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Skin care has become one of the most important daily activities and is receiving more attention now more than ever. While it is a common concern for women, it is just as important that men properly care for their skin as well. Because of this, a variety of products is available made just for men and their skin.
When it comes to skincare, men are a different breed. It turns out that men are the lucky ones in that their skin ages more slowly than women’s skin. Men naturally have more collagen and elastin, which makes for firmer and thicker skin overall. In fact, their skin is approximately 25% thicker than women’s skin! Studies have also shown that men’s skin tends to be less acidic on the pH scale than women’s. When aging signs do appear, they start around the eyes with dark circles, bags and wrinkles. To fight this problem, there are various eye creams on the market that are specially formulated for men.
A man's skin is different from a woman's in texture, but not in make-up. There are three general skin types and men are not exempt from any of them. They are: oily, dry, and combination. While some people are said to have normal skin, thus not forced to deal with the extremes caused by oily or dry, that can be somewhat misleading. Someone with a normal skin type simply does not have skin that is more oily or drier than normal and, therefore, does not need the special attention given to these conditions.
A regular cleansing routine is very important, since men have larger pores than can clog easily. Men should be sure to use the proper cleanser for their skin type, which is typically oilier due to having high levels of the androgen hormone levels. Vitamin E can also help to heal cuts and redness experienced from shaving. As men age and their testosterone levels drop, their skin tends to become drier and they will have to switch up their cleansing products accordingly. Men should use a good moisturizer and might also want to consider a hydrating mask for a deep clean and added hydration.
One final fact that men shouldn’t ignore is that males over 50 are at the highest risk of developing melanoma. The most important thing that a man can do for his skin is to use a sunscreen early and often!
Someone with an oily skin type will often be plagued with too much oil on and below the surface of the skin. This, in turn, can cause various types of acne because the oil builds up. While the skin is supposed to produce needed oils, it is advisable to cleanse this type of skin with a soap or gel that will wipe away excess oils, but still keep those that are essential to healthy skin.
Likewise, dry skin must be cleansed with a soap or gel that provides necessary oils to the skin. It is important, however, to remember not to over cleanse the skin, as doing so will take away or add too much oil and can cause further problems to occur.
Combination skin often means that one has oily skin in some places and dry skin in others. Some people with combination skin have more normal spots than troubled ones, so caring for this skin type generally isn't too difficult.
While there are no particular benefits to have one skin type over the other, it is important to note that those with oily skin are less likely to wrinkle as quickly as others with another skin type. Still, it is important to properly care for your skin and do so on a regular basis.
While many skin care products will work for both men and women, some men prefer to use those manufactured just for them. This is, in part, because many skin care products used by women can contain softer fragrances. Also, because a man's skin is made up somewhat differently from that of a woman, certain it may be preferable to use products better suited to its texture. Another aggravating factor can occur when a man shaves. If you shave everyday, you may want to use something that is more gentle to your face, especially if you cut yourself often or your skin tends to be sensitive.
Guy's Grooming Guide: Skin Care
Twenty years ago, it was a miracle if men’s grooming including anything more than washing the face with a bar of soap. Unfortunately, using a simple soap is about as bad as doing nothing at all: It can leave your skin taut and thirsty. Instead, use a cleanser that strikes a delicate balance between tough and tender. Look for a fragrance-free gel face wash suitable for all skin types that is strong enough to cut through those overactive male sebaceous glands yet gentle enough to be used every day.
A face wash is just the opening act for facial cleansing. Men’s skin is naturally thicker than women's, with larger pores that roll out the red carpet for nasty debris. A granular scrub should be used two to three times a week to exfoliate and dislodge dirt deep down. No one likes to look at bumps and blackheads, and scrubbing will help smooth your complexion for a clearer, cleaner appearance. It also softens the skin as a first step toward a less gruesome shaving experience.
Even the mildest facial cleansers can leave your skin feeling just plain parched. And don’t think you can cheat the system by using one fortified with a laundry list of special moisturizing agents. The truth is that every guy, even those with oily skin, needs to replenish the moisture content of their skin. Something as routine as showering or washing your face with hot water can open pores and allow valuable water to escape. A basic moisturizer with SPF will restore moisture, protect your skin from the sun, reduce razor burn, and even prevent against premature aging.
Almost every man neglects to treat the skin around his eyes; the soft, thin layer of skin there is prone to developing fine lines, and it’s where men first start to show visible signs of aging. That’s why everyone — even twentysomethings without a care or wrinkle in the world — should be using something specially formulated for this fickle facial region. Try an eye cream with Q10 (a coenzyme used to fight fine lines) and swelling reducers like caffeine and cucumber.
Despite the air of mystique and femininity surrounding a clay mask, it can be an important part of a man’s skin care regimen. This isn’t an intense spa facial, but rather a quick 10-minute commitment once a week to deep-clean your face. The clay removes dead skin and promotes cellular regeneration. It also unclogs pores while reducing excess oil and shine.
Like the skin around the eyes, lips also tend to get forgotten in a sea of sloughing and scrubbing. Skin on the lips is thin and lacks oil glands to regulate moisture content as well as melanin to shield the sun — this makes them particularly prone to dryness, burning and subsequent cracking and bleeding. All these problems can lead to occasional sores and the development of fine lines over time. With all the challenges here, it’s a wonder how anyone arrives in lip-lock land; simply use a balm with SPF on a regular basis and you'll be provided supple safety.
Shaving cream is the only way to get a razor close enough to wipe away a five o'clock shadow. But not all shaving creams are created equal. A cooling gel that develops into a thick lather is best for almost all skin types. Gel-based formulas tend to be denser and provide better cushion and glide for a pain-free shave. If your skin irritates easily, shave during or after a shower while pores are wide open. Also, learn to give your skin a few days rest between shaving sessions.
Aftershaves have come a long way from the burning alcohol-based concoctions splashed on by grandfather. Today’s post-shaving balms actually provide soothing relief. Most formulas use a hint of menthol to cool the skin, but if you’re prone to irritation, make sure to steer clear: Menthol can sometimes aggravate super sensitive skin. An aftershave should also have a light consistency for faster, more efficient absorption. Extras like aloe and vitamin E are also helpful to promote healing.
Regular use of a toner can help dissolve skin impurities and cut through dirt. Male skin tends to produce excess sebum — the oily, waxy matter produced by the sebaceous glands — primarily on the face and scalp. Toner washes away the oil, prevents blackheads, tightens pores, and reduces shine. One with salicylic acid will also help treat acne breakouts.
The scalp is just skin covered — in most cases, at least partially — by hair. Yet, that small barrier of hair prevents men from ever dedicating the necessary time to clean it properly. The scalp excretes pore-clogging sebum just like the skin on the face and is likewise susceptible to the development of nasty blemishes. A scrubbing shampoo that exfoliates the scalp will prevent oil buildup and even protect against hair loss.
So much attention is given to the complex skin on your face that it’s easy to forget about the other 90% of your body — a bar soap won’t do here, either. A shower gel is both more effective and sanitary than a cracked, germ-laden bar of soap. Granular scrubs are also important to use (in place of a basic gel) one to two times a week for exfoliation and deep-cleaning. Go for one enriched with menthol or caffeine to leave your skin feeling fresh and tingly.
As summer fades along with your tan, it’s important to maintain a healthy — but not orangey — glow. And don’t think that membership to your local cancer-inducing tanning bed studio is the answer. A self-tanner that is impossible to apply evenly and stains your hand for a week isn’t the answer, either. There are now moisturizers with a hint of color that gradually darken the skin with increased use. It’s a simple and safe way to keep the fun of the summer sun blazing on into early winter.
more than skin deep
Skin care is a constant battle, but it doesn’t have to be all-out war. Armed with a stockpile of some key products and the knowledge of how to use them, you’ll be well on your way to a clean and clear victory.