Get better skin

Friday, 9 November 2012

Get better skinAsk Men have put together a great step-by-step guide to getting your skin looking healthy in no time.

Men’s skincare has come a long way from the days when your father would wash his face with a withered bar of soap and cover up shaving nicks with bits of toilet paper. Today, there are an overwhelming amount of products specially formulated to meet the needs of the stubborn (and stubbly) male epidermis. But navigating your way through the glut of grooming goods out there doesn’t have to be intimidating, and it shouldn’t be fussy either; a winning skincare regimen should be swift and simple to ensure that you’ll actually follow it.

1. Cleanse

If you do nothing else, cleansing is the single most important thing you can do for your face. It should be the basis of your skincare regimen, but that doesn’t mean reaching for a simple bar of soap (which can overcompensate and leave your skin dryer than a desert). Men’s skin typically has large pores and very active sebaceous glands. While these glands are critical for keeping the skin naturally moist, they can often produce too much sebum, leaving your skin feeling greasier than an oil slick. Neglecting to wash away the excess oil and dirt can clog pores, which leaves the skin prone to breakouts. A basic gel works just fine, but not all facial cleansers are created equal. Look for one that is strong enough to cut through the grease and yet gentle and affordable enough to be used at least once a day.

2. Exfoliate

Sometimes cleaning the skin with a simple face wash just isn’t enough. A cleanser washes away oil and dirt on the surface, but what about all that nasty stuff deep down in your pores? Even religious use of a face wash will still leave the most men’s skin feeling like a bumpy mess. That’s where exfoliation should make an appearance in your skin routine (just two to three times a week). It helps dislodge debris that normal washing can’t touch. A good scrub should have granules to help smooth the skin and eliminate the dullness that results from normal pore clogging and dirt build-up. Exfoliation also softens hair follicles for a closer, less-irritating shave and allows the skin to better absorb moisturisers.

3. Moisturise

Skincare for most men starts and stops with a basic bar of soap or cleanser. Even if you happen to live in a sauna, skin can get dry after showering and, over time, that godforsaken process known as ageing makes it lose elasticity. Add all that to the horror of placing a sharp blade next to your face everyday to appease rigid HR standards for clean-cut wholesomeness, and you have a recipe for irritated skin that’s parched and taut. Showering and shaving open up pores and allow precious water to escape, but a light moisturiser can fix everything. It replenishes the skin’s moisture content and prevents razor burn. A moisturizer with SPF will also provide a critical shield against the sun. Harsh UVB rays cause the skin to burn, but it’s the UVA rays that lead to long-term damage like deep lines and skin cancer. A moisturizer with multispectrum defense takes care of it all.

4. Protect your eyes

There is one place on the face that men almost never touch: the eyes. But the skin around the eyes is the only area that actually deserves special attention, because men don’t age the same way that women do. Instead of a slow progression of fine lines and wrinkles, men’s ageing occurs in quantum leaps, and one of the first visible signs of ageing comes from the skin around the eyes. The soft, thin layer of skin that surrounds the eye is especially prone to developing creases and crinkles long before other parts of the body begin to show their age. All of this can be prevented with regular use of an eye cream. It smooths and protects the skin, but requires serious commitment and proper usage. Applying eye cream once in a blue moon does nothing, and against all common sense, it shouldn’t be put on the soft skin underneath the eye. Instead, eye cream needs to be dabbed gently on the edge of the bone around the eye to maximize effectiveness and prevent irritation. It will slowly absorb and spread to the fragile areas that need it most.

5. Protect your lips

A close second in fickleness to the skin around the eyes are the lips. The skin here is incredibly thin and prone to severe dryness, cracking, bleeding, and burning from exposure to the elements. That’s because the lips lack both oil glands to keep them naturally moist and melanin to provide protection against harmful UV rays. A little dryness and flaking every now and then sounds like no big deal, but over time the combination of sun exposure, stress and a small cut can lead to nasty cold sores. Forget first base. You can’t even leave the dugout with contagious crap like that on your face. Regular application of lip balm with a hint of SPF once a day can help you avoid a life of being benched.

Written by Adam Fox, this article originally appeared on Ask Men.

Image: Shutterstock.com

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Adele

    This article very good for men because I don’t think they really look after their skin.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I’ve managed to get my boyfriend to use a face wash and cream instead of slapping soap on his face, but getting him to use lip balm would be a tough job for me.

    4 years ago •

  1. Debbie

    Good tips for my husband who does nothing

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Got my hubby everything he needs, now all he needs is discipline and new years resolution.

    5 years ago •

  1. Nuuh

    I will defenently be sharing this tips with my many man very good tips

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Agreed all men should follow a skincare routine

    5 years ago •

  1. Reigh-J

    Excellent tips for the guys – will have to pass them onto my hubby.

    5 years ago •

  1. Cat

    Great tips for the men, they often think that because they are men they should not have a routine when it comes to their skin

    5 years ago •

  1. JamieBaby

    Great tips for men, I should print this and let my boyfriend read it.. he has a lazy problem with keeping his skin tops.

    5 years ago •

  1. Cass1231

    Good article…more & more men are looking after themselves

    5 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Most guys don’t exfoliate :-(

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    One for the Gentleman… Surely will share and Advise em Mates:)

    5 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Thanks for the Awesome Share …

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    After years of struggling with acne prone skin i’ve just realised that a good routine with good products is basically all you need to get great skin. Oh and lots of water!!

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Passing it on ;) I am sure my hubby will have a lot to learn from this.

    5 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Great tips for men—-clean up brothers Summer is at the door!!

    5 years ago •

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