The Manliest Of Men Should Care For Their Skin, Too

It doesn't matter how burly you are, how long your beard, or how high your man bun. It doesn't matter if you drive a KingRanch F-350 or a Mazda Miata. Men, you have skin. And just like the engine under your hood, it requires care and maintenance if you want to get the most life out of it.

Taking good care of your skin should be second nature: like eating a good breakfast, enjoying a healthy run, or laughing at a belly-ripping joke. But it doesn't need to be difficult or time-consuming. A commitment to taking care of your skin doesn't mean you need to spend an eternity in front of your bathroom vanity every day, lamenting over the size of your pores and the lack of "beautiful glow." It doesn't require a desire to be the next GQ model.

It just requires some forethought and a decision to make it happen.

There are a few basic differences between men and women's skin. Testosterone stimulation causes a man's skin to be about 25% thicker than a woman's. Their skin texture is also rougher. Aside from those basic differences, the elements of an effective skin care plan still remain the same, regardless of where you stand on the gender fence.

Just the basics are all you should need in order to combat the insults of daily life and fight the signs of aging.

Pay Attention to Your Products

Make sure you're choosing products that are made for your particular skin type. Everyone's skin is different and behaves differently with different products. If you're prone to acne, look for products that say "oil free" or "non-comedogenic," as these won't clog your pores, leading to more breakouts. If your skin is sensitive and tends to easily react, choose products that are "fragrance free" since fragrances can leave your skin feeling irritated and dry. Just make sure you read your ingredients. Just because it says "unscented" doesn't mean there aren't added fragrances.

Be Clean

That seems pretty simple, right? But not cleansing your skin regularly can allow dirt, oils, and dead skin cells to build up, leading to redness, irritation, and breakouts. A good facial cleanse twice daily - when you wake up, and before falling into bed - will go far. It's also imperative to cleanse your face after exercise or working out. All that sweat and debris can only clog up the works. A good cleanse helps to slough away dead skin cells that stick together to make your face look dull.

The important thing is to reach for a gentle cleanser, not a soap product. While it can be effective at cleansing skin and preventing infection, soaps can often be harsh enough to irritate the skin. They strip it of oils that actually provide natural protection, causing dry skin.

Glycolic acid can help to encourage cellular turnover. For an even deeper clean that can stimulate the growth of new skin cells, use an exfoliating scrub once or twice weekly.

Shave Down

Listen to your skin as you shave. If you experience razor bumps, burns, or ingrown hairs, you may be a little too sensitive for multi-blade razors, which can shave a little close to your skin. Instead, opt for a single- or double-blade razor and don't stretch your skin so taut while you're shaving.

Moisten your skin well, and use a conditioning shave cream to protect your skin. Some work best if you let them sit on the skin for a few minutes before actually shaving. Work your razor in the direction of the hair growth and rinse the razor after each swipe. Fresh blades work best, so change them every five to seven shaves to minimize irritation.

Moisturize

Applying a hydrating moisturizer might sound a little too girly for you, but the truth is your skin actually needs it. A good moisturizer works to trap water in your skin which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making your skin look brighter and younger. Even oily skin can benefit from a moisturizer, as the proper product can work to balance your skin and prevent excess oils from collecting.

The best time to moisturize your skin is immediately after bathing, showering, or shaving while your skin is still damp.

Protect Yourself

The number one offender of skin damage and age-related changes is damage from the sun's UV rays. You can work to prevent damage like fine lines, early wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer by applying sunscreen whenever you're exposed to the sun. That means even when you're inside but sitting near a window, you're collecting rays. Protect your exposed skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen that provides at least SPF of 30 before you go outside. Make sure you reapply it every two hours or more often if you're swimming or sweating.

While there may not be any one approach that fits all skin types, good basic skin care can be pretty simple and straightforward and can be accomplished with relatively little fuss.

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