When it comes to grooming and skin care, women spend far more time and money than men. However, everyone – no matter their gender – needs to practice good skin care habits to keep their skin healthy and nourished.
“Men need skin care as much as women and there are products for them as well. Healthy skin is good for everyone,” says BellaVei.
Know Your Skin Type
Before you buy any skin care product, you need to know your skin type.
“When it comes to skincare, the biggest difference between men and women is increased levels of testosterone in men, causing an increase in oil production making men’s skin oilier and their pores larger,” says Dr. Monte Meltzer, chief of dermatology at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore.
Oily skin is prone to acne breakouts and clogged pores. If you have oily skin, your face often looks shiny by midday, even if you haven’t been active.
Dry skin feels tight and pores are small. If you have dry skin, you rarely have breakouts, but your skin is often flaky.
Combination skin is extremely common in both men and women. With this skin type, your “T-zone” (forehead, nose and chin) is typically oily, while your cheeks and eye area are dry.
No matter your skin type, you may also have sensitive skin, which is easily irritated by the environment, skin care products and other elements.
Be Picky About Your Products
Don’t just grab a bar of soap and have at it. A man’s skin is generally thicker and tougher than that of a woman, but that doesn’t mean that it’s OK to use harsh soaps. Soaps and detergents can strip the natural oils that protect and hydrate your skin. Use a gentle cleanser daily, moisturizer nightly, and sunscreen every day of the year.
Armed with information about your skin type, you can find the perfect products for you.
If you have sensitive skin or a tendency for allergic reactions, avoid skin care products that contain fragrances, menthol and other irritants. Even if a product is labeled hypoallergenic or natural, it doesn’t mean that it won’t irritate your skin. For example, coconut oil may trigger acne or glycolic acid may inflame dry skin.
No matter your skin type, you should avoid products that contain cancer-causing parabens, polyethylene glycol (PEG), phthalates, petrochemicals and chemical sulfates.
Acne – It’s Not Just for Teens
Many men and women deal with acne well into their 40s. If you are battling acne on your face or other parts of your body, use an exfoliant product a couple times a week, plus a spot treatment daily that contains benzoyl peroxide.
Don’t buy facial scrubs that contain ingredients such as apricot seeds. The jagged little particles in these products actually tear tiny holes into your skin that can become prone to bacteria, leading to even more inflammation and acne.
Poor shaving habits can do some serious damage to your skin.
“Men should practice a good shaving technique,” Meltzer explains. “Make sure the beard is wet, lubricate with cream or gel and use a sharp disposable razor. A razor should not be used more than three or four times.”
Always shave in the direction of your hair growth. Never shave dry; use a moisturizing lubricant to avoid razor burn, bumps and ingrown hairs. After you shave, use a calming product designed to minimize irritation and redness.
Hydrate with moisturizer
Everybody – yes, that includes men – needs a daily moisturizer. Pick one that is formulated for your skin type and use it religiously before you go to sleep, paying close attention to the areas around your eyes and mouth, which wrinkle first.
Use sunscreen 365
Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen every day before you leave the house. Though we all need the sun’s vitamin D, exposure to its UV rays can cause wrinkles, dark spots, premature aging and eventually skin cancer.
“Use SPF to protect skin (at least 15) and apply frequently,” says Meltzer. “Combat the signs of aging by avoiding the sun and always using sunscreen. Sun causes aging, not age.”
If you are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, reapply sunscreen liberally every couple of hours. Fortunately sunscreen comes in convenient sprays and wipes these days, so you don’t have to deal with the mess of lotions.
Stop smoking now
Besides lung cancer, there are dozens of other reasons why you shouldn’t smoke cigarettes. Smoking depletes skin of essential nutrients, damages collagen and weakens elastin. Basically, it dries out your skin and causes wrinkles. Who wants to look older than they are?
Apply anti-aging products
Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reverse signs of sun damage by using anti-aging products that stimulate cell renewal, increase collagen production and strengthen elastin. Products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), antioxidants, peptides and retinol can improve your skin’s health and appearance.
Keeping your skin healthy and rejuvenated doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Expensive skin care products aren’t necessarily the best. By shopping smart, you can find affordable products that will nourish and fortify your skin, leaving it soft, smooth and younger looking.