Well aging

Men also need to take care of their skin

Skin care and facial care are well worth the effort. There's no doubt about it. No matter whether you are male or female. Because, despite all the differences between men’s skin and women’s skin, the reasons why skincare is worthwhile remain the same.

It is kind of surprising that this question still gets asked: Do men also need to think about skin care and facial care? For women, the answer seems as clear as day. For men, this question can be answered with another one: Why not?

A long history of cosmetics

You might think that cosmetics were only invented in the last 100 years. Actually, they have been around almost just about as long as human beings have existed.

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A look at the history books shows the following: Since the dawn of human history, cosmetics have been equally important to both men and women – and not just to keep ourselves clean. It includes decorative cosmetics just as much as standard care products. In the past, men were no strangers to make-up. At the end of the day, cosmetics are for both women AND men.

There are very good reasons for this, none of which are in any way relevant to gender: 

5 good reasons to care for your skin

  • It's good for personal hygiene
  • It protects against harmful environmental factors, such as UV rays
  • It improves the appearance of the skin
  • It boosts self-esteem
  • It increases social acceptance

The skin, which is the largest organ of the human body, has many functions and properties that are hugely important for our health and the way we look. This is a good enough reason for women and men alike to take care of their skin on a daily basis. 

Looking at display shelves and reviewing the many skin care products available, it might seem that masculine packaging styles, claims and labels such as “For men” are simply marketing tricks designed to attract and convince the obvious skeptics and tempt them into buying products. In actual fact, it makes total sense to have products on sale that are specifically for men.

Discover your own skincare routine 

The differences between men's and women's skin make these products both useful and essential. For example, male skin is generally warmer and generally produces more sebum than female skin. As a result, it often appears greasier and requires different products with different treatment characteristics. Men actually also have thicker skin than women. And, obviously, they have more facial hair. Even so, we don't want to spend too much time looking at the differences in skin types – we'll hold that for a later article. Much more important is for men to know what is good for them and what to look out for in order to select the right products. 

While we did just talk about convincing the skeptics, we don't want to give the impression that we think this stereotype applies to all men. But if you were to ask around your circle of friends, you would likely find out that women tend to spend more time in the bathroom, partly because they dedicate more time to their care routine. 

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Whatever the truth of the matter, the good news is: sensible skin care doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. Men can also easily create their own care routine. A skincare routine to protect their skin. Protection, e.g. against premature aging due to UV rays. Prevention of dry skin. Protection against free radicals that can impair how the skin cell’s function, and therefore need to be neutralized. And protection from environmental factors such as dust and pollen. Healthy skin, with an intact protective barrier to protect us from harmful external influences is just as important a goal as good-looking skin. 

You may need to need to take your age into account when it comes to your wishes and needs, because these may change as we grow older. It is likely that a boy who is in puberty or adolescence it will be especially important to have clear skin – nobody wants zits.  At an advanced age, though, men will likely prefer to have skin with fewer wrinkles, a tolerable level of bags under their eyes, and skin that generally does not appear too loose or dull. As they age, men’s skin loses elasticity and tautness. The right products, e.g. sunscreen products, can help  by slowing down premature aging of the skin. Consumers' needs can today be pinpointed and addressed, helping them to feel comfortable and look good. 

Razor burn: more than just unpleasant 

To find the right skin care products, it is important to know your own skin type or skin characteristics. Face washes, day and night creams, anti-aging creams (anti-wrinkle) and even after-shave products should match the skin type, and so target issues and needs with the right ingredients. In addition to dry skin, oily or combination skin can be problematic and  even males can have sensitive skin. 

Something men should not underestimate: skin requires attention, particularly after shaving. Many people who shave will have experienced "razor burn". This is when the aftermath of shaving causes irritation and sensations like itching, burning, redness, dryness and tautness, making it feel worse than just uncomfortable. To put it in an over-the-top way: after the sharp blade of the razor has not only cut the hairs, tugged at them, and inevitably removed some of the superficial skin, the skin crys out for help – it is traumatized.

Sensitive skin in particular needs to be soothed again after shaving. Shaving creams can help by affording lubrication; aftershave products, e.g. in the form of a balm, can help to rehydrate and soothe the skin and to extinguish the razor burn. Alternatively, instead of  dry shaving, with often unnoticed dull blades, wet shaving can be different way of handling it. When sufficiently lubricated to allow the blade to glide over the skin, the skin is put under less stress and the shave will often be more thorough than a dry shave. 

Men’s skin ages too 

Men might feel like turning up their noses when it comes to so-called anti-wrinkle creams. Until the age of 30 or so, men's skin seems to work well without these products. Compared to women around the same age, it appears that men have an advantage when it comes to the aging process. However, that plus only lasts for a short time, because even if wrinkles – one of the most visible signs of skin aging – begin to show later, the process picks up speed relatively quickly. So listen up, men: your advantage disappears in the blink of an eye. In fact, some men are – at least partly – guilty of contributing to this process themselves, because they tend to use less sunscreen. And UV radiation leads to skin aging. Added to that, men's skin is strongly affected by stress -  "oxidative stress". Men tend to have less protective antioxidants in their skin that would other help protect it against the damage caused by UV rays. Men’s skin also does not retain its much-needed moisture forever, or not to the extent needed, with the result that it becomes less firm and supple. 

Whether the aging process is accompanied by wrinkles or not: if you feel healthy and well, you will make a positive impression on others. This applies to both men AND women.