In the beauty and skin health industry, the majority of skin care products and tips are directed toward and depicted by women. However, as human beings we all have skin and a responsibility to take care of it in order to look and feel our best. While great skin is achievable by any man or woman by following top skincare tips like using daily moisturizer and wearing sunscreen, it is still important to recognize a few distinct biological and lifestyle differences in men and women’s skin.
Men tend to have larger sebaceous glands, which are responsible for regulating body temperature through production of sweat and moisture maintenance. This can oftentimes result in skin conditions like oily skin, more blackheads, and clogged pores that require some extra attention. The real kicker is that men ultimately need the same quality of care as women do but aren’t often offered the same amount of products nor targeted education on these products to make the best choice for their unique skin types. As a rule of thumb, less fragrances and light weight products with matte finishes tend to be preferred.
Another distinct factor to take into consideration for men’s skin health is the presence of facial hair. Men with facial hair need to keep their follicles clean. Improper shaving of facial hair can lead to folliculitis barbae, or razor bumps, which appear when hair grows slightly under the skin and is trapped there. This typically causes a bacterial infection and irritating symptoms like redness and inflammation. Our tip for men here is to keep an eye out for appropriate skin care products that help those prone to ingrown hairs. A great skincare tip for men is to have soothing gel masks on hand. Gel masks are known for their therapeutic substances that reduce inflammation as well as calm redness and irritation.
Furthermore, the areas on the face that men shave are constantly being exfoliated, which tends to make it more sensitive so perfumed or alcohol heavy products. This is why we previously mentioned avoiding fragranced, perfumed or alcohol heavy skincare products for men. Products with these types of ingredients and additives are not appropriate as they can be too abrasive to your skin. Instead, look for healing and calming products. You'll know a product has healing or calming benefits if their ingredients include any of the following: aloe, seaweed, glycerin, algae, hyaluronic acid, chamomile and licorice.
Also note that while the area being shaved is constantly exfoliated, areas like the forehead and upper cheek area are not benefitting from the same exfoliation. These areas will need more conscious exfoliation efforts.
Of course, we always have to remind you about the role of facial muscles in achieving great skin. Muscles of the face for men will behave the same as anyone else; the muscles you do not use will tend to get lax and they also they will form wrinkles from using those expression muscles. Any person can benefit in this area by scheduling a microcurrent facial to tighten those lax muscles and relax the tight muscles. The strength and tone of your facial muscles have a direct influence on the way your skin appears.
Just like anyone’s skin, there is no one-size-fits-all product or routine. It takes time and patience to find the right skin care routine for your unique skin type. However, the easiest and fastest solution to getting great skin for men is to find a sunscreen that you like (or tolerate!) and apply daily. There is an infinite amount of research that points to daily use of sunscreen being the top tool in preventative care against signs of aging and other adverse skin conditions, maintaining healthy skin tone and overall rejuvenation of the skin. Many men who have beards and other facial hair tend to shy away from using SPF, but again we urge you not to forget the areas on the face that are not covered.
As mentioned above, finding the right skin care routine takes time, patience, and observation. You can take the guesswork out of this experience by connecting with an esthetician or dermatologist who can give you more insight into what your existing skin conditions are. At that point they can get an idea of how committed you are to getting great skin and help you develop a simple skincare routine that you can realistically stick to.
Fortunately, the skincare industry has made it pretty easy for men to take action in achieving healthier skin. In products designed for men, you will often see combination skin care products. These combination products seem to work best for men: good cleansers + toners and a light moisturizer with SPF. Getting familiar with the basics of routine and developing the habit of skin care should be the first goal for men looking into healthier skin. Think about investing in a cleanser, which is a product designed to help “remove excess oil, makeup, sweat, dirt and dead skin cells from your skin” and a hydrating moisturizer (Garnier). Ideally you will adopt a basic routine and can add more products once he is comfortable. A good eye moisturizer, toner and masks designed to calm and soothe the skin.
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