The topic of today’s blog is male skincare and skin health. 
 

Do men just need to splash out on a bit of aftershave to have their facial features and skin quality improve? Is good skin health and skincare just for women? Let’s disperse a few myths…

Everyone has a unique skin type, that is different for everybody and requires a different skincare regime. Knowing your skin type is really important, as using a skincare regime that doesn’t suit your skin type, can be more damaging to your skin. 
 
Firstly let’s find out a bit about your skin. 
 
Male and female skin types vary greatly. Male skin is 25% thicker and has more collagen due to the male hormone testosterone, a male sex hormone that gives a man their male characteristics, while oestrogen is the female sex hormone, which gives a woman their female characteristics.
 
In general, as male skin is thicker, more oily and rougher in texture, it also ages differently to female skin. Female skin becomes dramatically thinner with menopause. Men have more active sebaceous glands and therefore more open pores. A man’s skin contains more collagen, which gives it that firm appearance. 
 
Adult males are less prone to dry skin than females, as sebum production is double that of women and as a result, the pH of the skin is lower, so it’s prone to more impurities, meaning men can just have a simpler skincare routine, which is great to improve their skin health. The most important things for a man are cleansing, rejuvenating, rehydrating, and protecting.
 
Signs of ageing for men appear much later in life, sagging skin, puffy eyes, dark circles. These features all make the face look aged and tired. Regular shaving makes the skin more stressed and susceptible to the external environment. Men can minimise the harm caused to the skin and things that will help include, staying hydrated, decreasing harsh aftershave, this drys out the skin rapidly. 
 
Men shave approximately 16,000 times in a lifetime and the skin becomes more and more sensitive every time, it also reacts faster. Daily shaving causes skin irritation, it removes the uppermost layer of the immature skin cells and exposes them to external influences and threats. Using a blunt razor or insufficient lubrication will lead to nicks, cuts and razor burns. 
 

Male skin is so different to female skin. It benefits from a more dedicated approach to skincare, from products and knowledge that respect its unique biological properties. So when I see a man that has a face wash, that is 18 in 1 steps to a quick, fresh, squeaky clean skin, it just makes me cringe!! It’s not difficult or time-consuming it’s actually a lot easier than a woman’s daily skincare routine, you just need to cleanse, rejuvenate, moisturise, and protect.

 
Cleansing takes the daily bacteria off, so you don’t take it to bed. It unclogs the pores and if you use products that are too harsh for your skin type you will remove the skins natural lipid layer. You just can’t use the same soap or body gel on your face that you are using on the rest of your body in the shower, and please use shaving products that contain antibacterial properties to protect the skin from irritation and a clean sharp razor, for the closest shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it. 
 
Men need a suitable cleanser for their skin type. A cleanser can correct conditions such as acne and reduce the signs of ageing, leaving your skin feeling fresh, removing the bacteria which can lead to spots that become inflamed and infected. This needs to be done morning and night to take the bedbugs off your face and not take them into the day with you. 
 
Rejuvenating serums are the shortest path to a smooth, firm and more even tone and texture. Your body’s cells rejuvenate faster as you sleep and your systems work the hardest to correct and restore themselves during a full nights sleep. The skin is no exception, so it’s imperative that you cleanse in the morning and night and lather on in the nutrient-dense products and anti-ageing products such as retinal, which will magnify your complexion and keep yourself hydrated, nourished, protected and supported. 
 
Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant for men. It enhances the skins own defence, giving you a firmer more even skin tone and it clears broken capillaries, promoting a smooth appearance. It retains moisture, reduces dry, red irritated skin, so it’s just barely a few drops in the morning and a few drops in the evening, that’s all it takes. 
 
Next a moisturiser. When the skin lacks moisture, it appears dull and can lead to various skin conditions such as eczema. A moisturiser will enable your skin to look and feel fresh, feel soft and healthy. Emollients such as shea butter and cocoa butter will protect, soften and lubricate. If the skin is oily and greasy, you still need to moisturise, using the specific type for your skin, with hydration to encourage healthy skin turnover from a cellular level, if you have oily skin and you don’t replace the moisture, your skin will produce more oil. 
 
We lose water and become dehydrated every day through evaporation, which we need to replace. The moisturiser acts as a barrier to prevent the skins’ hydration from being lost and protects it against the environment. 
 
The last one is sunscreen protection. Guys, regardless of the temp outside, an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen is an essential part of your wash bag, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wearing sunscreen is part of healthy sun-seeking behaviour, along with a hat, sunglasses, sitting in the shade and wearing protective clothing. Sunburn is bad for your skin, if you have multiple episodes of it, it causes direct damage to your DNA cells in your skin, which can promote skin cancer. Wearing an SPF from a medical point of view reduces your risk of developing skin cancer. Take steps to protect your skin even when it’s overcast, the UV rays still appear through the clouds and increase your risk of burning.
 
Why don’t most men wear sunscreen? It’s probably a mixture of marketing/education, media and masculinity, that’s the difference between men and women, wearing sunscreen. Marketing is usually targeted at women, the importance of melanoma awareness, knowing the signs of skin cancer and the importance of protecting your skin. 
 
Media campaigns are usually targeted at women preventing sun damage, for anti-ageing reasons, rather than skin cancer or melanoma. However, remarkably men are more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, which is a really scary thing and has been scientifically linked to poor sun-seeking behaviours, such as topless sunbathing on holidays. 
 
A skincare routine for men is essential! You don’t need masks or toners, these are for the enthusiasts, but completely fine, if that’s for you. I can recommend some products, so contact me. If that’s not on your essentials list, just a few minutes a day can protect your skin and make it look easy years younger.
 
To summarise:
  • Cleanse to get the daily bedbugs off, twice a day.  
  • Exfoliate a few times a week, for a brighter complexion. 
  • Serums such as Vitamin C, provide a potent antioxidant to brighten the skin and prevent ageing. 
  • Moisturise twice each day to correct your barrier function
  • Use an SPF to prevent sun spots, wrinkles, burn, dry patches, moles and melanoma. 
  • Shield yourself from the suns rays, with that extra protective layer on top of your moisturiser. 
  • Throw out your 18 in 1 products from your vanity cupboard and get a good skincare regime for you.

    Men…. you deserve it and you owe it to yourselves. You do deserve that great skincare regime, so let’s get you started. 

Amanda Azzopardi

Advanced Nurse Practitioner