The Millenial man knows his stuff. He’s not afraid to try new things and new looks and he is definitely way more versed in what it takes to maintain his health, for longer, than his predecessors. But, one of the biggest areas that are still overlooked by modern men is the area of skin health. Mainly, because it can be as confusing as hell. Read on for some handy tips to get you on the road to proper skin care for guys.
Skin Care For Guys: Skin Type
The skin is your body’s largest organ. That’s right, organ. And it is probably one of the hardest working organs you have. Our skin grows, shrinks, helps regulate our temperature, and whether we like it or not it plays a large role in our first impressions. And, all of us have a different type of skin.
Skin types are split into four categories. Regular, oily, dry, and combination. Regular skin, as the name suggests, is right in the middle. Neither too oily, nor too dry. Combination skin can have a mixture of oily areas and dry areas.
An easy test to help you figure out what skin type you have is the tissue test. After washing and drying your face, simply place a tissue on it and leave it for five minutes. If there is a large oily residue then you have oily skin, if it is still practically dry then you have dry skin, if it is somewhat oily then you have regular skin.
Skin care for guys: products
Now that you’ve determined your skin type, you can move on to the pesky problem of choosing the products you will need. We’ll talk about a few of them here. Namely a cleanser, a toner, a moisturizer, and an exfoliator.
A cleanser, simply put, is a soap for your face. Unlike regular old bar soap, it’s designed specifically to work on the more delicate skin of your face. Choose the right kind for your skin, and you can use it up to twice per day. Some like to use it just before going to bed, so that the dirt that your skin accumulated over the day doesn’t get ground into your pores while you sleep.
The next step in your face care regimen should be toner. This really cleans out the pores, and cuts though excess sebum. It will leave your skin looking way brighter.
Finally, apply a moisturizer to your skin. Make sure that when you do this, your skin is still damp. The moisture helps to spread the lotion much more evenly, and also ensures that you don’t use too much. A note on fragrances. While we do enjoy a nice scent, the problem here is that the chemicals used are often pretty harsh for our skin. If at all possible, avoid them.
The other weapon in our skin care arsenal is an exfoliator. These things are great to use every one to two weeks. They’ll really slough off the old, dead skin and get to the deep grit in your pores that just won’t budge. You definitely do not want to overdo it when it comes to using them as they can cause some pretty serious damage if you do. Think, sanding a table slightly to apply new varnish. Sand too much, and half your damn table is gone.
Shaving. Friend to some, foe to others.
Now, I don’t know about you but my father never actually taught me how to shave. It was just assumed that I’d figure it out. Thankfully, I’ve only lost a bit of blood due to this but no ears.
There is however, a right way and a wrong way to do it when it comes to a skin care perspective.
Firstly, shave with the grain and never against it. This may be counter-intuitive to those of you that were in the military, but trust me. Shaving against the grain, will indeed leave your face baby soft and smooth. It will also dig much deeper into your skin than is necessary which can lead to ingrown hairs and horrible shaving cuts.
Make sure that you are shaving in small, consistent stripes. There is usually no need to go over the same spot again and again. Choosing the right blade for you is also important. Fellas with curly hair may find that 2 blades work better than 5.
Make sure to lather your beard with water first. A soft beard is way easier to shave than a coarse one, so you want to do everything you can to ensure this. Shaving in the shower is a great option and you’ll have the heat to add extra softness.
Aftershave, while smelling nice, is terribly bad for the skin. It irritates and damages the cells. You are much better off with a good, scent free moisturizer. Personally, I like to use coconut oil which is a great moisturizer and a natural sun block.
The sun is good for you. Vitamin D has been shown to have a host of health benefits, and studies suggest that most folks are deficient. The problem here comes with over-exposure and proper skin care after being in the sun.
Make sure you are getting enough so that you get your healthy glow, but also make sure that if you’re going to be in sun all day you are protecting yourself with SPF or, my favourite, coconut oil. Make sure you are giving your skin the moisturizing it will crave after being in the sun, and you should be fine.
There is no set of conditions that will universally apply to all of us guys. Some of us will have much more sensitive skin than others. Some of us will enjoy facial and body hair, and others won’t. The most important factor when taking care of your skin is this, if it looks like there is a problem then try and correct it. Test out what works for you, and enjoy your time.