Male grooming: Skincare basics
A guy’s essential guide to healthy skin.
Sorry gentlemen, getting healthy skin takes more than just a splash of water and a bar of soap, especially if you want your skin to stay youthful well past your 20s. All it takes is a bit of knowledge, some key products and a regular routine to keep you skin in tip-top shape. To get the scoop, we spoke to Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue in Toronto (dlkonavenue.com) and Pam Baillie, P&G Beauty & Grooming External Relations Manager and Dr. Harald Büttner, Head of Beiersdorf Product Development in Hamburg.
It’s best to get in a habit of washing your face twice a day—once in the morning and once at night, using a gentle cleanser, suggests Dr. Kellett. Wash with lukewarm water and be sure to rinse thoroughly. Cleansing helps turn over skin cells and removes impurities from the face, not to mention it helps prevent pesky ingrown hairs.
If your skin tends to be on the oily side, try a gel formula, like Nivea’s Q10 Revitalizing Face Wash ($8.85), which helps to unclog pores, stimulate the skin and soften beard hair for better shaving results. Dry skin suffers should try a gentle cream cleanser, like Burt’s Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser ($12.99).
It also doesn’t hurt to include an exfoliating cleanser in your routine if you’re prone to breakouts, says Dr. Kellett. Use twice a day, after your skin is cleansed. An exfoliant is also beneficial in refining the skin’s texture—think smooth and clear. Try Gillette Fusion ProSeries Thermal Face Scrub ($6.99), designed to exfoliate, remove oils and soften facial hair before shaving or Clarins Men Active Face Scrub ($32), with microbeads, for a super deep clean.
Considering a facial? Go for it. Facials aren’t just for women; in fact many spas offer customized facials for men’s skin care needs. A facial isn’t only for getting your skin in shape, it’s also about relaxing too, so enjoy it!
After you’ve cleansed and shaved (see our shaving tips here), a good moisturizer is a must, says Dr. Kellett. The skin has been stripped of moisture and nutrients post-shave, so the addition of a moisturizer helps to lock in water. It also helps to soothe skin irritation caused by shaving and plumps up the skin to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. After your evening cleanse, moisturizer is key to help the overnight skin regeneration process, explains Dr. Büttner.
If you have breakouts or have a beard, use a gel-based moisturizer, as thicker creams have a difficult time penetrating hair-bearing areas. Try Clinique’s M Gel-Lotion ($25.50). It’s oil-free and formulated to hydrate and soothe skin. For those with a normal or dry skin, use a cream moisturizer, like Nivea’s Sensitive Moisturizer ($8.85), which is enriched with chamomile and vitamin E.
Fellas also need to be concerned with signs of aging and the earlier you start to treat it, the better. Your early 30s is a good time to start using a good quality Retinol product, which has been scientifically proven to improve aging skin. Try Shiseido Men Deep Wrinkle Corrector ($65). And if you’re particularly worried about the under-eye area, using eye creams can help to help protect from wrinkles and support the reduction of swelling, thanks to their cooling benefits, explains Dr. Büttner, who suggests Nivea for Men Q10 Anti-Fatigue Eye Roll On ($8.85).
One of the biggest mistakes men make when it comes to their skin regime is forgetting sunscreen, says Dr. Kellett. While it’s an easy thing to brush off, what you probably didn’t realize is that over 80% of the signs of aging, come from sun damage. Avoid the problem by applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day, all-year long. In addition to preventing skin damage, sunscreen slows down signs of aging and also optimizes active ingredients in your other products, explains Dr. Kellett. Having a separate moisturizer and sunscreen is best, as most moisturizers don’t provide high enough protection.
Achieving the perfect shave is easier than you think. Just follow these six easy steps from P&G’s Pam Baillie.
1. Cleanse and exfoliate. Wash with warm water to rid skin of impurities and soften facial hair, making it easier to cut.
2. Apply shave gel. Using a shave gel helps prevent the evaporation of water and keeps beard hair soft. The gel also helps to reduce friction between the blade and the skin, improving razor glide for a smoother shave.
3. Get a fresh blade. A dull razor will drag on your face, so be sure your blade is sharp.
4. Use gentle strokes. Light, gentle strokes allow for a more comfortable shave. Rinse frequently to prevent hairs and shave gel building up on the blade edges.
5. Leave hard-to-reach spots last. Cheeks, sides of the face and the neck should be shaved first. The chin and around the lips should be left until last, as these whiskers are the toughest and the more time left soaking in the shave gel will help further soften.
6. After the shave. Rinse your face and neck with warm water and pat dry. Then be sure to rinse the blade thoroughly and shake water off before storing. Don’t wipe the blades, as it can cause damage. Finish with a cool lotion or moisturizer.
Try the innovative Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Razer ($14.99), which delivers micro-pulses to reduce the feeling of the blades. Other features that help with your shave include the low-resistance coating on the blades for less tug and pull, a Mircocomb that helps guide hair to the blade, as well as a redesigned handle to allow for a better grip.