Gone are the days when the extent of a “real man’s” daily skin care routine involved a quick splash of soap and water in the morning and a shave with a straight razor. Fortunately, today most men realize that they can take good care of their skin without sacrificing their manliness. A few simple tips can help men keep their skin looking and feeling healthy.
While washing your face in the morning is likely part of your morning regimen of showering and shaving, don’t forget how important a nightly cleaning is too. During the day your face is exposed to dirt and pollutants in environment combined with the body’s natural oils that can build up and clog pores. While some experts advise against using a bar soap for facial cleansing, soaps which contain moisturizers are an acceptable option. To exfoliate the skin, try a facial scrub to help rid the face of dead skin, remove pore-clogging dirt and uproot ingrown hairs. A good rule of thumb is a combination of daily cleaning, no more than 2X a day, along with a facial scrub used 2 – 3 times a week. For all over body moisturizing, try a body wash with a built in moisturizer.
Keep your cell phone CLEAN!
Cell phones tend to collect the dirt, germs and oils from the environment and coming into contact with your hands and face dozens of times every day, not to mention what they can pick up from the other surfaces they touch – restaurant tables, park benches, hotel reservation counters, etc. Clean your phone regularly with an antibacterial wipe to remove the unwanted and unhealthy build-up that will otherwise make its way to your face.
The first key to a more comfortable shave is conditioning. Many men shave after showering when the skin is moist, but for sensitive skin, that may not be enough. An emollient-based shaving cream that softens the hair and follicle will help the razor do its job with less irritation. Gel-based shaving creams are preferable over foam creams, because the gel helps to instantly lubricate and hydrate the skin lessening irritation, rashes and ingrown hairs.
The type of razor you use also may have a big impact on your skin’s condition. Use good quality razor blades (and change them often) with a swivel-head shaver to minimize cuts and nicks.
Avoid alcohol-based aftershave products. While some men like the clean, tight feeling after a splash of alcohol-based aftershave, the effect is actually counterproductive. Using an alcohol-based aftershave causes dead skin cell buildup, keeping hair trapped in the skin and leading to more ingrown hairs and sensitivity. An oil-free moisturizer will soothe the skin after the abrasiveness of shaving instead of burning it.
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
The number one cause of aging (not to mention skin cancer) is exposure to sunlight. Keep your skin protected from the sun’s damaging rays 365 days a year by using a daily moisturizer that contains a sunscreen. If you don’t like a “greasy” feel on the skin, try a product with zinc oxide that is lighter and dries to a matte finish.
Men have 1/3 thicker skin than their female counterparts. This should mean that men will develop wrinkles much more slowly. However, that’s not a given. The secret to keeping that youthful look is good, regular skin care – without it, you are not taking advantage of your genetic predisposition of slower aging. Using a moisturizer daily and a weekly scrub to defoliate and deeply cleanse, will go a long way toward keeping your skin looking young and healthy.