From the moment we hit puberty, and right up to our old age, men start fighting an ongoing battle against nature’s ravages on the skin.
Whether it’s acne, excessive oil, wrinkles or unbearable dryness, every man on the face of the Earth has to take a little time out of their lives to concentrate on skincare; lest the results of our habits and daily lives become visible in the form of inflamed pores and red skin.
For this reason, it is essential for men to build a routine of careful daily skincare activities, and the earlier in life you start, the more likely you are to hold on to smooth skin and elasticity as you age.
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. Try some of these natural skincare techniques for men which are sure to keep you looking fresher and younger for longer.
What makes a man’s skin different?
We hear a lot from women on how to keep their skin radiant and smooth. There are scores of products available for them and more advice than you can poke a stick at on the topic; but there is surprisingly little advice out there for men to do the same.
This is unfortunate, since there are distinct differences between the skin of a man and that of a woman that makes the approach towards caring for them a little different between the genders.
Because testosterone stimulates the production of sebum in hair follicles, men tend to have slightly oiler skin than women on average; meaning that most face creams, soaps and moisturizers that are marketed towards women are unsuitable for men. Using such products often results in acne breakouts, blocked pores and excessively oily skin.
Apart from that, the simple act of shaving your face will put a lot of strain on your skin, and so extra careful attention needs to be paid to this area.
So, if men need to take a unique approach to skincare, what can you do to ensure that yours is always in good condition?
Dealing with your daily shave
Even if you only need to trim your bristles once a week or so, you need to pay attention to skincare when shaving.
As you age you will have to shave more frequently, which overtime, will harden your skin, dry it out and make it easily inflamed. This problem is only worsened if you don’t go about it properly.
Before starting a shave, lather up your face with fresh water even before applying shaving cream. Friction from your razor blade can result in broken, dry, red skin and may even cause ingrown hairs which are never fun to deal with. Pre-lathering will make your skin and hair softer during the shave, lessening the chance of uncomfortable inflammations afterwards.
Make sure you have the right razor as well as a good quality shaving foam or gel. Using a disposable and a bar of soap might be quick and convenient, even cheap, but you are essentially tearing up your skin overtime, and you will suffer the discomfort as a result.
Always shave along the grain of your beard. Sure; while going against it will result in a closer shave and less strokes, it will also invariably give you a nasty rash and some ingrown.
Lastly, make sure you avoid using aftershaves that are strongly scented. While they might make you smell all the more desirable, fragrant colognes are one of the biggest causes for aggravated skin in men, consider using one that is labeled for ‘sensitive skin’ instead.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
When your health is not at its best, one of the first areas of your body to notice it is your skin.
Do you enjoy drinking, staying up late, smoking cigarettes, or eating sugar; that’s fine and well, I mean, we all have our vices. Unfortunately, they do very little for the condition of your skin.
Red and inflamed skin is often the result of alcohol abuse, a phenomenon I often refer to as a brandy-tan. Cigarettes will dry you out horribly, and age you far beyond your years, especially if you are a heavy smoker.
A lack of sleep brings dangling eye-bags and puffy cheeks to your face, while a poor diet will not only dry your skin out, but will also cause inflammations, oiliness and acne (yes, even in adults).
Watch your UV intake
The sun might be one of the best sources for vitamin D, but overdoing it even a little bit is terrible for your skin and even dangerous. Inflammations from too much exposure to UV will leave your skin sensitive and dry, while sunburns might result in spots, freckles, and premature ageing.
Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, or oil-free moisturizers that have an SPF level of at least 15 to keep your skin properly protected from the sun.
Day and night
Washing and moisturizing your skin twice a day will stave off unwanted ageing and keep your skin smooth and healthy, while eliminating dead skin cells from your face that tend to make your skin look dull. Be sure to use a specialized face soap that is suited for your skin, is not fragrant, and not too harsh.
Under no circumstances should you ever use body soap on your face as it will dry it out. Rather use no soap if that is your only option. But do it twice a day, once in the morning and when you go to sleep.
After the wash (and while your skin is still damp), apply a moisturizer that agrees with you and isn’t too oily, so as not to clog up the pores. Do this twice a day as well for the best results.
And remember, the younger you start, the better time you’ll have of taking care of your skin as you age.
About the author: Terrence Kennedy is the man’s man on a journey to self-discovery. A traveler, extreme sports aficionado, an observant wanderer, a DIY-Know-How, an ultimate outsider and a documentarist of culture, sex, dating, relationship, fashion, style and gentleman’s etiquette. He has learned a lot through his escapades, and is happy to pass that knowledge on to you.