Most men’s idea of a skin care routine, especially after shaving, is to make sure they’re not bleeding and then slapping some lotion on their face before heading out the door. While this is better than what most of us have been doing doing for the last 20 years, we can still do a lot better.
There are a few simple things you can add to your routine that will make you look better right away and help your skin improve over time.
As soon as you finish shaving, splash your face with some cold water. It will give you a jolt of energy and instantly make you look much more awake.
Research has shown that cold water doesn’t actually change the size of your pores, but it definitely makes them appear smaller. The smaller your pores look, the smoother your skin looks. Really splash around for a bit until you feel your sleepy zombie face fade away.
You don’t ever need to say this out loud, but your face is very delicate. Much more so than the rest of your body. When you wipe your face with an abrasive towel, you’re creating tiny scratches and tears in your skin. These tears and scratches aren’t easily noticed right away, but over time they can accumulate and make your skin look and feel rough. Also, wiping your face also wipes away most of the nutrients and oils from your shaving cream. Make it a habit to pay your skin dry as a gentle alternative.
After you’ve splashed your face with cold water and patted yourself dry, dab some moisturizer on your fingers and work it into your skin in circular motions. You should only need a dime amount, but pay attention to any dry areas and don’t be afraid to give them a little extra moisture. Don’t forget to get your neck and ears!
Which brand you choose ultimately comes down to budget and personal preference, but if you want to be nice to your skin, stay away from the alcohol. Moisturizers that replace the stinging alcohol with aloe vera and other essential oils are much better for your skin. If you want to keep things simple, we recommend Nivea’s Sensitive Post-Shave Balm.
Guys, use sunscreen. It might not seem necessary if you spend most of your time indoors, but believe it or not, the relatively small amount of sunlight you do see throughout the day running errands or getting lunch can cause real damage to your face over time, especially in the Spring and Summer.
If you know you’re going to see get some direct sunlight or if the sun is just feeling particularly hot, put on a very small amount after you aftershave has dried. Make sure to get a light sunscreen like this one from Neutrogena to avoid clogged pores.
See the Dermatologist
Don’t be afraid to see a dermatologist if there’s something about your skin that is bothering you, even if it’s not painful. Tell her what products you’re using and she can tell you which ingredients that might be causing you problems, and even recommend you an alternative.
Your skin is one of your most vital organs. If you think something is wrong, get it checked out. That’s why you pay for health insurance, right?
A good post-shave routine is all about consistency. When you find a product that you like, stick with it. Take note of any changes in your skin when you shave, and avoid excessive irritation whenever possible. Be nice to your face, and you’ll see it improve faster than you might think.