Gone are the days when guys could claim that the words “man” and “moisturiser” should never appear in the same sentence. In fact, no self-respecting modern male should go through life without at least a rudimentary understanding of skin care. There is more to grooming than slapping on a bit of aftershave in the morning.
An effective skin care routine will barely take a few minutes out of your day and will help you preserve a healthy, firm and youthful-looking skin even as you progress in age. But there are enough male grooming products out there to confuse the socks off any uninitiated man. Not to worry. With only a few basic tips you should be ready to embrace your healthier-skin self in no time.
Start by establishing what your skin type is.
Dry skin feels tight, flaky and …well, dry to the touch. If it’s particularly sensitive it may be easily inflamed, irritated, tingly or itchy with reddish blotches.
Oily skin will leave greasy spots on a tissue if you wipe your face with it first thing after getting out of bed in the morning. Your face will have a tendency to look shiny and to break out in acne spots.
If you have combination skin, some parts of your skin – most commonly around the nose and forehead – are oily, while others – the cheeks and around the eyes – are dry.
Each of these different skin types requires different skin care products and if you’re not sure about yours, why not chat to an expert consultant at a quality skin care counter the next time you visit a department store? They’ll also be able to advise you as to the most appropriate products for your skin.
Three easy steps
Get familiar with the three classic stages of a good skin care routine: cleanse, tone and moisturise. If you want to take things slow, you might want to get started with just a moisturiser and perhaps add a cleanser once you’re more comfortable with the idea, but I bet you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll be on a proper three-step programme in no time.
So here is what’s involved every morning and evening:
• Cleanse. Don’t wash your face with the same soap you use for the rest of your body. It will strip off all the important natural oils and leave your skin dry. Use a gentle cleanser instead. Chose a face wash that fits your skin type. Wet your face with warm water and rub the cleanser over it in circular motions, paying particular attention to the forehead and nose and then rinse. You can do this step while you’re in the shower. Once a week or so you may want to use a facial scrub – a face wash with gritty bits – to remove dead skin cells and leave your skin smooth.
• Tone. This step gets rid of any traces of cleanser left on your skin. It also cleans your pores and then temporarily shrinks them. Apply the toner to a cotton ball or pad and swipe it all over your face, once again focusing on the sides of the nose and forehead.
• Moisturise. Make sure you do this as soon as possible after you’ve cleansed and toned. If at all possible, chose a moisturiser that contains an added sun protection factor (SPF 15 is fine). A pea-sized bead should be enough to cover all of your face.
• Try out different products to see what works for you.
• If you are losing hair or are bald, don’t forget to include all of the exposed bits of scalp in your skin care routine.
• Yes you can use your wife or girlfriend’s products, but you might prefer something with a more neutral or masculine scent and she might not want to share on a permanent basis.
• Look for skin care products made from natural components whenever you can. No point in covering your face with a cocktail of synthetic chemicals.
• Don’t forget about the rest of your body. Spots that benefit from regular attention include your neck (you can use the moisturiser you use for your face), lips (lip balm), elbows (moisturising body lotion) and hands (non-greasy hand cream).
• If you get stuck, ask a woman. She’s likely to have an answer to most of your skin care questions.
(Andrew Luyt, Health24, July 2011)
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