When it comes to skin care, there is a lot of information out there. But mostly it is focused on women. And that does not seem right. Because when it comes to taking care of the skin, and protecting the skin’s health, everyone should be equal. Of course there are differences between men and women when we are looking at the skin – so skin care tips specifically for men are a bit different. We sat down with a few skin experts to talk about this, and to share their best guide to skin care for men.
The difference between men and women
The general care for skin is very similar for women and men”, explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Diaz. “But there are a few differences to take note. Men’s skin is about 25% thicker with more collagen and larger hair follicles making the skin a bit harder to penetrate with products.
Men also tend to have more frequent breakouts because of their larger oil glands that produce more sebum than women. Because of this men should go for cleansers that are a bit lighter, non-scented, and foaming.“
Get a basic routine down
Dr. Joyce Park, NYC dermatologist and blogger, is focused on the basics. “Men need to start taking care of their skin early even if they may not realize it”, she states. “My recommendation for my male patients is to get a basic routine down with just the essentials: sunscreen in the morning, and face wash and lotion at night. Sunscreen is especially important; by putting on an SPF 30 broad spectrum sunscreen everyday, men can protect against skin cancer and also slow down aging, meaning discolorations, leathery sagging skin, and wrinkles. “
Other tips Dr. Park would like to share:
1. Never use dull blades to shave facial hair as these can nick your skin or cause ingrown hairs
2. Always wash your face after a sweaty workout so you don’t clog your pores
3. Remember to hydrate often
Cleanse, but be gentle
Adding to that is Dr. Skandamis, the Medical Director and co-founder of Universal Dermatology & Vein Care. He goes into more detail for what is needed to keep men’s skin healthy.
“Men should utilize cleansers that contain AHA (alpha hydroxy) or BHA (beta hydroxy) acids—these help with the exfoliation of the skin.
“Especially since men have facial hair, a gentle chemical exfoliation can be very beneficial. This can help keep pores clear of dirt and oil beyond what your traditional daily care provides. Oil-free should be a key theme for savvy men looking to have healthy skin—this is true for moisturizes, face washes, and sun screen.”
Siqi Mou, founder of HelloAva, agrees with that. “Due to shaving, male customers usually experience ingrown hair around their chin area, which could contribute to breakout and clogged pores”, he comments. “I recommend male customers to exfoliate diligently 2-3 times a week at night using exfoliating pads, or scrub before going to bed to reduce ingrown hair and reveal clear and healthy skin.”
Any tips that are just for men and don’t apply for women?
“The key skin health tip which applies to men and not women relates to taking care of their facial hair”, adds Simona Mazenyte, who is a skin therapist.
“Facial hair particularly beard hairs can sometimes grow back into the skin which lead to ingrown hairs. They often go away on their own but sometimes produce raised red spots, which can become infected and turn into painful, pus-filled sores. I advise my male clients three tips to minimize ingrown hairs:
1. Shave in the direction that your hair naturally grows, and do it the same way every day. This can also help train some of the unruly hairs so that they grow in the same direction.
2. If you maintain a beard, moisturize it with oils matched to your skin type. For example, jojoba oil is great for dry skin.
3. Brushing your beard will help prevent in-grown hair and make it part of your normal shower routine. Do it at the end, when your hair has softened from the warm water.
Skin cancer risk for men
As a few experts already highlighted, men might not realize fully how important skin care is – and why it is good to start early to have long term results. Another skin health issue that aligns with that, is skin cancer risk. Men seem less aware about the risk for skin diseases, and for example how tanning influences this. Sun exposure is the biggest cause for skin cancer cases and therefore men should be careful.
To illustrate that; An estimated 52,170 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 34,940 in women will be diagnosed in the U.S. alone in 2017. To bring these numbers down, both men and women should monitor their skin closely. Try using the SkinVision app to take pictures of your skin and get an instant risk indication – and to follow development over time.
That completes the guide to skin care for men, which should give you the pointers to set up your basic routine and to make further improvement to really care for your skin health.