Beauties, as you know we recently launched our Men’s Section, so today we’re sharing an article by Franco of Strut Health with some tips for a great men’s skincare routine! Enjoy
Skincare isn’t just a ladies’ game, guy’s skin needs a little extra love and care regularly as well.
Developing a skincare routine is key for keeping acne at bay, making skin feel soft and smooth, and avoiding the rigors and aging properties of excessive sun damage.
Below, we will cover a few key tips for me who are looking into developing a skincare regimen that works for them and their skin.
- Skip the bar soap
As much as you want to believe those “all-in-one” products that claim to be able to wash your body, hair, and face, they may not be the best product for all of those places.
The skin on your face is a little bit different compared to the skin on the rest of your body, it has more oil glands, grows (or doesn’t grow) a beard, is subjected to the sun more, and is more prone to irritation and acne.
So, even if you like that squeaky-clean feeling that you get from your trusty bar soap, stripping all of the oils from your face is often not a good look.
Start by keeping the body wash and bar soaps for your body, and picking up a gentle cleanser to your on your face. You can find specific soaps that are designed for use on the face so if you do love using a soap – make sure to look for ones specifically designed for the face, not for the body.
- Wash once or twice daily (and then stop)
Now that you know you need a separate product to wash your face, let’s lay down some face washing schedule ground rules.
Depending on your skin, you will need to wash your face at least once a day, and some guys may respond better to twice a day.
If you tend to have more oily skin, like a lot of young men do, twice daily is probably a good place to start. Schedule your twice-daily washings right after you wake up to clean off the dirt, oil, and sweat from the night, and then another face washing at the end of your day to clean off the grime from the day.
For those of you with skin on the dry side, a simple lukewarm water rinse in the morning might suffice, and you can save your deeper clean for at the end of the day.
The bottom line here is: No matter how oily you think your face is, or how much you want to wash, avoid washing your face more than twice daily as you can strip off it’s natural, protective oils and get rebound oil production and irritation.
- Moisturizer is not optional
Applying a daily moisturizer is not optional if you want to make your skin look the best it can, and, no, just drinking a lot of water won’t do quite the same thing.
Dry skin is not a good look for anyone, and it can make your skin look older, or make you look like you had a rough night’s sleep. Your skin needs to be hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water, and then it’s moisture needs to be retained by applying a daily moisturizer that adds and locks in water.
Think of this as a tool for protecting your skin from the dehydrating and drying elements of your day.
Apply your moisturizer after washing your face, as the second to last step in your routine (with sunscreen on top).
The sooner you apply moisturizer after washing your face or getting out of the shower, the more moisture you will lock-in.
- Use sunscreen every day
Photoaging is the term to describe how UV rays can damage and age your skin, and excess sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin ageing. These damaging effects from the sun can build up over time, even if your only sun exposure is 10-20 minutes a day, small amounts of damage are still done
So, be sure to apply sunscreen on all days, not just pool or beach days.
Choose a sunscreen that is made for the face to avoid a weird opaque hue, coconut scents, or ingredients that may break you out
An SPF of 30 should be good for everyday use, but if you are especially fair or spend a good amount of time in the sun, increase the SPF a bit.
Sunscreen should be applied as the very last step of your routine, after your moisturizer. You may even be able to find a sunscreen and moisturizer combination to make the process simpler.
- Use a chemical, not mechanical, exfoliant
Men normally get a good amount of facial exfoliation from shaving, so, if you shave regularly, you may be able to skip an exfoliation step.
For the rest of you, incorporating a good chemical exfoliant into your routine can help brighten, smooth, shrink pores, and prevent the build-up of excess skin cells which can cause pimples.
Your skin is delicate, so as much as you like going to town scrubbing away with that apricot scrub, the abrasive larger particles could be tearing at your skin a little too much.
Chemical exfoliants aim to do the same dead skin removal job, just on a smaller scale level using mild acids to “unglue” dry, dead skin cells. Find a product that contains AHAs or BHAs, and incorporate into your routine 1-2 times a week, after you wash your face but before your moisturize.
- Don’t fear masks and serums
Maybe you don’t want to be taking selfies when you have a luxurious sheet mask on, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t work wonders for your skin.
Sheet masks and serums are like antioxidant and skin-boosting-ingredient-packed power-houses that can be mixed into your routine a few times a week to really make your skin glow.
These should be done after you wash your face, but before your final moisturizing step.
- Retinoids are for everyone
Nobody likes fine lines, dark spots, or generally dull-looking skin.
And, as much as we don’t like it, skin starts to age over time.
Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that have been proven to help increase skin cell turnover and help reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and scars, as well as helping to clear acne.
So, if you want to have clear and youthful-looking skin as the years tick on, look into mixing in an over-the-counter retinoid such as retinol, or a stronger prescription-only retinoid like tretinoin.
However, if you are ready to venture into the world or retinoids, be aware that there may be an adjustment process in which your skin is flaky, dry, and irritated for a few weeks during the adjustment period. Also, wearing sunscreen is a must with retinoids since they increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.
- Toner for extra cleaning
Once you have the basics of washing, moisturizing, and sunscreen down, you can start mixing in a few other skin-boosting steps, depending on your skin’s needs.
Toner is a step that helps to do an extra cleansing of your skin after washing and may help those who struggle with oily skin or lots of clogged pores.
Choose a toner that is alcohol-free, and adds moisture back into the skin to avoid stripping off too many natural oils.
Toner can normally be applied as a liquid on a round cotton pad, and you do not wash it off. Include this step just after washing your face, and then continue with the rest of your routine.
- Try an extra moisturizing night cream
You may just be getting the feel of using moisturizer, but if you really want to up your moisturizing game, including a thicker cream while you sleep can really work wonders for those with dry skin.
A lighter moisturizer tends to work better for the day time without feeling too heavy, but since your skin heals and repairs itself at night, something a little thicker and packed with moisture can help you to wake up looking fresh and hydrated.
- Get treatment for blemishes
Not everyone has naturally flawless skin, so blemishes are bound to happen.
If you need help with acne, incorporating an acne treatment step can help you on your way to clearer skin.
Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are acne mainstays and can be easily found in many over the counter acne products and washes.
These ingredients can be drying on the skin, so try to keep their use to just once a day, and follow with a gentle moisturizer. For severe or resistant acne, look into getting some prescription help with formulas that contain topical antibiotics, or retinoids, or both.
- Most skincare products are unisex
As much as some skincare companies want you to think that all men’s skincare products must smell like campfires, wood, and musk, most skincare products are unisex and work for both men and women.
Plus, additive scents tend to be irritating for some, and may not be the best thing for your skin.
Choose skincare products that have gentle and simple ingredients, without drying alcohol, or irritating synthetic scents and colors.
Thank you, Franco
Franco is the editor of Strut Health, a telemedicine company. Find out more: strutyours.com/blog