Men typically take the spartan approach when it comes to skincare – a bare-bones routine that involves splashing their faces with some water and drying it off. For some, there may even be a bar of hand soap involved. (Terrible! Please don’t do this!) The reality is, you can still take good care of your skin and not stray too far from your normal three-minute morning skincare routine.
Build a Simple Routine
A skincare routine that produces good skin – which will become more important to you as you age – needs to involve cleansing, toning and moisturizing. These don’t have to be long, drawn out or complicated. Initially, you should determine what type of skin you have and what your problem areas are. Do you have dry skin? Oily skin? Combination skin? Do you have trouble with acne? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, make an appointment and we can help you. After that, you’ll purchase a cleanser, toner and moisturizer that will work best with your skin type and your morning routine is set.
- Clean your skin with warm water and the cleanser to remove dirt, oil and other debris.
- Use the toner to help restore and maintain the pH balance of your skin.
- Apply the moisturizer to hydrate your skin, provide you with a protective barrier against the elements and help prevent ingrown hairs (more about this later!).
Good news! These can all be done in less than three minutes!
Taking Care of that Beard
Ingrown hairs are painful and annoying, so here are some tips you can add to your routine to help prevent them in the future.
- Start with skincare. Exfoliate your skin with either a gentle facial brush or facial scrub or by gently using a washcloth on the surface of your skin. This will help remove dead skin cells and clear hair follicles, which allows hair to grow outward.
- Use the right products. Look for skincare products that contain salicylic acid. This ingredient will improve razor burn in addition to helping clean, exfoliate and moisturize the skin.
- Stop them before they start. Never shave your face dry—using warm water and a moisturizing shaving cream (preferably one that does not contain alcohol) will open up pores and allow a closer shave with less razor burn. Also, shave with your hair growth, not against it. Moisturizing after shaving with the correct products will help prevent against skin infection, razor burn and ingrown hairs.
- Treat ingrown hairs properly. If you have an ingrown hair, do not remove it. Lift the ingrown end out with tweezers and then treat the skin with a product that contains an ingredient like witch hazel to help reduce the swelling.
Prevent and Correct Problems
Men come in for cosmetic procedures all the time, so don’t think you’re alone if you look in the mirror and think you might like to try Botox® or another similar filler. The difference between men and women here tends to be the timeframe they come in to treat a problem. Women typically come in before there is an issue to prevent a problem. Men tend to come in to correct a problem, such as fine lines, wrinkles or acne scarring. The message here, men, is not to wait. Schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon as soon as you start noticing those fine lines. Procedures done earlier may postpone a larger procedure down the line.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!
I cannot say this enough. Men, you have to wear sunscreen. There has been such an outcry for sunscreen that many women’s makeup products already contain it. You may not have that luxury and, typically, men spend more time outside than women. It is vitally important to protect your skin with a good sunscreen, and to reapply it as necessary, to help prevent premature aging and cancer.
Alisa Baker, PA-C, is a certified physician assistant to plastic surgeon Jamal Bullocks, M.D., F.A.C.S. She administers Botox®, collagen filler (Juvederm®) and chemicals peels, performs minor surgical procedures and assists Dr. Bullocks in the operating room.