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Friday, January 9, 2015

Men’s Skin Care Dos & Don’ts

Below are some basic suggestions specifically for men on what to do and what not to do for their skin. However, any post on this blog can be beneficial for all skin, male or female.

DON’T use deodorant soap on your face. They may be antibacterial, but using deodorant soaps on facial skin can cause serious irritation, not to mention the drying effect soap can have on your skin. All soaps, deodorant or not, are generally alkaline, and you want to use products that are acidic or at least non-alkaline. A foaming gel or milky, non-alkaline cleanser is your best bet.

DO use toner/aftershave without alcohol. Products with alcohol will just dry out the surface of your skin and may cause burning or irritation if applied after shaving. Using an appropriate toner can actually soothe the skin after you shave, which is what your skin needs. I recommend putting your toner in a spray bottle, which makes it easy to spray on as an aftershave. Be sure to include your whole face and neck when spraying. Toner is a quick and easy way to help calm, soothe, and re-acidify your skin. 

DO use moisturizer made for the face. Keeping the skin well hydrated helps keep your outer, dead skin soft, which might also help keep you from getting ingrown hairs. Moisturizers protect your skin from the environment and keep you from feeling dry. Many of you don’t think you need a moisturizer. Perhaps this is because you are so used to the way your skin feels without one. If you’re not currently using a moisturizer, try one and see how it feels. Use a cream formulated for the face instead of a body lotion. Make sure to find products that are made for your particular skin type as well. Even if you have problems with oil, find a light-textured cream or gel moisturizer formulated for oily skin. Gels will feel as though you don’t have anything on while moisturizing your skin.

DO exfoliate. Every time you shave you are, in essence, exfoliating the skin where your beard grows. It is important, however, to exfoliate your whole face to keep the dead skin buildup to a minimum. This will not only keep your skin feeling smooth, it will help to keep breakouts and ingrown hairs to a minimum. Whether you have problem skin or not, exfoliation is an important step for overall skin care maintenance.

DO use sunscreenit’s a must. Most of you tend to skip this very important step. I can’t stress enough the importance of avoiding sun damage; therefore, wearing sunscreen is essential. Wear it whenever you’re going to be outside. Don’t forget the tops of your ears. This is where I see a lot of sun damage on men. Even if you wear a baseball cap when running, golfing, sailing, or whatever outside activity you’re engaged in, your ears are still constantly exposed to the sun. So don’t forget to put some sunscreen there.

The same need for sun protection applies to balding heads. Many times I have seen a follicularly challenged man driving around, no hat, with the top down on his convertible. This can prove to be disastrous given time. Remember, sun exposure is sun exposure whether you’re at the beach or sitting in your convertible. The sun will damage whoever is bold enough to go outside unprotected.

DO consider getting facials (professional care). More and more men are getting facials. The stigma against skin care for men is finally abating. Why is a man getting a facial any different than a woman getting one? You get haircuts and massages just like women do. Why not facials?
Maybe you associate facials with makeup and cosmetics. Perhaps you picture Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) being worked over from head to toe, having her hair and nails done while someone else is applying makeup. I assure you, this is not what facials are all about. Facials are professional treatments meant to help the skin on many different levels. Anyone who has skin can benefit from having a facial.

There are some skin care salons that cater to a female clientele. And I can understand why you might feel a bit uncomfortable and out of place in one of those facilities. But just like gyms that are unisex, there are facial salons (most, actually) that welcome men too.

Most of the men I’ve given facials to have really enjoyed them—sometimes much to their own surprise. They all comment on how relaxing a facial is. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but they all leave with a different, more accepting outlook on having skin care treatments. I encourage you to give facials a try. They can go a long way in easing the tension out of your face, keeping your skin clean, smooth, and free from problems as well as helping you relax, which is always welcome. See Real Men Get Facials Too.

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