INTRODUCING YOUR SKIN
Your skin is your biggest organ, it regularly gets scratched, heated, cooled, bruised and burnt. Because your skin is the first defense against the environment, it plays a big role in protecting your body from the elements, keeps your immunity levels up by protecting against pathogens, virus and bacteria. It also has to regulate your temperature.
Skin constantly regenerates and renews itself. The outer layer, called the epidermis, is as thin as a pencil line. It consists of a protective layer of skin cells that continually sheds and gives way to new cells. Below the epidermis are the dermis and hypodermis, two layers that produce the oil, collagen, and elastin that give your skin support, elasticity, and shine.
On top of that it is also one of your main erogenous zones, yet much of the time your skin is not given any thought or much care. Perhaps it’s time to change that, after all, how good you look depends on how well you take care of it.
SKIN CARE FOR MEN
For many men skincare is an unknown quantity, although most men know that they should be taking some sort of care for their skin, many are a little uncomfortable talking about or acting on any skin care issues as it is seen as a bit too feminin. After all that’s what women do, discuss skincare and anti-aging products, wrinkle cream etc. But any switched on guy will know that they should be making the best of the skin they have. Although skincare products have historically been designed for women, times have changed and there are now many products that are designed just for mens skin types.
Is mens skin any different to womens skin?
Skin is skin, although there are different types, the skin on men and women is pretty much the same organ. There are some hormonal differences such as men having the ability to grow hair in places women dont, and men having more oil and sweat producing glands, and mens skin is a little thicker. But any skincare product for removing wrinkles, dry/oily skin products should all work the same whatever your sex.
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TYPE
There are 4 basic skin types: oily, dry, combination and normal, but be aware that your skin type will change from time to time and you will have different needs depending on the time of year, if you are under stress, or as you age.
Skin is tight, drawn, flaky with a dull complexion. Dry skin can lack elasticity and be extremely sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold temperatures. Dry skin occurs when the dermis does not secrete enough oil, or sebum. Often people with dry skin change frequently from normal to dry then back again.
Causes of dry skin
° The skin has become dehydrated because oil glands are not supplying enough
lubrication to the skin.
° Skin has been exposed to the elements, particularly in winter.
° A genetic condition.
° Nutritional deficiencies, lack of vitamin A and the B vitamins, can contribute. Grooming Health recomends
° Conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhoea.
° Reaction to a product you have put on your skin.
Solutions to dry skin
° Wear sunscreen: sun damage makes skin less and less able to hold moisture or feel smooth. Grooming Health recomends
° Moisturise: good moisturisers should have antioxidants, water-binding agents, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Grooming Health recomends
° Keep applying moisturiser: If your skin really is dry you can’t use too much. Whenever your skin starts feeling dry, put more on.
° Avoid products that are drying: do not use a soap, cleanser or any product that leaves a dry feeling on your skin. Avoid products with harsh ingredients such as alcohol. Do not over scrub skin.
° Avoid taking long showers: Too much water is bad for skin, it breaks down the skin’s protective covering.
° Exfoliate: increases skin cells turn over giving a more natural, youthful appearance, removing the build-up of old skin cells and replacing them with newer, smoother ones. Grooming Health recomends
° Use a face mask: use a moisturising mask once a week. to revitalise and hydrate the skin. Grooming Health recomends
Oily skin can change from day to day, depending on the elements. This type of skin appears as shiny, thick, or slightly waxy , often oily skin has coarse pores and pimples and other blemishes. It is prone to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. In this type of skin, the oil-producing sebaceous glands are overactive and produce excess oil and lipids than is needed. The oil gives the skin a greasy shine, the skin pores are enlarged and the skin has a coarse look.
Oily Skin Causes
° Hormone levels
° Humidity and hot weather
° Reaction to a product you have used
Solutions for oily skin
° Keep your face as clean as possible, cleansing two or even three times daily. Grooming Health recomends
° Exfoliate several times a week, this will stop pores from clogging. Grooming Health recomends
° Avoid using products that overdry skin, this paradoxically causes your skin to produce
even more oil than usual.
° Wash in tepid water, hot water can strip your skin of needed moisture, while cold water
can shock your skin.
° Use noncomedogenic moisturizers and sunscreens, they are oil-free and won’t clog
° Use a clay mask once a week this will drain excess oil and clear build-up from clogged
pores. Grooming Health recomends
This can be a mixture of all the basic types, usually the differences are in the T-zone that crosses the forehead and down the nose and chin.
Treatment for combination skin
° Look for products that normalise your skin, such as those that contain alpha hydroxy
acids (AHAs or fruit acids) or retinols, a vitamin A derivative. (Don’t use AHAs at the
same time as shaving the combination could cause irritation). Grooming Health recomends
° Try different products for different areas and follow the tips above in the areas they are
Normal skin is the ideal state for your skin to be in, to keep it this way:
° Cleanse twice a day. Grooming Health recomends
° Moisturise twice a day. Grooming Health recomends
° Exfoliate once a week. Grooming Health recomends
° Use a mask to give your skin an added lift when needed. Grooming Health recomends
° Use sunscreen to stop harmful UV rays ageing your skin. Grooming Health recomends
Your skin as it ages
One important note about skin is that it changes as you age. The skin will get thinner, dryer, and will get more sensitive as you age, so it is important that you re-visit any products you use as your needs could change and your current products may no longer be effective.
Lots of men have at least some idea that they need to take care of their skin. But in the Western world, most guys are about as comfortable discussing skin care or seeming concerned about looking good as they are with holding a woman’s purse while she shops. This aversion doesn’t change the fact that, just like women, most men need help to take the best care of their skin—they absolutely shouldn’t ignore skin care.
Basic Skincare for Men
If you have largely ignored your skin up till now, there are some steps you can start making today as part of your daily grooming regime that will improve it.
- Ditch the soap and use a proper cleanser – Soap is bad for your skin so dump it. Instead use the dedicated cleansers available that are free from harmful chemicals and gentle for the skin.
- Face scrub – Because the skin on your face is full of pores that fill with all kinds of nasty stuff, dirt and debris. It is a great idea to cleanse your face thoroughly. A decent granular face scrub will get rid of the dirt and exfoliate your skin. It will also soften the skin ready for a shave. This should be used 2-3 times weekly.
- Moisturiser – Your skin will often feel very dry thanks to the pounding it takes from everyday living. Even if you have oily skin, you need to replenish the moisture content that keeps escaping. Use a basic moisturizer containing SPF to get your skin moisture levels back up.
- Eye cream – The eyes because of how thin the skin is around them are often the first to show signs of aging. It is around the eys that wrinkles will start to appear and why you need to use a specially formulated cream for this important facial area. There are many eye creams on the market, but those containing swelling and redness reducers such as caffeine and cucumber are a good product, and the Q10 coenzyme which will help remove fine lines as well.
- Clay Mask – Although thios may seem very womanly, using a clay mask will help to deep cleanse the face removing excess oil, improve cellular regeneration and rid you of dead skin cells.