If you printed an article such as this 30 years ago it probably would have been largely ignored and/or ridiculed. But over the past few decades, the number of male grooming products appearing on the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores around the world has grown. Millions are spent on advertising these products and many more spent on the products themselves. So why the sudden change in attitude towards male grooming?
Well, the simple answer is that it’s not only women that want to look good. As soon as men see wrinkles appear, they want to do something about it. So question is, what do you use and when? The actual regime is very similar to a women’s skincare, but there are obviously going to be differences due to the differences in skin type.
The most important part of an effective facial skin care routine for men is cleansing. Ideally, you will do this twice a day in the morning and evening, but the former is the most important. Be sure to use a water soluble cleanser – and most importantly don’t use soap directly on the face. Male skin tends to be slightly oilier than female skin, so this cleansing is essential to keep the skin free of oils as well as other pollutants such as dirt and grease.
Another very important part of the skin care routine is shaving. Shaving is obviously very rough on the skin, but there are ways to cause less damage. The lazy and cheap option is to grow a beard of course, but there are many products on the market for every part of your shave. There are so many different types of razors, and you would expect the more expensive of the range to be the most effective. But you only really need to ensure that you are using a razor with a swivel head, as those that do not are more likely to result in cuts. You can buy many different shaving oils, gels and foams but make sure that you choose one that is the right skin type for you. Many people disregard this information and don’t ‘look before they leap’ and using the wrong product will invariably damage the skin rather than help it.
Another important thing for after your shave is to avoid using alcohol based ‘after-shave’ products – your skin will look and feel healthier if you use a professional post-shave balm. If in doubt, then your pharmacist will be able to help you out.
Skin can be affected by many things such as exposure to sun, pollution and extreme weather conditions – as well as shaving! Therefore it is important to keep your skin hydrated and moisturising is essential to keep your skin at its best. Anyone with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis should obviously consult their doctor prior to purchasing any given moisturizer, in case they cause more harm than good.
Many products available right now combine different stages of the grooming process, such as shaving foams and balms that have an added moisturiser, but it is recommended that a separate moisturiser that you are comfortable with is used to ensure healthy skin.
Taking Care in the Sun
Naturally, this is important for everyone, not just men. Skin cancer is on the increase year after year around the world, and it is essential that you protect yourself using an effective sunscreen. Male skin is more resistant to UV radiation, but that is no excuse and whenever going out in the sun, make sure you apply plenty of product to any exposed area – and wear a hat if you’re going a little thin on top! There are many different SPFs (sun protection factors) out there, so the more sensitive your skin, the higher SPF you should use.
So as you can see, a good skin care routine can not only keep you looking young and healthy, it could also save your life. Ask any good pharmacist or your doctor if you are unsure about any of the products that you consider buying as it could prove costly to your pocket and to your skin.
Ben believes that every man should take good care of his skin, and there is nothing feminine about that. He writes for a UK-based skincare and fragrance retailer. Escentual.com carry men-only brands like Lab Series, as well as more general ones.