Believe it or not men have the same skin care issues as women. We usually do not hear about them, however, because the media tends not to focus on them as much in our society. Nonetheless, men get wrinkles and pimples, they have dry skin and they have oily skin, they are prone to skin cancer, and many struggle with ingrown hairs much of their lives. Now that these concerns have been brought to light, the question is: how do men construct a regimen that is best for them?
Let’s start by mentioning the differences between men and women’s skin care. In general, men don’t spend as much money on skin care products as women; men don’t wear as much make-up as women; and men shave their facial hair much more than women do. There are product lines on the market that target men only, and there are product lines that cater to both men and women. Furthermore, men tend to go for basic, no frills labeling and products that are multi-purpose, such as a soap that can be used for hair, face and body.
Here is a good all-purpose skin care regime for men to follow: cleanse morning and evening with a gentle facial cleanser (no bar soap since it will only dry out skin and lead to problems), use a mild shaving product when shaving, exfoliate areas not shaved or if you don’t shave regularly exfoliate the entire face 1-3 times per week, treat breakouts with a disinfecting product, use sunscreen with SPF of 15 everyday, and use a moisturizer over areas that are dry.
Since shaving facial hair sets men apart from women, the subject should be discussed further. If you suffer from ingrown hairs, razor burn or any other kind of irritating reaction from shaving, I want you to know that this isn’t normal. If you’ve ever wondered why aftershave products sting or even if they should, just remember “pain equals no gain”. Using a razor over your skin scraps the surface of your skin leaving it vulnerable; if you apply a product with an irritating ingredient afterwards, it is going to sting.
If you experience rash like reactions after shaving, most likely it is due to the product being used before, during or after shaving. Many shaving products contain ingredients that may sound nice on the label, but in reality they are very irritating to your skin. Here are some common ingredients put in shaving products that tend to cause problems: alcohol, menthol, camphor and peppermint. If you have products with any of these ingredients and you experience irritation with shaving, I suggest trying something new.
Look for shaving creams, foams or gels that contain emollient ingredients to allow for a moisturized, calm, more soothed skin. Look for aloe, silicone, or allantoin to be listed in the first 5 or so ingredients of a shaving product. On the front of shaving products many times the word “enriched” indicates it may contain skin soothing vitamins and emollient ingredients that will moisturize your skin instead of drying it out. Another important indicator of a potentially non-irritating product is “alcohol free.”
So, to the men who are reading this, remember, “pain equals no gain.” If the shaving product you’ve been using seems to irritate your skin, it is time for you to try something new. For all the ladies, take my advice and pick up some new shaving cream for the man in your life and casually swap it with what he is using now, he’ll thank you for it eventually.