Key Skin Care Steps and Treatments for Men
Some men seem reluctant to expand their skin care routine to anything more than washing and (maybe) shaving their faces. Even adding moisturizer and sunscreen usually meets with some resistance. However, neglecting our skin may have significant, long-term consequences for our appearance and our health.
The skin is our largest organ and is targeted with protecting us from the outside world, both as a physical barrier and as a chemical barrier. Skin chemistry is very complex and requires contributions from the sebaceous and sweat glands and digestion by skin bacteria to create an adverse environment for potential pathogens seeking entry into the body. Nowadays, with our common practice of daily bathing, we strip off that oily, acidic coating but don’t allow enough time between cleansings for this “acid mantle” to be replaced by nature. So, we need to lend a hand with these skin care tips and treatments.
Mild Cleansing: Even if there is a problem with acne, the skin should not be harshly cleansed every day. Use a creamy, non-treatment cleanser at least 50 percent of the time. If necessary, target treatment to just the affected areas will minimize irritating the skin and stripping protective oils.
Strategic Shaving: Showering first, not pressing hard with the razor and going in the direction of hair growth may minimize skin irritation and razor bumps, not to mention cuts.
Toning and Hydrating the Skin: Using an alcohol-free witch hazel or other mild toner after cleansing and shaving helps re-balance the skin’s pH to its preferred slightly acidic 5.5 level. Some toners have hyaluronic acid, which pulls moisture into the skin. Adding a light moisturizer is always in order, even if you feel the skin is oily. These steps may help keep rosacea redness at bay, as well as reduce overall skin oil production.
Sun Protection: The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause most skin damage, signs of aging and skin cancers. Using sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 every day is critical for keeping skin firm and young looking. Reminders to include covering neck and ears may be necessary along with annual dermatology skin checks. Mineral sunscreens may provide better coverage and won’t burn your eyes.
Pore Clarifying Treatments: How frequently a man should have a professional facial treatment depends on age, skin type and skin issues. If there is a problem with large pores, blackheads or acne, treatments should at least be monthly until controlled, with homecare being an essential part of the process.
Microneedling: Acne scars commonly plague men. Microneedling with subcision of the scar collagen will break down the acne scar and stimulate normal, healthy collagen to regenerate in its place. A series of this office treatment will also help fill in those frown and smile lines that showed up when we weren’t looking.
The health and texture of the skin are important aspects of our appearance and the primary gauge by which our age is judged. Men want to look their youthful best just as much as women do.
Suzanne Pear, RN, Ph.D., LE works at Pampered Skin Studio, in Tucson. Gift certificates are available for any amount or facial treatment at the Pampered Skin Studio—perfect for Father’s Day. To schedule an appointment, call 520-400-8109 or visit PamperedSkinStudio.com. See ad, page 4.