Men, ever wondered if you must begin a skincare routine? With the plethora of products available in the market, we understand that it can be quite overwhelming not knowing where to start. However, building an efficient skincare routine may seem complex, but it has surprisingly great benefits, and both men and women stand to gain from this. Sun damage and exposure to environmental pollutants can damage the skin barrier, leading to a host of skin problems over time. Men’s skincare may have been neglected in the past, but now no more. We are here to break it down simply for all the men out there, and make skincare easy, effective and straightforward.
HOW IS MEN'S SKIN DIFFERENT?
Knowing the differences between the skin of men and women can help you decide what skincare products to focus on. To begin, the biggest influencer separating the two genders are their dominating hormones. Males have more testosterone, which makes their skin thicker and oiler compared to their female counterparts, who have more estrogen that affects the skin’s collagen and elasticity. There are a few significant differences between the skin of men and women, classified as follows:
A man’s skin is 25 per cent thicker than women’s skin. As men get older, their skin starts thinning at a higher rate. Women on the other hand maintain the level of thickness till their 40s after which the thinning rate increases at a fast pace. We can say genetically men have thicker skin throughout their life.
2. Oil production
A man’s skin produces 4 times more oil than women as they have larger pores. They can experience more blackheads and clogged pores leading to breakouts. As they age, oil production does not slow down, this can lead to prolonged acne experienced even through their mid-30s. On the plus side, this helps to keep the skin moisturised and prevent the protective barrier from breaking down.
3. pH balance
The optimal pH value of the skin lies between 4.7 to 5.75. Even though both men and women have acidic skin it was found that women have slightly more acidic pH levels compared to men due to the high level of Lactic acid found when men sweat.
Both men and women lose approximately 1 percent collagen every year after the age of 30. The high level of testosterone present in the skin increases collagen reducing skin ageing for men. Women on the other hand have a decreased level of collage production after menopause and lose about 30 percent of remaining collagen in their first 5 year.
5. Skin hydration
Till the age of 50 men do not lose too much water due to their stronger skin barrier. The increased oil production acts as a natural moisturiser. Their skin does not get as dry compared to women who’s ageing skin produces less oil making dryness a major concern.
On average a man shaves 16,000 times in his lifetime. This common practice is a two sided coin. While they benefit from the extensive exfoliation, it can adversely make the skin more sensitive causing irritation due to exposure of the delicate top layer. It is noted that 40 percent of men face shaving related skin problems such as hyperpigmentation due to direct exposure to sunlight without using sunscreen.
These differences make it distinctly clear why men and women need different ingredients to meet their unique skin requirements. The variation in skin composition and texture affect the way you choose your skincare routine. Broadly speaking, while women should choose products focusing on moisturising and collagen production, men must focus on products targeting oil control and hyperpigmentation.
WHY IS SKINCARE IMPORTANT FOR MEN?
Skincare among men has always been hiding in the shadows for a few reasons such as its feminine overtone falsely forming stereotypes, lack of product available in the market specifically for men and a generation of society unaware of its importance. It is still an underrated topic in the current scenario but times are changing and it is important to talk about men’s skincare for the following reasons:
HOW DO YOU START A BASIC SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR MEN AND WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF IDENTIFYING YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Before you pick a random product that you think might work for you, focus on understanding your skin type and feeding it with the ingredients it really needs. Everybody has different skin types ranging from dry, oily to combination. Are you unsure of your skin type? Take this test. Read on to start a simple skincare routine suitable for all men:
Step 1: Always cleanse your face with a face wash to have a clean base to apply the products to follow. While women are recommended to cleanser once a day, men can use it in the night as well as day. Scrub away dirt, grime and pollutants with the power of Coccoon No More Grime French Red Clay Face Wash.
Step 2: Exfoliate using Sukin Oil Balancing Charcoal Pore Refining Scrub or Sukin Men Facial Scrub to gently polish the skin whilst keeping pores clear of impurities. As men tend to have oiler skin and active sebum production, they need to get rid of the excess oils to avoid the pores being clogged especially for those with more facial hair.
Step 3: Use the right shaving gel or soap. Look for a product that does not produce too much lather to get a nice close shave. This will help to avoid development of ingrown hair and bumps. Try the 23 Yards Shaving Gel known for its hydrating and soothing properties that leaves the skin soft, conditioned and clean.
Step 4: If you were to invest in any one anti ageing product, you must choose an eye cream. The collagen production reduces in areas where the skin is thin as there is not enough skin to hold the collagen. The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, by using an eye cream you can prevent wrinkles and fine lines and gently hydrate the eye area. Neemli Naturals Caffeine & Cucumber Under Eye Cream is a botanically formulation that targets eye bags, puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.
Step 5: Moisturising is key. The perfect moisturiser should be lightweight oil free, anti shine. Regardless of how much you sweat or level of humectants present. The skin has a unique oil balance that needs to be maintained, if you use products that are overly drying and strip too much oil from your face, your body will try to bring back your natural balance and accelerate oil secretion leading to breakouts. Hydration is the key to anti-ageing. If you do not want to use too many anti-ageing products, use must at least moisturise to prevent premature ageing. Try Sukin Oil Balancing Mattifying Facial Moisturiser that encourages skin revitalisation and refreshes acne prone skin with a matte finish.
Step 6: Men are exposed to more sunlight than women. Applying a sunscreen such as the Paul Penders Herbal Sun Prosperity has is a fast absorbing, non sticky formula that provides safe, long lasting protection from sun damage. It will help to form a protective layer against the harmful rays that penetrate through the clouds, curtains and windows. Choose a sunscreen with hydrating and protective properties.
WHAT ARE SOME BASIC SKINCARE TIPS THAT MEN CAN FOLLOW?
When it comes to their daily skin routine men want it quick, and we totally understand. But, you do not necessarily have to add too many steps to attain better skin. Simply making small changes and remembering these easy skincare tips will give your appearance a major boost.
1. Skincare is not only about what you put on your skin but also what you eat. Your diet indicates how healthy your skin will be. Reducing sweets, processed foods, oily content will make a big difference to your skin.
2. Consume at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Dehydration can make your skin look duller and drier. It flushes out all the toxins in your body, balances the oil and water content on the skin, prevents excess sebum secretion and keeps you energised.
3. Switch your towels and pillowcases regularly. Often, we overlook the tiny things that are not directly related to our skin or routine. Regularly washing your towels and pillowcases is vital for your skin because these are the things that are in direct contact with your face. Imagine, if you use the same towel for two weeks after cleansing your face the bacteria and impurities will transfer on the surface of your skin because of acne.
4. Applying heat helps to increase the absorption level of your skincare product allowing your products to work better by absorbing maximum amounts of nutrients. It opens up your pores and makes the skin more receptive. Steaming your face or using a facial heat wand is a great way to do so.
5. Cleaning your skin intensely is harmful as you over strip the natural oils that it needs leaving it dry and flaky. Avoid using bar soaps to wash your face and switch to using a face wash. Here it is important to remember you can not use your body wash as a face wash as we have thicker skin present on the body and the ingredients present in the wash will be too harsh on the face.
6. You must wash your face twice a day once in the morning and once in the night before sleeping. Most men wash their face only in the morning and skip the evening scrub to rinse off the dirt and oil that accumulates in your face throughout the day.
7. Stop stressing too much, sometimes all you need is some time out. High stress levels can cause hormonal spikes that promote breakouts and can aggravate skin conditions.
Your skin plays a huge role in feeling confident and achieving personal style. Skincare is not only something you do to treat a problem; it is an ongoing process. Commitment to your basic skincare routine will definitely make you glow inside out. So, man up for the man in you and embrace a skincare routine to preserve your overall well being.
- Howrah Lookmanji