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Simple Skincare for Men

alpha_m_image_consultingTimes have definitely changed when it comes to men’s skincare. We’ve come out of the dark ages, and are now permitted and encouraged to take care of our skin. However, many of us are still clueless about what traditionally has been for women only, and have no idea what skincare is really about or how to address it.

Along with being oblivious, we’re usually intimidated and embarrassed by the mere thought of performing this ritual on ourselves. Well, I’ve written this article to help dispel your fears by simplifying skincare, so it’s easily understood and even easier to execute. Here are the skincare basics:


The first and most important place to start is cleaning your face. Gone are the days when our only options were a bar of soap and a jar of Noxzema. Today’s industry has given us a multitude of products; only adding to our confusion. There are cleansers for normal, dry and oily faces, acne prone skin, exfoliating and healing products – all great if you know which one to choose, but if not, you’re likely to throw in the towel and grab a bar of soap.

So, what’s wrong with soap? Soap is typically very drying, especially if it’s a deodorizing bar, which many of us use in the shower. Using a product that’s drying not only makes us feel uncomfortable, but sets us up for having irritated, itchy skin that detracts from our appearance. This applies to both face and body skin, so if your skin feels tight or looks flaky, and you want to continue using soap, I suggest switching to a milder brand. Fortunately, there are less drying varieties on the market today, like castile, which comes in liquid and bars. Choosing a soap that contains glycerin, vitamin E, olive oil or jojoba oil would give you added protection from dryness, also. Using soap on your face is fine, but if you want to avoid the possible dryness, use a product that’s labeled “wash” or “cleanser”, which usually exclude harsh ingredients and soap. Bath and shower products also come in these varieties, and do an excellent job of cleansing.

To cut to the chase, start by evaluating your skin. Go ahead, look in the mirror and decide which type skin you have. Do you have acne or very oily skin? Is it dry and blotchy, or does it seem normal, without any problems or flaws? After you’ve determined which type skin you have, go to the store and look for a product that addresses your kind of skin on the label. An example is Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Face Wash, specially designed for treating and helping to prevent breakouts. It’s easy to choose a product once you know your skin type and needs.

Testosterone, the very thing that makes us manly, is also responsible for turning our oil glands on, which secrete oil, often excessive amounts, onto our skin causing blemishes. The best thing you can do for your face is keep it clean so the oil does not build up, causing blackheads and acne. Aim to wash your face twice a day to keep it healthy and looking great.

If you do have problems with acne, choose cleaners that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzyl peroxide. These agents allow for deeper cleaning of pores and have antibacterial properties.

For extra oily skin, use an astringent or toner after you wash your face to eliminate excess oil and narrow your pores. Avoid any products that contain alcohol because it’s too drying. Products with witch hazel, or straight witch hazel itself, are a good choice. Apply astringent by wetting a cotton ball or similar applicator with the astringent and wipe your entire face, avoiding your eyes.


Often, washing your face isn’t enough to eliminate the heavy buildup that accumulates from dead skin cells, oil, sweat and dirt, which tend to clog our pores. Exfoliating, or scrubbing, the skin removes the buildup that often makes our skin feel rough or bumpy. The scrubbing action takes off a thin top layer of skin, much like shedding, and with it the nasty grime - revealing new, healthy skin that’s softer to the touch and fresher looking.

There are several types of exfoliators, including facial brushes, but most are creams or lotions which contain tiny beads, sea salt, or some type of crushed material, often granulated pumice or fruit seeds, that when rubbed gently, yet vigorously, on your skin are responsible for the exfoliating action. Chests, backs, hands and feet are other popular areas to exfoliate, and products designated for these areas are often courser because the skin is not as delicate and sensitive as facial skin. Always use caution when exfoliating. Do not rub so hard you cause irritation. If skin does become painful and red, discontinue use for several days, allowing the skin time to heal.

Exfoliate from one to three times a week, depending on need, and be sure to do it before you wash your face. There are many cleanser/exfoliating combos on the market; however, it’s not advised to use these products everyday, since they can be irritating to the skin if overused. When exfoliating the chest, back or feet, do so in the shower before you wash, since it will be messy.

Another benefit to exfoliating is a closer shave because the hair follicles are more exposed and softer; adding to the overall smoothness of your skin.


Soft, wrinkle free skin, isn’t just for women anymore. Men appreciate keeping a youthful appearance, too, and one way to ensure we do, for as long as possible, is to use moisturizer on your face, as well as the rest of your body. Skin is exposed to harsh elements – sun, wind, pollution, chlorine, dry heat – all kinds of things that rob it of moisture. Shaving, which opens the pores and allows moisture to evaporate, adds to the problem. Moisture is necessary in maintaining healthy, hydrated skin. Besides consuming adequate amounts of water, and eating a healthy diet that includes healthy fats, using body lotion or cream is another way to keep your skin supple and youthful.

Men have the advantage of producing more oil than women because of testosterone, but most men, especially as we age, would benefit from using moisturizer. An exception to this would be someone who has very oily skin or blemishes, where a moisturizer could be pore clogging and exasperate the situation. There are different kinds of moisturizers, which do different jobs. If your skin is dry, you would benefit from using a cream, which is thicker than lotion and gives added protection. For guys with normal skin, use a lotion, which is lighter and less oily. For those of you with acne, whose skin may be tight and has a need for a moisturizer, choose a brand that is oil free, or contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid, which help remove dead skin and keeps pores from clogging up.

Use moisturizer all over, particularly as soon as you dry off from bathing, when you skin is still hydrated and moist. Use hand cream throughout the day, but especially after washing your hands and at bedtime. Applying moisturizer before bed will give your body the uninterrupted benefit of moisture all night long. And don’t forget the fragile skin around your eyes that especially needs moisture because of having fewer oil glands. Wrinkles and crow’s feet can be kept to a minimum with the added attention of eye cream, gently dapped around the edge of the eye bone everyday and/or night. Do not apply eye cream close to the eye because it has a way of spreading upward into the eye. Putting it on the eye bone only will ensure it gets to the delicate under eye area without going into your eyes.

There are many brands of moisturizers that can be found in pharmacies, grocery markets, retail stores, health food stores and online. They come in different qualities, quantities and price ranges. Many have the addition of sunscreen, which will help protect your skin from skin cancer, not to mention wrinkles. Choose a moisturizer with at least an SPF 15 rating when opting for one with sunscreen. Whichever brand you choose, I suggest it be a name brand to ensure a reputable and effective product. If you’re ever in doubt of what to buy, whether it’s moisturizer or any other skincare product, ask a woman for her advice. No matter who she is, she’ll be more than happy to help you!

Lip Care

Last, but not least, take care of your lips by using lip balm. The skin on your lips is very thin, and has no oil glands to keep it moist. As a result, lips are subject to dryness, chapping and sunburn. Drinking sufficient water will help keep them moist, but for times when you need more, or will be in the hot sun, use lip balm, which now comes with sunscreen, also. It comes in small convenient containers and tubes, which can be easily kept in your pants pocket. I don’t have to tell you why as men we want soft lips, so include them in your skincare regime!

Rough, dry and cracked skin is no longer a part of a man’s identity.

Well kept skin in healthy condition is much more attractive and advantageous to our image. We put a lot of energy into looking our best. We workout, we follow fashion advice, we diet, we sport great hairstyles, we buy the latest clothes… and now we do skincare. It’s more than just a detail. It’s the final touch to pulling our image together - to present our best in a competitive world where everything matters.

by Aaron Marino

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