Let’s turn back the clock 20 years or so… Imagine a bunch of guys at the gym discussing the best place to get a facial or the latest treatment for back hair. Not in a million years! Fast forward to today and this is a pretty likely scenario.
Modern men know that paying attention to their looks and overall skin health has good long-term returns in the way their skin ages, and they are increasingly knowledgeable about the products and treatments out there.
South African men love their “sun and sport” lifestyle. The problem with this is that all that sun exposure has a huge downside: it causes leathery, blotchy, wrinkled, sagging skin which makes you look much older, without even mentioning skin cancer – a real and serious concern for all South Africans. You need to protect yourself with the right clothing and a really good sunscreen, and by using medical skincare products packed with free-radical-fighting ingredients.
Staying competitive in a youth-focused job market means men are also looking to look youthful for as long as possible, which means that many men are seeking out advanced ageing-prevention treatments.
Prevention is always the first choice, so it's best to start looking after your skin while you’re still in your teens. But if the damage has already been done, don’t be too concerned. There is plenty you can do to reverse some of the signs of premature ageing, as well as other things that bug you about your appearance.
The regular show
With a choice of products and aesthetic treatments custom-made for males, it’s no surprise that there are many more men making regular visits to medical spas, salons and aesthetic centres for facials, peels, laser therapy, fillers and hair removal. This is besides the standard manicure and pedicure. Why put up with annoying body or facial hair, acne or unsightly looking fingernails if a quick, discreet visit to your grooming specialist can sort this out for you? And let’s not forget the benefit of a good sports massage after a gruelling downhill cycle!
Save your skin
One of the most common skin problems men face is acne. While raging hormones might be responsible for your teen acne, it can linger into adulthood because things like excessive sweating, stress and even washing your face too often with harsh products can cause flare-ups.
Eczema is also a common result of a stressed lifestyle, or you could permanently look like you’ve had one too many, when in fact you're suffering from rosacea (a condition where facial blood vessels become enlarged, giving cheeks and nose a permanently flushed and even knobbly appearance).
Shaving problems are of course very common. The beard and neck area can experience itchy, ingrown hairs; a pimply rash called beard folliculitis; and razor burn, a stinging red face caused by using a blunt razor or poor face technique after shaving – especially if you splash on alcohol-laced aftershave (ouch!). Correct shaving technique, prepping your face properly before shaving, and soothing post-shaving products can all remedy these problems.
Your qualified medical skin care therapist can assess your concerns and recommend the right course of treatment ? from topical skin care for home-use, to treatments that are discreetly performed at an aesthetic clinic.
Check out the ‘manscape’
We’re talking way beyond trimming your nose, ear and brow hairs, although those do need to be tamed. While some guys seem comfortable with back, chest and buttock hair, others are keen to see the, “back” of it. There are various DIY options available, but they can be complicated (it’s hard to shave your own back!), so many guys are opting for professional waxing or a more permanent option through laser hair removal.
The big guns
When it comes to dealing with more serious skin concerns such as acne scarring; wrinkles and ageing; and sun damage and pigmentation, more intensive treatments are usually called for. Speak to a medical skin care therapist about the best options, including injectables to tighten your skin or minimise your frown; chemical peels; fractional laser (Fraxel); micro needling; or filling in corrugated holes after acne injectables.