Guys, let’s get real. Skincare matters. Men can no longer have a complete disdain for appearance and it doesn’t matter if you think “I don’t have the time; or I’m a man, who cares; or I really don’t need skincare…” The truth of the matter is that you do.
Here are some facts you need to deal with: Excessive exposure to sunlight, pollution and dirt will give you an uneven skin tone, dark spots and wrinkles. And while you may eat a proper diet and engage in a regular exercise routine to stay fit, you need to take good care of your skin as well.
Your attitude along with your personal style allows you to look your best and be the best version of yourself. However, most men have absolutely no idea how to take care of their skin. Many even roll their eyes at the complicated and seemingly supernatural skin-care rituals of women. All those bottles, tubes and jars of strange-smelling liquids, powders and creams, all of which need to be applied in a specific order and at different times of the day… It sometimes seems more like a gruelling experiment than an everyday routine.
Sure, us men like simplicity and if there was one product that functions as soap, shampoo, shaving cream, aftershave, moisturiser, and laundry detergent all at once, that would be a dream come true. Heck, we would even wash our cars with it.
Unsurprisingly, this aversion to proper skin care comes with a terrible price. So get with the times and let’s help you master the basics at least.
MEN’S SKIN VS WOMEN’S SKIN
Many products designed for women are not as effective on men’s skin for many reasons. For one, we’re sweaty creatures. Men perspire more than women and their skin is approximately 20 per cent thicker. Men’s pores are also larger, having more oil glands thus, produce more sebum (psst, it means oily secretion). This leads to men’s skin being oilier, and having more acne and icky bacterial infections.
Another difference is facial hair. Regular shaving causes abrasions from your razor and along with using alkaline-based products, causes our skin to become easily irritated and overproduce melanin (the reason for the colour of your skin and hair), leading to hyper-pigmentation and then dark spots.
KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE
Guess what? There are different products that are designed for entirely different types of skin. Say you have dry skin, using products intended for oily skin will dry you out more, leaving your face cracked, raw and scaly. So the first thing you need to do is understand just what you’re working with.
Not too dry or oily. Barely visible pores, few blemishes or rough spots, and no real sensitivities.
Enlarged pores and shiny, almost greasy skin that’s prone to blackheads, acne and inflamed cysts. Almost all of us had oily skin during puberty, remember that phase?
Rough and dull complexion, often with red patches and blotches. Especially dry skin can be scaly and prone to cracking and peeling, like a snake shedding its skin. Dry skin tends to be less elastic than normal skin and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
An especially annoying combination of normal, dry, and oily skin. You may have dry skin on your cheeks and have oily skin across your T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin).
Almost any type of skin can also be sensitive; different products can cause allergic reactions including redness, rashes, swelling, itching and dryness.
Your skin type can change over the course of your life. You may have normal skin when you’re younger, and then develop dry or combination skin as you get older. Similarly, you may develop sensitivities that you never had before. Keeping on top of what kind of skin you have is an important part of knowing what skin care products you need.
HOW SHOULD YOU CARE FOR YOUR SKIN?
Ready for some bad news? Soap, especially bar soap, is very bad for your skin. It’s incredibly harsh, dries your skin out and the scents and perfumes in these soaps can trigger allergic reactions. At the same time, you don’t want to rely on just water; your skin is covered in filth, gross dried sweat, oil and all kinds of nasty pollutants that come from modern living – and water isn’t going to get rid of all that.
Here are products you should be using instead.
Cleanser and Toner
Get a gentle, fragrance-free facial cleanser – one that works for all skin types – and cleanse your face every day.
After that, use a toner. This cleans out your pores removing excess oil, leaving you with clearer, more even skin. If you have acne problems, continuous use of a toner with fruit acids will calm those break-outs and prevent new ones from sprouting.
Dirt and grime often collect and chill out under your skin and inside your pores, and that mixed with sebum and oil gives you blackheads and acne. Now, that plus the layers of dead skin that builds up on your face dulls your complexion and you will need more than just a cleanser and toner. Time to scrub all that gunk off – exfoliate once or twice a week.
Shaving, showering, cleansing and exfoliating can dry your skin out, making it thinner and less elastic. This worsens as you get older, and your skin starts to lose collagen and elasticity, and then BAM! You’ve got wrinkles. You’ll need to replenish your skin’s natural moisture with a moisturiser to keep those wrinkles to the minimum. By the way, it’s also a great way to prevent razor-burn post-shaving.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s what: Man up, son! Clean that goop off your face and start treating your skin right.
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