As featured in Beautify Magazine
In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in societal attitudes towards skincare, with more emphasis on self-care, well-being, and personal grooming. While skincare routines have long been associated with women, there's a growing awareness of the importance of skincare for men. Men, like women, face their own unique skincare challenges, and taking care of one's skin is not about vanity but also about health and self-confidence.
Men's skin differs from women's in several ways, greater sebum production, thicker epidermis and added facial hair. These differences can lead to a distinct set of challenges. Men’s thicker skin is attributed to higher levels of collagen and elastin, while this offers certain protective benefits, it also presents hurdles in skincare. Thicker skin has a greater number and size of sebaceous glands, responsible for oil production, which often results in an increased tendency toward concerns like acne, enlarged pores, and excessive oiliness. The overproduction of oil can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts and fostering an environment where bacteria thrive.
Enlarged pores are another concern for many men, as the excess oil and dead skin cells can stretch the pores, making them more visible. Excessive oiliness can lead to a shiny complexion and increased vulnerability to blackheads and whiteheads. These skincare challenges are largely driven by hormonal factors, particularly the presence of higher testosterone levels, which stimulate oil production. These natural oils are important for the skin’s natural protective barrier to help retain moisture and regulate the skin’s pH balance. Men need to be careful not to over strip the skin of these oils through excessive cleansing or harsh products, which can lead to the skin overcompensating by producing even more oil. The use of the correct products for skin type is extremely important.
The combination of thick skin plus facial hair can lead to various skin concerns for men, particularly when it comes to shaving. Shaving, an essential part of many men's daily grooming routines, can often result in irritation, redness, razor burns, and ingrown hairs. The reason behind these problems lies in the complex interaction between the razor blade and the hair follicles, along with the overall skin composition. As the razor blade passes over the skin, it can remove not only the hair but also the top layer of dead skin cells, potentially causing friction and damage to the underlying skin.
One of the primary concerns for men is ingrown hairs. When a freshly cut hair re-enters the skin instead of growing out, it can lead to painful and unsightly bumps. Ingrown hairs are more common in individuals with curly or coarse facial hair, as the hair tends to curl back into the follicle. This condition can be exacerbated by improper shaving techniques, such as pressing too hard or going against the grain of the hair. As the hair curls inward, it can cause inflammation and infection, making the skin appear red and bumpy. To combat these issues, men must use appropriate shaving products, including high-quality razors and shaving creams, and adopt proper shaving techniques with a skincare routine. Men who suffer from frequent ingrown hair should incorporate exfoliating products into the regime to help remove dead skin cells and prevent the buildup of debris that may contribute to ingrown hairs. Application of soothing, anti-inflammatory products can help reduce visible signs of redness and irritation.
Regarding hair, some men suffer concerns of hair loss. Skincare does not only apply the face, but there are also products to support scalp skin. Shampoos and serums help condition the scalp as both a preventative and treatment options. These products support the environment in which the hair grows to assist with scalp the feeling of dryness and itching, plus restoring the appearance of hair as it grows.
Skin ageing is a universal process that affects both men and women, but men may experience it differently due to various factors. As men age, their skin gradually undergoes changes such as a reduction in collagen and elastin production, leading to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Environmental factors like prolonged sun exposure, smoking, and poor skincare habits can exacerbate the signs of ageing. Men often have thicker skin, which can provide some natural protection against wrinkles, but it does not make them immune to the effects of time. Proper skincare, including moisturising and the use of anti-ageing products, can help mitigate the visible signs of ageing and promote a more youthful-looking appearance. A simple routine of cleansing, moisturising and sun protection can often be enough for most men, with multi-tasking products if time poor.
In the 21st century, the notion that skincare is exclusively for women is rapidly fading away. Men need skincare just as much as women, understanding their unique challenges and adopting appropriate skincare practices can help men address and manage their skin effectively. Beyond the physical benefits, taking care of one's skin has a profound impact on self-confidence. Clear, healthy-looking skin can boost self-esteem and enhance one's overall sense of well-being. So, to all the men out there, break the stigma, and start taking care of your skin; you'll thank yourself in the long run.
A good skincare routine for men should include the following steps:
- Cleanse your skin with a facial cleanser that is suitable for your skin type twice a day. You can use a toner to remove excess oil after this if you have oily skin.
- Moisturise your face after cleansing. You should moisturise your face and any dry patches on your body at least once a day.
- Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day. Take extra steps to protect your skin in summer by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
- The best time to shave is after a shower when your hair will be softer. Use shaving cream or gel to protect your skin and replace disposable razors regularly. Store your razor in a dry area to prevent bacteria from growing on it.
- Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular exercise. A healthy lifestyle is important for all parts of your body, and it can reduce stress, which is bad for your skin.