As a whole, there are certain topics men just feel wholly unprepared to address. The latest results of Dancing with the Stars, for example. Pretty much anything about the Kardashians. And don’t even ask us about our skincare routine (hint: we don’t have one).
In reality, though, there’s something to be said about a healthy appreciation for a little bit of skin care. Do you think the manly mugs on the likes of George Clooney and Hugh Jackman just happen? We’ll chalk most of it up to good genetics, but some simple routines for self-preservation go a long way – not just for celebs – but for guys like us, too.
The most fundamental thing to avoid is dry skin on your face. Because of routine shaving, men tend to suffer from itchy, dry skin. If not addressed, this dry skin buildup makes your skin look dull, grey, and aged. To address dry skin now, and avoid dry skin later, try these simple steps to keep yourself fresh-faced.
1) Moisture: Before and After. Dry skin is essentially a thin, unmoisturized layer of your epidermis. If left for too long, dry skin can begin to flake off, leaving your face feeling itchy, scaly, tight, and uncomfortable. This can be exacerbated by the routine of shaving, which often dries the skin out further, and lifts (but not entirely removes) small amounts of this drying skin from the surface of your face.
Proactive and reactive moisturizing routines are the only way to really combat dry skin long term. When shaving, choose shave creams that are just that – creams. A long-held understanding in skincare is that any product that foams is designed with chemical agents that strip the skin of it’s moisture barrier and dry it out. Choose shave creams that come in a tube or a tub, and use high quality oils (think almond, coconut, shea butter) as bases. These creams will lend their full lubrication properties to your shave, but will maintain and protect the moisture in your skin. The downside: you may need to whisk your razor in the skink with a little extra vigor. When your shave is over, apply a small amount of oil or water-based moisturizer to keep your moisture through the wind and weather of the day.
2) Exfoliate. Before you panic – there are manly ways to do this. A little bit of soap (remember what we just learned – use oil-based soap or cleanser!) on a washcloth will do the trick. Using circular motions, exfoliate your skin once a week to help remove the buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and product. Exfoliating also energizes your skin and prompts cell regeneration and collagen production – all of which lead to healthier, younger looking skin. Another huge benefit of exfoliating: a smoother surface to shave on – leading to less nicks and cuts.
3) Treat the nicks and cuts on your face – it’s hard to moisturize, shave, and exfoliate around an open wound. When you get the occasional nick or cut on your face, get it healing as fast as possible. To quickly stem blood flow and promote healing, consider using a styptic pencil. Styptic pencils are a time-tested product – and when used in application to nicks and cuts – stop bleeding almost instantly.
Embrace these three simple steps to say sayonara to dry skin for good.