Skin Care Tips for Men
Most men don’t think about skin care that often, but it’s just as important for men to properly care for their skin as women. In addition to protecting you from cancer, proper skin care can also reduce signs of aging, and improve your appearance and confidence. Proper skin care can also result in other health benefits that can positively impact a man’s life every day. If you don’t have a skin care routine, it’s never too late. A few simple changes to your daily grooming routine can make a huge difference in how your skin looks and feels.
Wear Sunscreen… Almost Always.
Sunscreen is not just for the beach. The sun is constantly damaging your skin, and the more exposure it gets from the sun’s UV rays, the faster it ages. A tan is actually your skin’s way of protecting itself from UV rays. So, while it looks nice, a tan isn’t actually healthy. If you’re going to be outside for any period of time it’s a good idea to wear an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen that includes protection for both UVA and UVB rays. This will help prevent wrinkles and age spots, and it will reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Remember, sunscreen wears off. If you’re outside all day or if you’re sweating or in the water, you’ll need to apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours. It’s also a good idea to apply sunscreen before a long flight. You’ll battle the sun your entire life, make this tip a habit now and you’re skin will look great later as you get older.
Men Should Moisturize Too
Seriously. Skin that gets too dry is not healthy skin. Moisturizing is a widely accepted way to prevent signs of aging and to make you skin feel softer and rejuvenated. Men should moisturize their face, and their entire body regularly. Most skin types will want to moisturize once a day. While you should experiment with products and frequency, you should absolutely make this part of your routine.
Learn to Shave
Most men shave every day, so it’s important to do it the right way, so your skin isn’t damaged or irritated in the process. If you’re experiencing razor burn and/or bumps on your skin after shaving, you definitely need to improve your technique. Use a moisturizing shaving cream, never “dry shave”. Even if your skin doesn’t seem dried out of flaking after a dry shave, it’s still damaging to your skin.
Always shave in the direction that your hair grows, as this will help prevent razor burn. Rinse your blade frequently, and always use a good sharp blade. Most razor blades are good for 6-8 shaves. After you shave, rinse your face and apply an aftershave that includes a moisturizing agent and Vitamin E, this will help lock in moisture. If you experience any razor burn, bumps or irritation, switch things up. Try different products and razors (more blades isn’t always “better”) until you find the right combination for your skin and face.
Reduce the Bad Stuff in Your Diet
Your diet has a lot to do with the health of your skin. If you want to maintain a youthful, wrinkle-free look for years to come, start eating right, now. Sugar, salt and alcohol aren’t good for your health in general, but they’re also not great for your skin. These foods can dry out your skin, causes inflammation, and reduce collagen production. While you’re not likely to give up sugar, salt and alcohol, you can monitor your intake, and make reductions in your diet that will be beneficial as you get older.
Eat Skin Care Superfoods
Some healthy foods are also particularly beneficial to your skin. Leafy greens such as spinach, arugula and kale contain powerful antioxidants that are important for skin regeneration. Fruits high in Vitamin C also contain antioxidants, which can minimize skin damage, and improve your skin’s ability to heal itself. Fish such as salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which helps protect skin against damage from the sun’s rays and from inflammation. Avocados have omega-3 fatty acids, another healthy fat that help the top layer of your skin stay hydrated. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce signs of aging in skin. Carrots and other foods with beta-carotene can make your skin softer while improving your complexion. If you’re able to add these foods to your diet regularly, you will certainly see short-term and long-term benefits.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water is something every healthcare professional recommends, so do it. When it comes to a man’s skin, water is important because it makes the skin more resilient. Proper hydration means skin is less likely to be damaged and you’re less likely to form wrinkles.
Stop Touching Your Face
Men’s hands are often dirty, or carrying some amount of bacteria. If you have a habit of touching your face, or resting your neck on your hands, you’re trapping dirt, allergens and bacteria on your face and neck. Because the skin on and around your face is much softer and more susceptible to blemishes, this transfer of debris from your hands can cause clogged pores and breakouts. Keep your hands clean, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
Yes, men can, and should exfoliate. Exfoliation is a way to remove dead and dry skin cells from your top layer of skin and clear clogged pores. Doing this allows cells to regenerate faster, which improves the overall health of your skin.
There are a lot of ways to exfoliate, but most men will probably opt for an at-home method that comes in the form of a scrub that’s applied to your face. This is generally a form of physical exfoliation (rather than chemical) where grit in the product (aka exfoliating beads) gently grind away dead skin. Exfoliating once or twice a week can greatly improve the softness of your skin, while reducing the likelihood of blemishes. If you’ve never tried it, experiment with some over the over the counter options. If you like being pampered, may spas offer exfoliation as a service.
Some men do not cover wounds and cuts. While this may not be a huge concern for small cuts, it can lead to more aged looking hands in the future. By covering cuts and wounds with bandages, you’re preventing the damaged skin from getting dry. This means the wound will heal faster, and you’re less likely to have scarring.
Wear gloves any time there is a risk of damaging your skin. Even though you may have tough calloused hands that can take the punishment, gloves can protect you from cuts, blisters and bruises that might create permanent damage to the skin on your hands. Gloves also protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and unsightly spots in the future.
Eye Cream for Men
Don’t be scared to try face products that sound like they’re for women. Eye cream is a game changer. If you have bags under your eyes, puffy skin, fine lines or dark circles, and eye cream can help get rid of them. This area under your eyes is one of the most sensitive areas, and this skin is thin, so the area is more prone to problems. Most eye creams will moisture and provide vitamins and other specific ingredients to improve your issues. Products with Retinol are a good choice. Retinol improves collagen production, which is key to generating new skin cells. Retinol can reduce sun damage, age spots, fine lines and reduce puffy eyes and dark circles. This cream is often called an anti-aging eye cream.
Wash Your Face Before Bed
It’s easy to skip, but make this part of your nightly routine. Even if you don’t get on the moisturizer and eye cream train, washing is really important. Your skin heals and restores itself while you are sleeping. Having a clean face before bed helps this process. Think about all the things that have touched your face throughout the day, all of that dirt and debris is going to be sandwiched between your face and pillow while you sleep. This will clog pores and allow blemishes to form.
Simply washing your hands, and then your face with warm water is a good start (hot water will dry your skin out). Just use water and a gentle wash designed for your face. If you want to take it a step further, a face cleanser can be applied. This will further clean your pores, reduce oil and remove dirt. Whichever products you decide on, and whatever skin care routine you develop, don’t skip the simple wash.
Still have skin care questions? Call us at 503-227-7117 to schedule a personalized consultation with our Certified Advanced Esthetician, Helen Carey.