On average, women tend to spend the more time and money on skin care regimens as compared to men; however, men should not overlook the benefits of proper skin care. The good news is that skin care for men doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, and it doesn’t need to involve an endless parade of products. Below are some tips for male skin care.
Wash your face twice daily and after excess sweating or exercising. When choosing a facial cleanser, it helps to know your skin type.
“Normal skin” is considered “clear” and not particularly sensitive to most cleansers.
“Dry skin” is flaky, rough or itchy and may benefit from a more moisturizing cleanser.
“Oily skin” can feel greasy and appear shiny and may be prone to acne– there are cleansers specially formulated for those with acne prone or oily skin.
Those with “sensitive skin” may experience stinging, burning or breakouts after using certain types of cleansers, thus try a cleanser that is specially formulated for sensitive skin.
Always wash your face with lukewarm water. Apply your cleanser and gently massage into both your face and neck. For daytime, apply a layer of antioxidant cream or serum and follow up with a layer of sunscreen. After washing your face at night, apply moisturizer to the face and neck. Regular exfoliation may also help minimize the appearance of fine lines, and provide you with an overall “brighter” appearance. Consult your dermatologist to see what type, and how often exfoliating products should be used.
Shaving can be harsh on your face, especially if you have sensitive skin, but there are several things you can do to ensure a close shave without causing irritation and ingrown hairs (when the hair turns backward and begins to grow back into the skin, causing pain, inflammation and small red bumps). First, cleanse your face before shaving using a facial cleanser rather than a harsh bar soap, and leave the cleanser on your face for a minute or so when possible, as this can help soften the hairs, making shaving smoother.
Lather up your shave cream using a brush rather than your hands. The brush helps distribute the cream around the hairs, softening them further and helping to achieve a smooth shave (Warm compresses work well, too).
You don’t need expensive blades, but your razor does need to be clean and sharp. If you see a nick in the blade, throw it out. If you use disposable razors, change them every week or two. Shave “with the grain”, not against it, to avoid razor burn and ingrown hairs. Try not to pull the skin taut while shaving, and afterward, rinse with cool or cold water to reduce possible inflammation.
Skin care for men with beards
If you have a beard, be sure you’re taking care of the skin underneath it. Facial hair wicks moisture away from the skin, which can make it dry and flaky, leading to “beard dandruff.” A good exfoliating cleanser will help clear out dead, dry skin under your beard, and regular use will keep beard dandruff from building up. Work your cleanser well into the beard all the way down to the skin underneath, almost like you are giving yourself a facial massage. Follow up your cleanser with moisturizer, working it through to the skin as well.
- Moisturizers for men
A quick application of moisturizer morning and night after cleansing or shaving can help keep your skin smooth, hydrated and healthy. Some moisturizers may even reduce the appearance of fine lines. For those who want to save an extra step in the morning, choose a moisturizer that contains an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember to apply your moisturizer to your entire face and neck.
Men between the ages of 15 and 39 are more than twice as likely to die of melanoma than women. It’s a shocking statistic, and researchers are still working to figure out why there is such a stark disparity between the sexes. It could be because women use more skin care products and many of those products, such as makeup and moisturizers, contain SPF. A 2012 survey by the Skin Cancer Foundation found that 80% of men who used sunscreen didn’t know how much to use and 70% weren’t aware of the warning signs of skin cancer. It is imperative to use sunscreen daily and appropriately as well as educate yourself on melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
Taking proper care of your skin can be beneficial in reducing instances of skin cancer and certain skin conditions such as acne or ingrown hairs, and while it may take a few minutes more per day, the benefits of proper skin care can last a lifetime.