The world of men’s skincare has come a long way from a can of shaving cream, a splash of aftershave, and a trusty bar of soap. Even so, few guys would put man and moisturizer in the same sentence. Sure, men’s and women’s skin is different. Male skin is oilier, sweatier, and 20 percent thicker. But the belief that men’s skin is somehow more resilient than women’s? Consider that myth busted.
Take sun damage, for example. Recent research has suggested that men’s skin may be more susceptible to UV-light damage, perhaps because men’s skin cells carry fewer antioxidants.
So does that mean a man’s skin really needs that fancy, pomegranate extract-filled moisturizer? “Men need a regimen with at least three steps–cleanse, tone, and moisturize–to keep skin in top shape,” says Randall McGee, aesthetician at the Sir Spa men’s spa in Chicago.
With a balm for every body part, starting that routine can be overwhelming (and no one expects you to stop and ask for directions). So here are some tips to get headed the right way.
1. Start by washing the face. Though lathering up with soap in the shower may save time, the skin (especially the face) probably needs a more balanced treatment. Manufacturers formulate bar soap to be fairly alkaline when compared to the acidic 5.5 pH level of the skin. Look for a pH-balanced cleanser instead.
2. Screen for damage. Studies have shown that men are less likely to use sunblock and more likely to be diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Don’t act as though you’re too tough for it. The sun is way tougher.
3. Neutralize free radicals. Supplement with a multivitamin, and choose an antioxidant-rich moisturizer to battle signs of aging inside and out.
4. Ease into it. Just pick a few basic products at first. As you get comfortable with your routine, try adding an exotic treatment once a week, like a fruit facial peel or a bamboo body scrub.
5. Don’t be afraid to explore. It’s what men do, right? Try an eye cream. Maybe you’ll like it, especially the way its antioxidants helps keep those “distinguished” wrinkles at bay for a few more years.
For Women Only: Get Your Man in a Mask
1. You’re a master of the beauty queen routine. You’ve conquered cleansers, tamed toners, and surmounted serums. Yet you struggle to convince your man to try a mask. Before you throw in the towelette, try these tips from Rebecca Hausen of www.menscience.com to see if you can coax him into doing something special for his skin.
2. Buy products for him. Men who don’t understand the value of high-quality skincare won’t purchase it themselves–until they try it. When they do, they’ll see a difference in the way their skin looks and feels, and they may even start buying it themselves.
3. Make skincare about solutions. Get him something specially tailored to his unique needs. African-American men, for example, tend to get ingrown hairs–give him an exfoliant, shaving cream, and post-shave serum, and he’ll be eternally grateful.
4. Get romantic. Schedule a special at-home spa night for the two of you. Not only will he be able to step outside his skincare comfort zone in private, you’ll enjoy some pampering, too.
Splurge Facial Cleanser
Sunshine Botanicals Cleanse & Clarify
This versatile cleanser works on the scalp and the face to keep pores breathing. Cucumber extract calms irritation, and milk fatty acids keep skin bright and smooth. ($39, 8 oz; www.sunshinebotanicals.com)
Designed to reduce inflammation, this cream combines pumpkinseed oil with essential fatty acids and minerals to boost overall skin health, blue malva essential oil and astaxanthin to calm redness, and antioxidant green tea extract to counter free radicals. ($13.99, 2.25 oz; www.mychelleusa.com)
Aubrey Organics Men’s Stock Daily Rejuvenating Eye Cream
This organic cream contains oat protein, which has been shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as moisturizing humectants and antioxidant liposomes. ($18.80, 0.5 oz; www.aubrey-organics.com)
Lavera Men Care All-Round Moisturizing Cream
Certified organic, this cream contains jojoba, almond, and olive oils for nourishment, as well as sal butter, an emollient from the shorea tree that helps soften and smooth the skin as well as promote elasticity. ($13.99, 1 oz; www.lavera.com)
Splurge Facial Mask
The Art of Shaving After-Shave Mask
The rose desert clay in this cream absorbs impurities and restores minerals; the calendula reduces post-shaving inflammation; and a blend of essential oils heals and rejuvenates the skin. ($65, 50 ml; www.theartofshaving.com)
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