For most men, the concept of skincare has barely entered their vocabulary, let alone their bathroom cabinets. All too common is the grooming routine comprised solely of shower gel and body spray gift sets, picked from supermarket bargain bins as gifts.
But everyone stands to gain from proper skincare, and reaping the benefits is surprisingly simple.
And this is what has been taught to me by my parents since young. Back during my teenage years where my skin was prone to breaking-out, most of my skincare tips came from my mother, who was an owner of a chain of beauty salons that offered facial treatments and skincare retail. She used to tell me, If you have clear skin, it gives a good impression everywhere, especially in the workplace where skills, enhanced with a great personality and self-presentation, can work to your advantage, and having a regular routine to take care of it can keep it healthy and looking good. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and one factor that has noticeably changed is the perception of masculinity – specifically in relation to skincare. The beauty industry has long been dedicated to women, but now more than ever, men are showing a keen interest in understanding how to take better care of their skin.
We work out, eat well, and practice other self-care habits to nourish our body, so why not our skin? No matter your age, gender or race – skincare matters.
Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturise, and use sunscreen – these are the four basic steps that my mother has always taught me to keep a routine with and the habit has been engrained in me until today. But of course, as time goes by, ageing is also another factor that you need to take into consideration and this warrants for more steps. Here are good reasons why you should follow them.
Since men typically have thicker, oilier skin and are more prone to acne, cleansing regularly, at least twice a day is a must. So, a proper men’s skincare routine should start with a good cleansing in the morning and evening.
Men are less prone to dryness and dehydration than women, so a basic oil-free cleanser should suffice. If you have extreme dry skin, a more hydrating cleanser may be needed.
I exfoliate with a gentle facial scrub product at least twice a week. It’s especially important for men to exfoliate their skin for two reasons: having a thicker skin barrier means more dead skin cells. These dead skin cells mix with sebum and can cause further breakouts. Exfoliating will take care of this build-up to improve acne and reveal a smoother surface. Also, a smooth surface is important for facial shaving.
One of the most basic foundations of all skincare routines is the moisturiser, and the same goes for men’s skin care.
Moisturising restores hydration to the skin, firming it, as well as replacing nutrients and moisture lost during the process of cleansing and exfoliating. As well as this, moisturiser forms a protective barrier over the skin, which helps to prevent dirt from clogging the pores, and guards against the bacteria responsible for outbreaks.
How much moisturiser you should use depends on the type of weather you live in and your skin type. If your skin is naturally oilier, you should use a small amount, making sure to work into the skin evenly. Using too much may exacerbate oiliness and breakouts, which is why for my oily skin type I use an oil-free or gel-based moisturiser to hydrate my skin during the day.
Some moisturisers contain SPF (sun protection factor), and if you don’t want the hassle of putting layers of cream on your face like me, then this is the perfect solution. Otherwise, this will be an additional step—and it’s one of the most important.
We are all predisposed to external ageing every day from radiation, free radicals, etc. Combat unnecessary sun damage with a safe SPF product. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF more than 30 (in this case, I like to go SPF 50) to help prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of premature signs of skin ageing, like dark spots.
Other skin products that you can add to your daily routine include a vitamin C or antioxidant product, like a serum, a facial mask you can use once a week, a retinol cream before you go to sleep to minimise the effect of ageing and an eye cream to keep the eye area look supple and hydrated.