A Roundup of Our Best Skin Care Tips for Men
Skin care is important for everyone, and while many of the recommendations I make on a daily basis are universal, men’s skin has a few unique properties that may require special attention or unique products. Here are my best tips and tricks when it comes to skincare for men.
Men Have Thicker Skin - What This Means for Wrinkles
A man’s skin can be up to 25% thicker than a woman’s due to hormonal differences that lead to a higher density of collagen and elastin in the middle layer of skin, the dermis.
Since thinner skin is more prone to noticeable fine lines, this means men have some advantages over women in the time that it takes to develop noticeable wrinkles. However, once wrinkles start, they can become much deeper in appearance on men due to the thicker skin. When early forehead wrinkles and frown lines start to develop in men, neurotoxin treatment with Botox or Jeuveau can be highly effective at preventing the progression to deeper furrows.
Another way to prevent wrinkles is to protect against premature breakdown of the collagen and elastin to help skin maintain a youthful appearance. Daily sunscreen is paramount to protect the skin from damaging and aging UV light. Elta MD SPF 46 is my go-to for daily protection.
Cleansers that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, like Glytone gel wash, can help gently exfoliate, keeping the texture of the skin smooth and reducing pore size. Retinoids, including over-the-counter retinol formulations and prescription tretinoin, are the best studied topical anti-aging treatments and are great for helping to maintain healthy collagen in skin. Avène Retrinal .05% is a recommended entry level retinoid for evening use.
Men Have Greasier Skin than Women
A man’s facial skin tends to have more active oil glands than a woman’s does. While this can help keep the skin supple and delay some signs of aging, too much oil on the skin can be problematic. Overproduction of oil can predispose individuals to acne.
When we see the combination of oily skin and acne, we typically use prescription medications in the retinoid family to help decrease the oil production and keep the pores unplugged.
Another great option for removing oil is CeraVe foaming facial cleanser, which doesn’t irritate the skin. Toners should generally be avoided as their high alcohol content can be overly drying and irritating.
Since larger pore size may also be more noticeable with increased activity of oil glands, men might want to consider resurfacing procedures, such as glycolic acid peels or microneedling procedures, which can help lessen their appearance.
Shaving Can Be Very Irritating to a Man’s Skin
The daily grooming routine many men undertake leaves a whole host of opportunities for the skin to become irritated. Improper shaving technique can lead to hairs that are cut too short and become easily ingrown, or skin that has thinned to the point of redness and sensitivity.
Shaving is best performed when the hairs have been softened after a shower or facial cleansing, followed by lubrication with a shaving gel or cream. Shaving should be performed in the direction of hair growth with light pressure and with only 1-2 passes. Rinse your blade after each swipe, and change your blade frequently to avoid pulling, rather than shaving, the hairs.
After shaving, use a gentle facial moisturizer, such as CeraVe AM cream with sunscreen or Elta MD SPF 46, to protect and hydrate the skin. Avoid harsh aftershaves that contain alcohol.
All Skin is Sensitive to the Sun
Reapply sunscreen every two hours when in the sun. While this is a universal recommendation, I sometimes feel men deserve an extra reminder. Sunscreen can lose a significant amount of protective ability after two hours, especially if the wearer is sweating or in the water. Set a timer on your phone or watch as a reminder, or reapply at the turn if you are playing a round of golf.
We hope you’ll take care of your skin! If you have any questions about men’s skin care (or women’s!) don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us!