Most women use scores of products to treat everything from chapped lips to pigmentation. They love the ritual of applying lotions and oils and treat their skin like a prized possession. Men should also take care of their skin. It is, after all, the largest organ in your body, and the most visible one. But what is the best way? Where do you start? Fret not. We have put together a short series of blog posts that will tell you all you need to know.
For our first post, we take you through a simple, no-nonsense routine that will keep your skin looking and feeling great.
Male skin is different from female skin and thus has different needs. Male skin is thicker and contains more lactic acid, but our harsh climate and shaving can dehydrate the skin quickly. Shaving can also result in ingrown hairs and irritation.
The first step is to find a skincare brand that suits your skin. A somatologist can ascertain your skin’s specific needs and recommend products accordingly. A big plus to having your skin analysed is that you won’t end up buying the wrong products for your skin (and then leave them to expire in your bathroom cabinet). Your skincare therapist can also show you exactly how and when to use them, as well as answer any questions you might have.
The three products every man should use are a cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturiser with sunscreen. Here is some information on each and why they are important.
Men’s cleansers generally come in gel or foam formulation, which removes excess oil and provides a deep cleanse. Normal soap is a big no-no. Soap is extremely alkaline and strips your skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to dehydration. Do not wash your face more than twice a day (morning and evening). A rinse with water is fine if you need to quickly freshen up during the day.
An exfoliator will gently remove dead skin and blackheads, as well as promote circulation. Most exfoliators today have a combination of small beads and alpha hydroxy acids. The beads rub off surface debris, while the acids break bonds between dead skin cells and help dislodge blackheads. The acids do not burn or sting at all and are much gentler than a rough scrub which creates micro lesions on the skin. Exfoliate once a week for normal maintenance, and twice a week if there is serious congestion present. Don’t use any cleanser and scrub combos – they overstimulate the skin.
Simply apply the product to skin, rub it in, and leave it on for a couple of minutes before rinsing. Lastly, exfoliate before shaving, not afterwards!
Moisturise every day, in the morning and the evening. Men’s creams are light on the skin and don’t leave a greasy, shiny residue. A lot of creams contain sunscreen so that you don’t need to apply an extra layer on top of your moisturiser. Sunscreens have also improved drastically, and no longer contain zinc and titanium dioxide, which used to leave you with a white, ashy residue. Remember to apply sunscreen to the back of your neck, as well as your scalp if you shave your head.