SKINCARE IS JUST FOR WOMEN, RIGHT? GUESS AGAIN!
Think women spend a lot of time getting ready in the morning? According to recent statistics, the average man devotes approximately 51 minutes each day to personal grooming, a mere four minutes less than his female counterpart. Surprised? Maybe you shouldn’t be. American men now spend nearly $10 billion annually on their appearances, with about $3.3 billion allotted directly to grooming products alone.
It seems clear that today’s men are just as concerned as women are with the way their skin looks and feels. While guys may not head off in pairs to the men’s room to compare notes, the current trend does indicate that men are accepting the idea that good looking skin isn’t necessarily a sign of vanity, but rather a goal in maintaining overall good health.
it’s a guy thing
So does this mean that men and women can now share moisturizers? No, it doesn’t. For one thing, men have larger pores than women do and they secrete more oils — up to 15 percent more. As you might have guessed, this extra oil also means more dirt and pollutant buildup on your skin. Using the wrong kind of moisturizer will only trap more dirt and eventually clog those bigger pores. But men do need daily moisturizing.
Another thing that separates men from women is daily facial shaving. Dragging a sharp blade over your skin one or more times a day can be extremely irritating. Using a well-formulated moisturizing shaving cream or gel will help to reduce friction that can lead to unsightly (and painful) nicks and rashes.
When is being hairy scary? The answer is when your beard stubble causes razor bumps. Technically known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, this condition results from emerging hairs that curl over and burrow into nearby skin causing a foreign body reaction and a telltale bump. In effect, it’s an ingrown hair and can make shaving a very unpleasant experience. It can even lead to infection and scarring. For this reason, it’s essential that you properly care for your skin before and after shaving to reduce this risk. This is especially true if you are African American or if your natural hair is very curly.
t-zone or end zone?
Knowing your skin type will go a long way to score points in the skin care department. You should aim to select products that are formulated to work best with your specific skin type.
If your face tends to be dry all over and the skin feels taut, then you have dry skin. If you’re over the age of 35, you can even assume that you have some degree of sun damage. Likewise, if your face is shiny in all areas most of the time, you have oily skin. Skin that is oily in the T-zone (the forehead, chin and the area surrounding the nose), signals a combination skin of normal to oily, the most common skin type. If you have enlarged pores, then you likely have a shiny complexion and experience periodic blemishes.
Botanicals can help to balance the acid mantle of the skin, reducing oil and dryness where needed. For example, chamomile and aloe vera extracts lightly moisturize, while rosemary and mint benefit oily skin types. And, remember what we said about razor bumps? It’s not just your skin that you need to address; it’s your beard too. Certain nut oils and vegetable esters can soften your beard while seaweed extracts will firm and tone the underlying skin to help prevent common shaving problems.
take skin care like a man
Just a few years ago, the idea of a man using a moisturizer was considered a social stigma, at least to most men. Fortunately, higher thinking has prevailed and now “what’s good for the goose must be good for the gander,” has become the norm today in terms of personal grooming. But, with so much hype targeted at women, it can be confusing for a man to know exactly what his skin needs.
Good skin care is about more than just slapping on a moisturizer or toner now and then. It’s about maintaining a system of cleansing, toning and moisturizing that will help you to maximize and keep the good looks you were born with and have earned in maturity. The beauty of it is, none of it needs to be complicated. Here is a basic plan that will work for most men:
* Wash with a gentle cleanser each morning and night. Forget about reaching into the shower for the bath bar to wash your face. Many bath bars can contain ingredients that can be harsh on any type of skin, especially if they are formulated to be deodorant soaps. Instead, use a foaming or liquid wash that will cleanse away dirt without stripping the skin of too much natural oil. You may also wish to use a gentle scrub once a week to exfoliate dead skin and encourage cell renewal. However, if your skin tends to be sensitive or prone to breakouts, you should use a facial scrub less often, perhaps once a month.
* You should do your shaving right after you wash your face. A good shaving cream or gel should be soap- and chemical-free. Look for non-toxic ingredients that will soften your skin and beard, such as botanical extracts and nut or vegetable oils.
* Following shaving, you should apply a toner to tighten your pores and remove any filmy residue from shaving. Now, an after-shave can serve as your toner as long as it has the right ingredients. Try to avoid products that contain alcohol as it is too drying. Use your fingertips or a cotton ball to apply your toner or after-shave and allow it dry completely before moving on to the next step, moisturizing.
Natural moisturizers that contain nourishing and soothing ingredients, such as algae and botanical extracts will nourish and soothe skin. And, for those of you who proudly sport a beard or mustache, a good moisturizer will help to keep it conditioned.
Of course, eating right and getting adequate exercise will also help to keep your skin in top condition. A diet rich in fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables will deliver much-needed nutrients to your skin in the most natural and efficient way possible. Keep in mind that excess caffeine, alcohol, saturated fats and stress will quickly undermine your best efforts at keeping your skin young looking.
5 Hints for smooth skin
Protect your skin: Use a sunscreen to protect against harmful ultraviolet rays. Not only can sun exposure lead to cancer, but it also may lead to premature aging and wrinkles.
Keep hydrated: Dry skin is a sure sign ofdehydration. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the skin elastic.
Quit smoking: Necessary nutrients are depleted by smoking, making smokers more likely to have premature wrinkles than those that don’t light up.
Read labels: When choosing a moisturizer, exfoliant or cleanser, check to ensure that there are no harsh chemicals or drying agents.
Take your vitamins: Proper nutrition helps keep skin healthy. Some valuable vitamins include a B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc.