What do men want when it comes to their skin? They want to look their best without having to invest a lot of time and energy into skin care. In fact, dreading a complicated routine, they tend to neglect skin care altogether!
Let’s acknowledge the fact that all skin needs some basic care. Here are some easy tips that don’t ask for a lot but can make a massive difference to the way your skin looks and feels.
1. Shower with warm, not hot water
Everyone loves a long, hot shower, especially when the weather’s cold outside. But this is exactly what makes the skin dry and flaky. Hot water washes off the natural oils of the skin which are essential for retaining moisture.
Ever wondered why your skin gets all dry and itchy sometimes, especially in winter? This is a likely major contributor. Shower with warm water instead and limit your shower time to 5-7 minutes. Also, pat dry your skin gently instead of rubbing it with vengeance!
2. Start moisturizing
Dryness makes your skin not only itchy and flaky, it also makes it look dull and dehydrated. Every time you shower or wash your face, apply a moisturizer. This will keep the skin’s moisture sealed in and prevent fine lines and cracks. Your skin will feel supple and soft.
If you’ve never moisturized your skin before, it’s a good idea to start by understanding a little bit about your skin before jumping for the next moisturizer in the supermarket.
If your skin tends to get oily, go for a light, moisturizing gel. On the other hand, if your skin feels stretched and peels a lot – then you have dry skin. The best products for dry skin are heavier moisturizing creams and balms. A cheap option is petroleum jelly or glycerin. If your skin feels normal, go for a moisturizing lotion.
It may take a little bit of experimenting till you find the right moisturizer for you but it’ll be worth it. You’ll feel the difference only when you try it!
Moisturize not just your face, but also your neck, hands and legs. Make it a habit to go for your moisturizer every time you wipe your face or body.
3. Switch to a cleanser instead of soap
Why should you? After all soaps do a pretty good job when it comes to cleaning, right? And that’s the idea of washing your face and body anyway, isn’t it?
The problem with soaps is that while they remove the dirt off the skin, they also remove all the natural oils. They basically strip away the natural moisture barrier of the skin making it vulnerable. Dryness is the most common resulting issue but there’s also skin sensitivity, breakouts and inflammation in some people.
You may think, ‘I’ve been using soap all along, I seem to be doing just fine’. You may not realize the effects of soap in the longer term. The harshness of the soap makes the skin age faster so you may see wrinkles develop earlier than they should! There’s also a chance that your skin may develop sensitivities over time and end up looking and feeling unhealthy.
Cleansers are milder than soaps. They don’t dry out the moisture by keeping the natural oils intact. You will notice how they don’t make the skin feel stretched out the way soaps do.
4. Shave after your shower
Do you get razor bumps after your morning shave? Razor bumps are a form of inflammation, a skin response to the brutal razor. They don’t look or feel nice and can leave behind scars and spots.
Razor bumps occur when the hair follicles get irritated. They can be reduced by softening your stubble before shaving. An easy tip is to simply shave after you shower so that the warmth of the water makes the hairs softer and more pliable.
Friction between the blade and the skin can make your skin hard over time. Use shaving creams to lubricate the shave and reduce the abrasiveness of the blade. Avoid creams that contain alcohols, instead go for those that contain moisturizing elements like glycerin, sorbitol or oils.
5. Skip the aftershave
The idea of an aftershave is to prevent infection that might be caused by nicks and cuts caused by the razor. There was a time when everyone used straight razors and aftershave was necessary. Think about when was the last time you used a straight razor and cut your skin. It’s probably years ago and it doesn’t really make sense to use aftershave, does it?
Aftershaves are usually alcohol-based to kill germs. They have a drying effect on the skin. Avoid them, especially when unnecessary. Instead, simply moisturize your face after a shave to soothe and calm it.
6. Check the label before buying products
It will be worth your while to spend a little time checking the ingredients of your skin care products before buying them. Unfortunately, many products come with a long list of harmful chemicals that may make you prone to risks. Here are some words to remember to check:
- Noncomedogenic – sounds complicated but simply means something that doesn’t clog your pores and therefore reduces the chances of blackheads and acne. This might be especially useful for you if you have oily skin and if your skin tends to breakout often.
- Alcohol-free – Alcohol is harsh on the skin, avoid it as much as possible
- Oxybenzone – This is a common ingredient in most sunscreens you must avoid. Despite being FDA approved, this chemical penetrates deep into the body and has been linked to the risk of tumors.
- Parabens (any kind – Butyl, Ethyl, Methyl, Propyl) – These are preservatives used in skincare that are known to cause hormonal imbalance. Avoid them.
- Synthetic fragrances – Artificial scents are added to products to make them appealing. Steer clear of benzene derivatives, tuolenes, aldehydes and phthalates as they are carcinogenic and can also cause hormonal imbalance.
7. Protect your skin from the sun
While everyone loves a dark, tan look, the sun isn’t doing any good to your skin! The UV radiation penetrates deep into the skin causing damage and resulting in premature aging, sun spots and dryness. There’s also the risk of skin cancer in some people.
Always cover your skin with a sunscreen or sunblock to reflect or dissipate UV radiation. Look for one with a minimum 30 SPF. Apply sunscreen even when it’s cloudy outside as UV rays don’t get blocked by clouds.
Avoid the afternoon sun as much as possible and wear protective clothing – full-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and sunglasses.