We all imagine it’s typical for a woman to take care of her appearance while men do as little as possible. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with a man who follows a proper skincare routine. Men deserve to look good, just like women do.
Your skin can be healthier, age slower, and look better regardless of gender. More and more men are starting to realize the benefits of skincare, however, overdoing it can be as detrimental as not doing anything. Here’s what you need to know.
Skincare for men
An active man that takes frequent showers can end up with dry skin, or at least a few patches. Use a loofah or a scrub shower gel to remove the dead skin cells. It prepares your skin for moisturizing and it can also reduce the appearance of acne (should you have any). If you have acne, you can use a specialized, over-the-counter body wash with salicylic or glycolic acid. Both these substances have a chemical peeling effect.
Since men have more hair on their bodies than women do (a lot more!) using a thick body cream is good for the skin but it also gets stuck on your hair, making you feel dirty after you just took a shower. It’s understandable why you would be discouraged after just one attempt. Instead, I recommend a liquid moisturizer (such as dry oil), which penetrates the skin quickly and doesn’t cling to the hair. It’s something I picked up from my massage therapist, who always uses oil moisturizers for her male customers.
There are some significant differences between men’s and women’s facial skin. Firstly, men have beards. Even if you shave it regularly, it still grows.
The no. 1 problem with beards is the products used for shaving. Many shaving products have lots of perfume and alcohol, which harm and dry the skin. Choose a gentle shave foam, gel, or lotion, preferably without fragrance, and the same goes for your skin cleanser.
Alcohol-based aftershaves are still widely used. While they do smell manly and disinfect your skin after shaving, getting rid of bacteria, alcohol is not good for the skin, no matter if it’s oily, normal, or dry. This applies to other problematic substances commonly included in aftershave, such as menthol, citrus, and camphor. They can lead to skin irritations causing redness, flakiness, acne, sensitivity, or make it more dry or oily.
Secondly, men have thicker skin than women, which makes it less prone to wrinkles. This genetic gift can be enhanced with proper skincare, but if you do nothing or use products that are bad for your skin, it all goes to waste. Last but not least, men have larger oil glands, which is why their skin is generally oilier than women’s.
Even with all the differences, skin products work the same on men as on women. If a product is designed to treat acne, wrinkles, or dark spots, it can be used by any gender, and the same goes for any other skin problem.
Men’s essential skincare routine
– Washing your face in the morning and evening using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser.
– Shaving with gentle, fragrance-free shave gel, foam or lotion.
– Applying a soothing aftershave with no fragrance and no alcohol. You should use an aftershave instead of a toner because it’s specifically designed to help your skin heal after shaving.
– Occasionally use a chemical peeling product based on substances such as AHA fruit acids, salicylic or glycolic acid. Since shaving mechanically removes dead skin cells, you need to adjust the frequency of peeling based on how often you shave. Exfoliating too often thins the skin, making it prone to irritations.
– Washing or shaving your face must be followed by moisturizing. Find a moisturizer suitable for your skin type and preferably with SPF included.
– Indulge occasionally and get a facial or apply a mask. Men like efficiency, so opt for a clay mask if you had to choose. There are different types of clay that not only remove impurities from the skin but they can also moisturize or shrink your pores, depending on the liquid you mix the clay with when preparing your mask. Clay masks work well, can be prepared and applied in 5 minutes, and are affordable.
– If you have any serious skin problems, consider consulting a dermatologist, who can advise exactly what type of products and substances you need to use.
If you’re a man and think that you shouldn’t take care of your skin and this is a “woman’s job”, I think you should reconsider your thoughts. We don’t live in the ’50s anymore, and even then, some men took their time to beautify their skin. Don’t let anyone enforce their outdated principles on you, we’re all getting older, and so is our skin. Wouldn’t you rather have fewer wrinkles and look better when you’re 50+? Going to the gym doesn’t really solve this problem, sure, you feel manly and strong but your muscles shouldn’t get all the attention.