When it comes to skin care, most information is geared toward women, with good reason. Facial skin is usually thicker on men than on women’s faces, and men don’t have sensitive skin as often as women do. Even so, daily skin care is important for men. The following tips can help men take care of their face to have healthy skin.
Choose the right cleanser. Bar soaps can dry out your skin so it’s best to choose liquid soaps that usually contain more moisturizers. However, if you prefer a bar soap for your face, look for one that contains moisturizers such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, or emollients such as glycerin. These won’t dry out your face as much. If you have acne, be sure to look for soaps that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide which will help control acne breakouts.
Wash your face** daily.** Depending on your skin type, you want to limit how many times a day you wash your face. If you have dry skin, wash your face once a day. This can be done either in the morning or before bed, unless you have used sunscreen or other products on your face. In that case, you should wash off these products before going to bed. If you have oily skin, washing twice a day is fine. Keep water warm but not hot and pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it dry to avoid dryness and irritation.
Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells, which can leave your skin looking dull. Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis also helps soften the hairs on your face, making shaving easier. Use a commercial exfoliating product or make one of your own. Apply the scrub in a circular motion and then rinse your face.
Use** moisturizer**** every day.** No matter what your skin type is, you should use a moisturizer every day. You want to look for one that works for your skin type - for dry skin look for an oil-based moisturizer and for oily skin look for a water based one. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer around your eyes.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. As important as applying moisturizer is, it is equally important to hydrate your skin from the inside out. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily to help your skin look healthy and hydrated.
Use a good razor. Skip the cheap razors; better razors will give you a closer shave and cause less irritation. Look for a double or triple blade razor. Electric razors also cause less irritation but won’t give you as close of a shave.
Before shaving, rinse your face with warm water. While your face is still wet, apply shaving cream and allow it to sit on your face a few minutes to help soften the hairs and lubricate your skin. Shaving gels work better if you have a tendency toward razor burns. Shaving when your skin is still damp from taking a shower can also help to reduce razor burn.
Shave with the grain of your hairs. Apply minimal pressure to the razor; if you have to apply more pressure, it means your blade is dulling and you should switch blades or get a new razor. Pull your skin taut as you shave to get a closer shave.
Once you are done shaving, rinse your face with cool water. Pat your skin dry, rubbing with a towel can cause irritation, especially after shaving. Apply aftershave (look for aftershaves that do not contain alcohol) and moisturizer once you have finished shaving.
Look for facial products that are fragrance and alcohol free. These products can dry out your skin and cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
When testing new products on your skin, apply the product to a patch of skin that isn’t in plain view. This allows you to see if the product will cause irritation or an allergic reaction without it appearing on your face.
Always use sunscreen. Protecting your face from the damaging rays of the sun is important year round. Make applying sunscreen to your face part of your morning routine. Other ways to protect your skin include limiting sun exposure between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM and wearing sun protective clothing and sunglasses. Don’t forget your lips. Lips tend to sag with age and don’t have any melanin for skin protection. Use a lip balm with sunscreen daily.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.