with treatment.
Don’t apply products that dry up the skin and cause irritation. Wondering why? Don’t you remember? The skin itself doesn’t like to be dry, that’s why it lubricates itself with oils all the time.
Ingredients to look for:
For an effective acne treatment your product should have benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid.
How Do I Choose Products?
An influx of skin care products out there, zillions of brands and products, puzzles everywhere! That was my own impression too when I was first acquainted with the world of skin care. But don’t worry.
All you need is a map which shows where you are and where you need to get.
To do this, you need to
- Determine your skin type. The best and most popular products can have negative results on your skin if they don’t match your type. Generally speaking, there are 3 types of skin: oily, dry, and combination. In oily skin, there is excessive production of oil, the skin appears shinier, it is more acne-prone, and the skin pores are larger. Meanwhile with dry skin types it is almost the opposite.
- One day without moisturizer means flaked skin, itchy feeling and irritation for a dry skin. And a little oil in daily products wouldn’t hurt. A combination skin is obviously a combination of both. It usually involves an oily T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin) and dry cheeks.Products: – Pick oil-free (also called noncomedogenic) and water-based products for an oily skin. You might also like to tap into products with astringents to shrink your skin pores.
- Choose products with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Remember, hydration is what you need all day every day.
- Make sure to use oil-free products for your T-zone, and keep the dry areas moisturized. Products rich in hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid should be on the list.
- Pay attention to the climate where you live. If you live in desert like areas with dry climate, your skin needs extra hydration. The moisture in the air tends to lower in the winter too. So, if you live in a region with long or extremely cold winters, you should mind your skin’s hydration more.
- Consider your ethnicity. Your ethnic background can factor in the type of skin you have.
- Try different products. Sometimes, you might not see your desired results with one product. So, what are all these products for? Get out there and experiment with different products until you find the best one.
- Don’t shy away from consulting a dermatologist. Visiting a dermatologist and having their opinion once can take you steps further. You will determine your skin type, the nature of your skin problems, best solutions, and products for your skin in one sitting. What else do you need?
- Be committed to your skin care routine. Results never show up in one day, week, or month. Your skin needs the three basic steps every day, so consistency is the key to long lasting effects.
Keep this in mind: a routine as small as 3 simple steps can make your skin look the best it can. Now you can pamper it more if you like, but the skin care routine is not the complicated, time-consuming, gender biased, and dreading evil some people may think it is.
Give this misunderstood habit a try, and I ensure you that you will never regret it. As I said consulting dermatologists never hurt, check our Skin Care Reviews by Dermatologists before making an appointment.
Or all you need to know is how to tackle acnes, our 13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne in 2020 should be your next read.