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Healthy Skin for Him: A Guide to Skin Care for Men

Gone are the days when “skin care” for men meant little more than learning to shave, gritting their teeth against aftershave, and maybe soaping up their face in the shower. Over the years, men have become more interested in taking better care of their skin and more aware of the importance of skin health and sun protection. Men’s magazines and grooming lines have picked up on this trend, and the number of products and services targeted towards masculine clients has been growing steadily every year.

Younger men have grown up with more options and less stigma around spending extra time on their appearances, but sometimes even they are still “borrowing” products from their girlfriends, wives, sisters, and moms on the sly. Other men are intrigued by skin care or know that it’s something they should be doing, but are stuck on the idea that it’s time-consuming and hard to get right.

If you’re hoping to encourage the men in your life to start better skin care habits, or they’re looking to you for help getting started, here’s some easy expertise to get them going on the right track.

Men’s skin vs. women’s skin: What’s the difference?

Truthfully? Not a lot. In general, men’s skin tends to be a little thicker, and they’re more likely to have oily skin types. But there are so many factors that affect the uniqueness of everyone’s skin—everything from genetics to age to health to lifestyle and environment, even to workplaces—that it’s really more about his particular needs than about a whole different kind of skin care.

Three steps to great skin

The biggest obstacle for most men who haven’t done much skin care before is getting started in a daily regimen. Show him that he doesn’t have to commit to an hour a day in the bathroom—all he needs in order to move in the right direction is a simple three-step process:

  1. 1   Cleansing is obviously key! Help him choose a face cleanser that works for his skin type and needs, whether that’s a very gentle gel for his dry skin, or an AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser like SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser to get rid of dead skin cells and unclog pores before shaving. A scrub like SkinCeuticals’ Micro-Exfoliating Scrub is a great choice for a once or twice per week deep cleaning. Remind him to use warm water and rinse thoroughly!
  2. 2   Moisturizing is important even if he’s got oily skin—this step locks in hydration after washing his face and lends support to his complexion’s natural barrier. Obagi’s CLENZIderm M.D. Therapeutic Moisturizer is a perfect all-around solution, with a combination of humectants to moisturize and emollients to soften skin while strengthening its defenses. It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or worsen blemishes.
  3. 3    Applying sunscreen is the final must-have step in his daily routine. A broad-spectrum, high-SPF sun protection product like SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair SPF 50+ will guard him against not just UV light, but infrared rays and environmental aggressors, while antioxidants fight off ozone and free radicals. Everyone needs sunscreen every day, no matter the season—and he should reapply it every two hours he’s outside.


Skin Care and Shaving

Many men get curious about skin care when they notice that the skin around their jawline always looks so much better than the rest of their face, due to the cleansing and exfoliation in their shave. For other men, their lower face is its own struggle, with razor burn and irritation dogging their days.

Good skin care habits can help make shaving less of an ordeal. Washing thoroughly with very warm (but not hot) water and a good exfoliating cleanser not only softens the hairs, but clears away dead skin that can make a shave uneven. Moisturizing afterward soothes the skin and prevents the irritation that harsh aftershaves can cause. Lingering redness? Introduce him to SkinMedica’s Redness Relief CalmPlex which uses niacinamide to reduce redness and inflammation.

(Helpful hint—the biggest factors in dulled razors are corrosion from the salt on human skin, water corrosion from being stored wet or left out in humid environments, and blades getting mis-aligned. If he rinses them thoroughly, dries them completely—some men use hair dryers for this!—and keeps the razor head covered whenever he packs it to take anywhere, the blades will stay sharper for longer and also stay free of the bacteria and fungus that can thrive in the shower.)

Ready to take it to the next level?

Once he’s gotten in the swing of things with a solid daily regimen, he might be curious about what else he can do to maintain a great complexion for life. Here’s a few tips:

  • •  Many men respond well to retinol for smooth, even skin tone and texture. Start him out slow with SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex 0.25, used 1-3x/week, always at night, about 20 minutes after moisturizing.
  • •  He can skip the sunscreen before bed, obviously, but that leaves space for another third step. A serum or cream that boosts collagen production, replenishes antioxidants, or nourishes with vitamins will increase the benefits his skin gets from a good night’s sleep. SkinCeuticals’ Resveratrol B E is formulated for nighttime use to smooth and protect skin.
  • •  If he’s got oily skin and is prone to breakouts, adding a pore-clearing toner like Obagi’s CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy can prevent clogging and help keep blemishes under control.
  • •  Where does he work? Occupational skin disorders are caused by workplace factors that include everything from working outdoors, to temperature extremes, to dirt or grease in the air, to the need for repeated hand-washing. His skin care regimen might need to include some solutions like SkinMedica’s TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream to soothe rashes, itchiness, or dry skin caused by his work environment.
  • •  Make sure he knows that skin care is a marathon, not a sprint. He’ll probably notice that his skin is starting to feel great right away, but let him know that it takes 3-4 months of regular care for the full effect of any skin care regimen to really be seen and felt. That applies to every new product he adds in to his routine later, too.

It doesn’t take much to make a difference in maintaining healthy, radiant skin, so even if he starts small, the benefits he’ll get will be huge in the long run!

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