Men and Skincare
Men aren’t socially conditioned to give much thought to the health and appearance of their skin, although they really should. For the women out there that would like to help motivate the men in their lives to take better care of their skin, it may be helpful to first understand why so many men neglect to do so.
Typically, men avoid skincare for the following reasons:
- It Isn’t Very Masculine or Attractive... Men would rather spend time focusing on things they perceive make them more attractive (exercise, success, style, attitude, etc.). While all of these things are important, men typically fail to recognize that healthy skin may serve to enhance all the other things they do to improve their appearance. For example, there are studies that suggest men with healthy skin color are more attractive to women. Additional studies have indicated that “attractive” men earn more on average than “un-attractive” men. Many hiring managers recommend that prospective candidates spend as much time on grooming and appearance as they do on polishing their resumes.
- It’s Too Much Work... Many men are simply overwhelmed by the thought of adding skincare to their daily routines. They see how many products the women in their lives are using and wonder how one could possibly know how and when to use them all. Even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t have the time to do it, nor be willing to spend the money required to purchase all those products. What they fail to recognize is that they could really do a lot for their skin by using just a handful of products that would take only a few short minutes to apply.
- They Don’t Want to Shop For It... This point is closely related to the one above. The thought of shopping for skincare, on top of all the other hesitations simply tips the scale in favor of avoiding it altogether. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Men can get by with just 2-3 products. Additionally, men can take shopping out of the equation altogether if they live with a woman already using skincare. Despite the fact there are companies out there marketing skincare specifically for men, the fact is that in most cases men can use the very same products women use. This is particularly true if they are sticking to a basic skincare routine of cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.
Now that we have torn apart some of the arguments men use for avoiding skincare, let’s go one step further and discuss a simple, inexpensive skincare routine they can adopt that won’t add much time, if any to their morning routine. Here are four things men can do to dramatically improve the health and appearance of their skin.
Cleanse… Men should do this for all the same reasons women do. A professional facial cleanser will rinse away excess oils. Many men may feel they are already doing this by washing their face with soap and water. What they don’t realize is that most soaps damage the skin by drying it out and may be causing irritation or redness. For those that insist on using soap rather than a professional cleanser, look for a soap that includes moisturizers.
Shave Properly… Good luck trying to tell a man how to shave. He has been doing it for years and knows what he is doing, right? Well for those willing to listen here are a few pointers that will help promote healthy skin.
- Wash the face before shaving so any bacteria on the skin surface won’t get into freshly opened pores or cuts.
- Shave with the grain of the beard using short strokes. Apply as little pressure as possible, letting the razor do most of the work. If possible, don’t shave over the same area more than once. This will minimize the chances of ingrown hairs and skin irritation.
- After each pass, rinse the razor. When done, splash cold water on the face to help close up the pores.
Moisturize… A good moisturizer helps restore skin, make it look healthier and protects it against wrinkles. This is important for everybody, but particularly so for anybody (man or woman) that spends significant time outside in the elements. When outside, our skin is exposed to the damaging effects of UV Rays, pollution, wind, chemicals, etc. Just after shaving is a great time for men to apply moisturizer, as shaving tends to dry out the skin.
Protect… Most importantly, use sunscreen. This is without question the most impactful thing any of us can do to protect and maintain our skin. The sunscreen used should be no less than SPF15 and should say Broad Spectrum on the label. A Broad Spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can damage skin and cause cancer. Some modern sunscreens also include moisturizers, anti-oxidants and other ingredients with anti-aging benefits. These types of products are perfect for men in that they cover several important elements of skincare in one easy to use product.
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner