The Modern Male Skin Care Guide
by Edie Pastis
The majority of skin care products and cosmetic skin treatments available today are geared towards women. But what man doesn’t want healthy, clear skin too?
To help men achieve noticeably smoother, clearer, younger-looking skin, we’ve created this useful male skin care guide! Keep reading for recommendations on today’s top male skin care treatments and products, as well as insightful healthy skin habits and basic information about male skin care.
A Closer Look at Male Skin
It’s common to assume that caring for male skin should follow the same rules that apply to female skin. However, recent skin studies reveal there are several differences between male and female skin composition that can affect the treatment and care of each.
Some of the biggest differences between male and female skin include:
- Pore size
- Oil production
- Skin thickness and structure
- Hair growth and coverage
On average, male skin is 20-25% thicker than female skin. Thanks to a stronger, interwoven tissue structure and a richer collagen supply, aging male skin is also less prone to deep wrinkles and uv damage than female skin is.
Men have larger pores than women do but smaller oil glands. In spite of the reduced oil gland size, men experience greater sebaceous activity and oil production thanks to higher levels of testosterone. As a result, men tend to sweat more heavily and can experience oilier skin than women, which can lead to greater acne and breakout problems.
Another key difference between male and female skin relates to body hair growth and thickness. Discounting cases of female hirsutism, men generally produce more facial hair and body hair. This extra hair growth can cause men added difficulty with ingrown hairs and clogged pores.
Understanding how male skin is structured and how it behaves can be advantageous to improving your skin. Next, we’ll cover 10 Steps to Better Male Skin, which goes over basic male skin care, proven healthy skin habits, and effective male skin treatments!
Better Skin for Men in 10 Steps
1) KEEP MALE SKIN CLEAN
Cleanliness is key to keeping male skin healthy, blemish-free and youthful-looking. Some of today’s best facewashes and cleansers can not only remove dirt, impurities and excess oil, but they can moisturize, protect and even exfoliate too! In order for men to find the best cleansers for their skin type, they should heed product information and identifying labels for sensitive, oily, dry or combination skin.
Sticking with that familiar, fuss-free bar soap might be the easy facewash or body wash choice, but not necessarily the best one. Men seeking premium skin shouldn’t be afraid to branch out in their skin care choices. The best male face cleanser for you may be in bar, liquid, cream or gel form!
Male Facewash Picks
Finding the right male facewash or body wash for you may require some trial and error. If you’re the thrifty sort, many popular drugstore skin care brands like Burt’s Bees, Nivea, Clarins, L’Oreal and Neutrogena now feature male product versions.
If you’re seeking top-of-the-line male facewash, male product lines from Zirh, MenScience, Anthony Logistics, Jack Black, LAB Series and Kiehl’s are a few highly rated brands.
2) KEEP MALE SKIN CLEAR
For some men, effective skin care requires some dutiful complexion attention. Not only does a man need clean skin, it should be spot-free and clear as well. This means tending to male acne, blemishes and blackheads as they develop or recur.
Getting to the bottom of male acne will likely require a dermatologist’s assessment. Once men are aware of what’s triggering their acne or breakouts, the problem will be much easier to manage. To keep male acne at bay, men should use facial care products specially formulated for acne-prone skin, as well as products that are appropriate for their unique skin type. Other suggestions for keeping male skin clear and blemish-free include regular cleansing and exfoliation, proper diet, and avoiding excessive touching, picking or irritating breakout areas.
Male Acne Treatment Picks
Male acne-fighting skin care products often contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or a blend of alpha hydroxy acids. If only one or two blemishes are the problem, spot acne treatments like Neutrogena On-The-Spot, Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment, Zirh Fix gel, and Origins Spot Remover can be appropriate choices.
All-over acne care products are offered by most of the skin care brands named in the previous section. Some male user favorites include MenScience Acne Therapy Lotion, Origins Zero Oil lotion, and Anthony Logistics Complete Acne Treatment.
3) KEEP MALE SKIN SMOOTH
For men with rough, dry skin or conditions like eczema and psoriasis, smooth skin can be difficult to maintain. Even if men apply moisturizer liberally to problem skin, there can still be skin texture issues resulting from dead skin build-up and slow skin shedding. Thus, the trick is to frequently moisturize male skin in combination with regular exfoliation and cleansing. Severe cases of eczema and psoriasis may require dermatologist-prescribed medication.
To remove dead skin cells, which can clog men’s pores and add to rough skin texture, men should use an effective exfoliating treatment at least once a week. Exfoliating every other day may be necessary for men with excessive skin buildup. Pairing a male astringent or toner with the daily cleansing routine is also recommended.
Male Skin Texture Treatment Picks
Since male skin trends toward being oilier, choosing oil-free male moisturizing lotions and creams might seem like the way to go. However, products with natural oils like almond and avocado can provide some of the richest moisturizing action available. Just stick to lighter or oil-free formulas for facial moisturizing, since facial skin is thinner and oil production there is greater!
Some popular male moisturizing lotions include Zirh Protect, Neutrogena for Men Sensitive Skin Oil-Free Moisture, MenScience Advanced Face Lotion, Anthony Logistics Glycerin Hand and Body Lotion, and LAB Series Day Rescue Total Face Therapy.
For male exfoliating scrubs and treatments, many guys favor Anthony Logistics Mud Scrub Exfoliating Bar, MenScience Microfine Face Scrub, Billy Jealousy Sucker Punch Face Scrub, and Sharps Daily Prep Foaming Scrub.
If an over-the-counter male face scrub or moisturizer is still leaving male skin wanting, professional skin rejuvenation procedures can provide that extra amount of nourishment and skin conditioning that’s needed. For effectively removing men’s dead surface skin, Microdermabrasion, Vibradermabrasion or Chemical Peels are widely used.
4) KEEP MALE SKIN STUBBLE-FREE
Male facial hair, when neatly tended, can be very attractive and associated with a rugged handsomeness. However, a smooth, strong jaw can be just as masculine and ideal! For men who shave their facial hair, keeping things shorn and smooth is a frequent chore. That’s why having top-of-the-line shaving creams and razors to aid that agenda is so important!
To avoid a scratchy, stubbled neck and jawline, men should opt for top-of-the-line shaving products to keep their skin smooth and touchable. After shave balm or lotion can also help men achieve their smoothest shave results ever. For a long-lasting hair-free face, some men turn to laser hair removal treatments.
Male Hair Removal Picks
Top-rated shaving creams like Zirh Shaving Cream, Men-U Shaving Cream, and Philosophy the Common Man shaving cream are reputed to soften hair, moisturize skin and deliver a very close shave. Barc shave cream specifically caters to dark-skinned men, and Bold For Men Dry Shave Gel goes on clear and enables waterless shaving (useful for camping or when your girlfriend is hogging the bathroom…again).
Male shaving razors from Gillette and Schick still rank consistently high in consumer tests. The Gillette Mach3, Gillette Fusion and the Schick Quattro are especially popular among men who want a smooth shaving experience.
If men have trouble-spot hair growth areas, like between the eyebrows, to eliminate, or want to put off shaving in the long term, male laser hair removal might be an appropriate solution. By having a series of laser hair removal sessions performed, men can expect to have hair-free skin for several months at a time, or indefinitely if they have a maintenance hair removal session every once in a while. Male waxing or electrolysis are other possibilities.
5) KEEP MALE SKIN SCAR-FREE
Some men like to wear their scars proudly, like badges of honor. But unless you’re starring in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie, prominent and minor facial scars on adult men can be unsightly and undesirable.
The first step in male scar treatment is to avoid scars from developing in the first place. Whether you’ve nicked yourself shaving, popped a pimple, or suffered a burn or deep laceration, men should try to keep their skin well-moisturized and protected while the raw cut is healing. And absolutely no picking those scabs!
After getting a fresh facial cut, quickly wash the injured skin and apply an antibacterial cream like Neosporin to speed healing and prevent infection. Once the skin starts to heal, we recommend applying a thin layer of scar treatment cream like Mederma, Bio-Oil or ScarAway frequently to the injured area. Natural remedies like cocoa butter or vitamin e oil can also help prevent scarring.
Male Scar Treatment Picks
For men with older facial scars or who have sustained substantial facial wounds, professional laser scar treatments might be the best option for removing scar tissue. Popular male scar treatments include Fractional Laser Resurfacing or Fraxel, and IPL Photofacials. Microdermabrasion treatments for men can also help eliminate stubborn surface facial scars.
6) KEEP MALE SKIN WRINKLE-FREE
Male skin isn’t prone to wrinkling as much as female skin, but that doesn’t mean men are safe from pesky skin creases and furrows. Skin abuse, sun damage, poor health habits, genetics and aging can still create wrinkle problems for men. Thus, it’s just as important for men to take good care of their skin.
For young men, moisturizing, avoiding heavy sun exposure, and nixing cigarettes may be sufficient steps toward wrinkle protection. Older men may require the help of more intense male wrinkle treatments and products, in addition to maintaining proper skin care habits.
Male Wrinkle Treatment Picks
In terms of professional male wrinkle treatments, the options can include Laser Skin Resurfacing and Microdermabrasion for minor wrinkles. Deeper male facial wrinkles may require Botox injections or Xeomin, dermal filler injections, or facial rejuvenation surgery like Facelifts and Brow Lifts.
7) KEEP MALE SKIN TONE EVEN
Great skin isn’t just smooth, wrinkle-free and clear of acne, it also has a nice even skin tone without redness, discoloration, blotchiness, rosacea or port wine stains. Many men don’t experience these issues as much as some women, thanks to their thicker, more resilient skin.
Temporary skin redness, blotchiness or discoloration can frequently be traced to allergenic sources. Ruling out possible skin and/or food allergies might be a practical first step toward treating discoloration problems and skin flare-ups. Some skin studies have identified alcohol, caffeinated beverages, high-fat foods, dairy, vinegar, soy sauce and spicy foods with triggering rosacea flare-ups. Alcohol may also worsen conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Male Skin Tone Treatment Picks
Since rosacea and similar skin tone problems are often inherited conditions, men will have a harder time treating this problem with standard male skin care products. If no skin allergies or food sensitivities can be linked to a man’s skin tone issues, than it may truly be a genetic condition.
In that case, undergoing professional skin treatments like Microdermabrasion or Laser Skin Rejuvenation every once in a while may help diminish obvious skin tone problems. If the treatment doesn’t help current skin conditions, the best course would be to pursue professional dermatologic help.
8) KEEP MALE SKIN NOURISHED
In addition to external skin care, men should be nourishing their skin internally by consuming a healthy diet and staying hydrated. As touched on in the last section, alcohol, dairy, and foods with high fat and high sugar content are well-recognized skin agitators to possibly be avoided. But avoidance of skin irritants is only half of the battle. The other half is eating foods that fuel better skin health.
The male skin care diet should include plenty of water for adequate hydration. At least 8 glasses or a liter of water per day is recommended, but more is preferable. As far as food goes, male skin health can benefit from a balanced diet that includes:
- Dark greens
- Brightly colored vegetables
- Antioxidant-rich fruits
- Whole grains
- Vitamins A, C, B and E
- Monounsaturated fats
- Lean protein
Vitamins C and E have been shown to help protect skin from sun and free radical damage, while Vitamin B or Biotin is essential to the development of new skin cell, nail and hair growth. Vitamin A is popular in anti-aging skin formulas for its role in skin repair and maintenance. Needless to say, male skin can only benefit from consuming foods rich in these skin-boosting vitamins.
9) KEEP MALE SKIN PROTECTED
Since skin is essentially one big living organ, it’s as sensitive to damage, irritation and abuse as other important parts of our body. In that sense, male skin care should extend to protecting skin from external and environmental attacks.
Even if you’re using top-of-the-line male skin care products and eating a healthy diet, skin can be rubbed the wrong way by seasonal weather, air quality, clothing fabrics, heavy friction, product chemicals, fragrances, etc. For this reason, it may be worthwhile for men to examine what their skin is exposed to during a regular day. Some questions to ask could include:
- Do you wear sweaters, shirts or jackets made of rough fibrous materials that chafe and scratch your skin?
- Do you spend a lot of time in extremely hot, dry, windy or cold weather?
- Does frequent shaving cause you regular nicks, cuts or ingrown hairs?
- Do you live or work in an area subject to heavy air pollution and/or poor air quality?
- Are you involved in a career field or sporting activity that frequently results in scrapes, cuts, bruises, burns or other skin injuries?
- At home or at work, are you frequently in close proximity to toxic substances, powerful chemicals or industrial cleaning agents?
- Do you live or work in a building with mold problems, excessive allergens (plant or animal), or ventilation problems?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above, then you’re a man who’s likely subject to skin irritants and skin damage, be it on a mild, moderate or severe level. After identifying external skin irritants, men may be able to make simple changes in their day to day routine that could benefit their skin in the long run!
10) KEEP MALE SKIN RESTED
Men’s skin won’t be magically transformed by a few more minutes of sleep per night, but consistently getting a full 6-8 hours of sleep nightly can help keep male skin youthful, vibrant and hydrated.
In deep phases of sleep, insulin and cortisol production spike to accelerate collagen production. Inadvertently this helps firm up the epidermis and maximize water retention.
Another benefit of a night of deep, uninterrupted sleep happens at the fourth stage of the sleep cycle, just before REM sleep kicks in. Growth hormones peak at the fourth sleep stage to initiate and accelerate skin tissue repair and regeneration!
Male Skin Care Conclusion
In this male skin care guide, you’ve hopefully gained a much better understanding of how to properly care for and maintain manly skin. If you still have questions about male skin care maintenance, professional male skin care treatments, or other male skin care information, it’s recommended that you go see a licensed skin care provider in your area for a male skin care consultation!
Not only will a qualified skin professional be able to personally assess a male patient’s skin conditions and needs, he or she can make appropriate male skin treatment recommendations to correct the issues at hand.
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