Are you looking for ways to improve your skin but aren’t sure what men’s skin care involves? While there are many resources out there for women’s skin care, there aren’t as many for men. One reason for this is that many men simply don’t understand why skin care is important or recognize that they need to take care of their skin just like they do other parts of their bodies.
Skin care does more than just make you look young or help improve the appearance of your skin, though it can certainly do both. If you’re not certain how to take care of your skin, this guide will teach you the basics.
How Skin Care for Men Differs from Skin Care for Women
Skin care is important for several different reasons, and to understand some of those reasons, it’s important to understand how men’s skin differs from women’s skin. The support structure of a man’s face is actually stronger than a woman’s due to the fact that facial hair requires more support.
This means there are more elastin fibers and collagen in the face, which in turn means the skin is actually thicker. This additional thickness is why many men don’t have as many facial wrinkles as women do as thicker skin tends to not wrinkle as much.
However, because there are more hair follicles on a man’s face, their skin has more oil on it than a woman’s does. This oil traps moisture, which does help hydrate the skin. On the downside, oily skin also traps dead skin cells and other debris. This is why men are often more prone to acne than women.
Skin care for men, then, has to be tailored to dealing with this thicker, oilier skin. The products need to address different things, and while some may be similar in function, the ingredients will typically be different.
Why Is Skin Care Important?
Regardless of gender, taking care of your skin is important for a few different reasons. Your skin is actually a large organ, and it is continually changing. For example, you are always shedding dead skin cells. Removing these dead cells from your skin helps keep it healthy and prevents them from being trapped in your pores.
While this prevents acne, it does more than that. Acne can lead to scarring and can result in infections.
Another reason why skin care is important is that it’s easier to prevent various skin conditions and issues than it is to treat them. Preventative care is often the best, and even the least expensive, choice. Using products that contain sunscreen, for example, helps prevent skin cancer. That’s a much better alternative than going through treatment for it.
There’s also a psychological and emotional reason to improve your skin. When you know you look better, you will often actually feel better, too. You won’t be as self-conscious about how you look if you know that you’ve kept your skin healthy.
This can give you more confidence when going into a presentation or other public speaking situation. You may feel more motivated to go on dates or to join in other activities if you feel confident in your appearance.
A Basic Skin Care Routine
A basic skin care routine is more than just washing your face, especially if you only wash your face when you shower. A good men’s skin care guide doesn’t have to be detailed or take half an hour, but it should focus on what your skin needs. This means you may have to consider several different routines and products.
Everyone’s skin is a little different, and what works for one man may not be the best option for another. You may have very dry skin, or you may have excessive oils that require a different type of treatment.
Age and your overall health can also play a part in your routine. The basic routine listed here is fairly generic, so be sure you tailor it and the products you use to your unique skin needs.
First, a basic routine should start with a cleanser. This is a type of soap, but it’s not as harsh as the soaps you use in the shower. Those soaps, especially generic bar soaps, can dry out your skin. You’ll need to consider what type of cleanser you need since some are designed for dry skin while others are for those with oily skin.
The next step in your men’s skin care routine is to moisturize. A good moisturizing agent will help keep your skin hydrated. This makes your skin feel more elastic and softer. Ideally, you should moisturize while your skin is wet, so try to apply it after you shower or shave. Damp skin will absorb the product more easily.
The third and, for many people, final part of their basic routine is to apply sunscreen. In some cases, you may find a good moisturizer that contains sunscreen. However, you may want to apply one that’s stronger. Sunscreen is important, even if you aren’t going to the beach or going to be outdoors much at all.
The sun can greatly damage your skin, and even if it seems like it’s not, that damage can add up over time. It causes age spots, wrinkles, and can lead to skin cancer in extreme conditions. Melanoma especially is a concern for men who are over 50 because they are at a high risk of developing this particular type of skin cancer.
Ideally, look for a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more. If you know you’ll be outdoors for a long period of time, the higher SPF you can find, the better.
There are a number of other products you can add to your skin care routine, of course. If you often have bags or dark circles under your eyes, you may want to add an eye cream to your routine.
These creams help reduce the puffiness that comes from a lack of sleep and also reduces wrinkles. The skin under the eyes is very delicate, so it often needs some extra hydration to help keep it looking its best.
Another thing you can add is an antioxidant cream. This type of cream helps fight the damage that your skin takes daily from the sun, pollutants, and other debris. These things create free radicals that can destroy healthy skin cells, causing you to look older. Antioxidants neutralize them, keeping your skin healthy.
Exfoliating your skin is another component you can add to your routine. Exfoliating isn’t necessarily something you need to do on a daily basis. In fact, if you do microdermabrasion or have a micropeel done that often, it can actually be bad for your skin.
However, having one of these treatments every month or every few months will help keep remove dead skin cells and keep your pores from getting clogged.
Important Ingredients to Look For
There are many different ingredients in skin care products. Here are some of the ingredients that are essential for healthy skin for men.
Salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide, and glycolic acid are ideal for oily skin. If your skin tends to be fairly oily, look for a cleanser with these ingredients in it.
Azelaic acid is a good ingredient if you suffer from rosacea or hyperpigmentation. It can also help you deal with acne.
Alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs also help with hyperpigmentation, so you may find them and azelaic acids in the same products. These acids also help smooth out the texture of your skin and remove fine lines.
A related acid, beta hydroxy acid, helps smooth out the skin by removing the top layer of old cells. It’s a good exfoliant that you’ll find in chemical peels, plus it’s also in a number of acne treatments.
Niacinamide also offers multiple benefits including reducing wrinkles and regulating oils in the skin. As niacinamide is a type of vitamin B-3, you’ll likely find it as a common ingredient in many different products.
Another common ingredient is retinoids. They help with pigmentation, oily skin, and with acne, as well as a number of other conditions.
You’ll also find that many skin care products contain various vitamins, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Both are good for the skin and provide the nutrients that it needs.
Of course, there are all-natural skin care products out there that you may want to consider, especially if you have sensitive skin. These products include ingredients such as citrus fruit, baking soda, honey, apple cider vinegar, mineral oils, and tea tree oil.
They can be just as effective as chemicals, so don’t discount them just because they’re natural ingredients.
Start Your Skin Care Routine Today
There’s no reason to put off taking care of your skin. Now that you’ve read through this skin care guide, you should be better prepared to find the products you need and take care of your skin.
If you’re not sure what your skin needs, talk to a dermatologist. These experts will help you learn what products your skin needs and can suggest a unique and effective skin care routine for you.