Male skin is different. Last week we talked about why. But what do all those differences mean? Here are some of the most common skin challenges faced by men:
- Acne. Because of the increased level of male hormones and receptors for them, male acne is fairly common, but not only on the face. The neck chest and back can be in on the act too. Sweating more, especially while working outdoors and exercising make this problem worse.
Steps to take:
- Cleanse your skin twice daily with a balanced cleanser that contains ingredients like Sulfur, Salicylic Acid or Tea Tree Oil. Try not to over-cleanse as this can strip and acidify the skin making it even more prone to breakouts.
- Shower as soon as possible after exercising or working outdoors. Leaving wet workout clothes on is a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria that can feed acne.
- Don’t pick! Popping pimples causes more inflammation and a wound, which can cause scarring and worse, is a portal for possible infection.
- Moisturize. Yes, I know, most men seem to have an allergic reaction to the thought of using anything to hydrate the skin, but hydrated/balanced skin actually produces less oil, which can mean less acne breakouts.
Steps to take:
- Try leaving the beard slightly longer (.5 to 1mm) when you shave instead of going ultra close. Multiple-blade shavers can also help you make less passes over the skin, which equals less inflammation.
- Don’t tug or
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pull on the skin while shaving and don’t “dry shave”. Both of these methods leave the hair tips short and sharp so it’s easier for them to penetrate the follicle wall as they grow out.
- Use a moisturizing shave gel/cleanser that is gentle, non-irritating and has natural ingredients like licorice, white tea and Panthenol.
- If your problem is chronic and leading to infection, consider LASER hair removal treatments. This can reduce not only the density of hair growth, but the area that it covers, leaving you with less to shave and less inflammation.
3. Skin Cancer. Men are more likely to develop both Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Ethnicity/color of skin, increased outdoor activities and lack of proper UV protection are a all a part of the problem, but getting skin check-ups too infrequently or too late to detect skin cancers early, is huge factor.
Steps to take:
- Find a good zinc-based sunscreen product you like and use it. For guidelines, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2012 sunscreen guides.
- Wear a hat with a brim and neck protection if you’re going out on the boat, golfing or working outdoors for long periods. Also, check out these supplements that help protect you from UV and DNA damage from the inside.
- Find a dermatologist and make friends. Getting regular check-ups can not only mean the difference between keeping your ears and nose, but maybe your life as well.
Check in next week for some tips on easy, effective skin care to keep you healthy and handsome!