For plenty of men, the concept of skincare has barely entered their mind, nevermind their bathroom. However, for most gay men we’re already ahead of the curve with extensive skincare routines that we follow religiously.
If cleansing and moisturizing sound more like incantations than something you should do every day, then we’re here to help you out. Ditch your four-in-one products that do everything but care for your skin, join the clear complexion club. Here’s the simplest way to get skincare-savvy.
Identify Your Skin Type
The most important step in skincare for men is understanding your specific skin type, what it needs to thrive and how it reacts and adapts to certain circumstances or seasonality.
Taking the time to learn your skin’s specific needs will help you choose the right products, resulting in a healthier, more radiant complexion. It’s also great knowledge to pass to your kids who will soon be teens. Here are the three common skin types. Which one do you have?
Throughout the day, your skin feels tight and there’s noticeable flaking.
You might experience dry skin because of your lifestyle, diet, climate or it might just be built right into your genetics. Dehydration is also a leading cause of dry skin, so drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can make a huge difference in how your skin feels and looks.
The best moisturizers for dry skin are those containing hyaluronic acid.
You experience dryness on your cheeks and have an oily or shiny t-zone (forehead, nose and chin).
The dilemma with having combination skin is needing products that give you the best of both worlds. You need to keep your t-zone in check but you also need to retain moisture where you need it most.
Moisturizers with a gel-like texture are absorbed more quickly and best for this skin type.
You’re often oily and shiny with congested pores.
Do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is oily skin sufferers tend to look younger because of the natural moisture their skin produces, meaning fewer wrinkles. The bad news is it takes a bit more work to manage than other skin types.
A gel-like moisturizer is ideal, paired with a gentle exfoliator to prevent sebum buildup.
Keeping your skin balanced and beautiful needs a ritual almost. Speaking of which, have you got one?
Have a Daily Routine
Forget all the fancy cold creams and jade rollers; a standard 'three-step regimen' should suffice. We know all that fuss when you’re just trying to get the kids ready to school or head out for date night can be a pain.
Although children don't need these steps right now, it’s a good opportunity to show them for when it's time. That way, they’re not scrambling for easy skincare tips on the internet (or busy borrowing all your new expensive skincare items).
You don’t need masks, serums or toners. All of those things certainly do help, but they’re more for the enthusiasts out there. Did you know people have fridges especially for their skincare?
Focus your efforts on the basics: Stock your sink ledge with the following essentials. Cleanser, exfoliating scrub and moisturizer. You won’t add more than a few minutes to your daily routine, but that time spent can make you look and feel better in your skin.
Following a routine is so much easier than having to swoop in and save your skin from years of neglect. We’ve detailed a typical morning and night routine that you can follow. Let us know how you get on.
- When you wake up, cleanse to remove all that grime you accumulated while you slept (since your pillowcase is a conduit for that sort of thing).
- This should be your first step. When you wash your face, you remove the dirt and excess oil that has settled inside your pores and atop your skin. Think of it this way: You need a clean canvas before you start putting anything on it.
- After you cleanse, you should scrub away any dead skin cells that would clog pores and otherwise lead to breakouts. This exfoliation also allows healthier skin cells to surface and give you a brighter complexion. You should only exfoliate twice a week and some scrubs even double as cleansers, making your life that much easier.
- Once you’ve cleansed and buffed the skin, it’s time to hydrate and protect your face before you heading out for the day. Whether your skin is oily, dry or combination, this is a staple step. Moisturizers come in many different variations and it can be a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry. Identifying your skin type makes it easier to find products that work for you.
- Once again before bed, cleanse to flush away the day’s buildup. It’s especially important if you work in a bustling city with complexion-comprising toxins.
- Sleeping helps your body regenerate and rest. A moisturizer or night cream can help lock all that good stuff in and leave you waking up refreshed and baby smooth.
Oh, and this goes without saying: SPF! UV rays can lead to wrinkles, sunburn and even more devastating effects. The sun is responsible for 80% of visible aging when it comes to men’s skin. To make sure this isn’t an additional step, check to see if your moisturizer can help you out.
When it comes to keeping your family protected, SPF 30 is a safe bet but children might need higher for their delicate skin.
Hopefully, you’re clearing your bathroom as we speak to make way for your new skincare arsenal. If all else fails, these tips should have you well on your way to better-managed skin.
- Before you start incorporating lotions and potions into your routine, make sure you introduce only one new formula or product at a time. That way, you can easily identify what’s not quite working for your skin.
- Patch testing a new formula on your inner forearm is an excellent way to minimize potential reactions on the face. If you show no sign of a flare-up, apply the formula to behind one of your ears before finally using it on your face.
- Look for labels that identify formulas as non-irritating and non-sensitizing and free of parabens and synthetic fragrances. These ingredients can result in redness and itchiness and one to avoid if you have sensitive skin.
- Avoid doing anything that damages your capillaries. In other words, don’t squeeze pimples and blackheads if you want flawless skin in the long run. Definitely one to share with acne-prone hormonal teens.
- You are what you eat. Make sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of water and exercise, your skin will thank you for it.
- When it comes to price, don’t always assume the more expensive, the better the product will be. Trust the ingredients above all else.
Our skin and what it needs to look good evolves over time. Taking steps to best identify those requirements is essential for it to function and look its very best. For more health and wellbeing content, head over to our blog that’s packed with advice and tips.