Our brains love looking at faces. Faces are the first thing we see when we meet someone. It’s no surprise that we all want clean and healthy-looking skin.
Most skin care routines come with a couple of challenges. For one, they’re often far too complicated. You aren't going to spend 20 minutes in front of the mirror working your way through a 12-step checklist.
For another, they are typically designed for women. Women have different skin properties, and their skin care routines typically have to consider makeup.
Like a lot of guys, you probably prefer simple routines that you can perform quickly. You want great skin, but you also want to get moving with your day. You have a life to lead!
The following steps are important if you want great skin. They’ll take about five minutes each day. They’re applicable all over your body, but you should especially follow them for your face.
Free download: Beyond the Bathroom: 9 Simple Habits to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Clear
Your cleanse is the most important part of your routine. It’s how you clear grime, dirt, oil, and other particles that clog your pores and cake atop your skin.
Cleansing also makes other products (like moisturizers) work better because they have a clear path to get inside your skin.
First of all, throw away that bar of soap you bought at the pharmacy. It will clean your skin, but it will also dry you out. When your skin is dry, your body does the only thing it can do to hydrate itself: Produce more oil. More oil means more dirt and skin cells trapped on your face, clogging your pores and breeding bacteria.
You need a proper face cleanser that hydrates while it cleans. Cleanse your skin as soon as you wake up in the morning. A surprising amount of dust, grime, and oil settle on your skin over the night. Your pillowcase is full of the stuff.
One of your daily cleanses can happen in your daily shower, but it's also helpful to cleanse again before going to sleep. This helps to wash off the day, especially from your face.
That said, don’t be afraid to give your skin an extra cleanse during the day if you do something especially messy, like sweat, work around dirt and oil, or work with any materials that aren’t healthy to ingest. (Yes, your skin is quite absorbative.)
How do you cleanse? With mild soap and lukewarm water. Hot water may make you feel clean, but it can dry out your skin. Use your fingers or a standard bathroom hand towel to clear oil and grime off your face. Do not scrub hard.
Your skin has a protective layer called the acid mantle that works as a barrier to bacteria and other contaminants. This layer requires a stable pH to be effective.
But when you wash and exfoliate your skin, you also clear away some of that protective mantle. This leaves your face exposed to the elements and vulnerable to bacteria.
Toner is an easy-to-apply product that rebalances your skin’s pH level. Apply it to your skin once per day right after cleansing. If your toner has a spray nozzle, spray it evenly across your skin. If your toner is liquid, pour it on to a cotton pad first and then spread it lightly across your skin.
Do not dry your skin with a towel after applying toner. Let it dry in the air. It will only take a few minutes. While it dries, move to other parts of your routine, like getting dressed or handling your hair.
Once the toner is dry, your next step is to give your skin what it needs to replenish and protect itself: Water.
Moisturizing your skin hydrates and provides it with the vitamins and nutrients to continually produce more cells. It also creates a barrier on top of your skin to shield you from environmental hazards that could damage your cells, such as smoke, pollution, particulates in the air, and the sun.
Apply moisturizer to your skin in the morning to replace what you lost during sleep. You will also want to moisturize before you go to bed. Try to moisturize right after you cleanse.
Our skin is constantly shedding cells. We shed almost one million cells per day. If we don't clear those cells from our skin, they can trap oil that clogs your pores. This creates an attractive environment for bacteria like acne.
The best way to clear dead skin is through exfoliation. It will give you a brighter, healthier complexion with more colour and fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
Choose an exfoliation scrub that's right for your skin. You will want a stronger scrub if you have oily skin and a gentler scrub if you have drier skin. (More oil means more trapped skin cells.)
Most people use their exfoliation scrub on their face because that's the skin they care about the most. But you can exfoliate any of the skin on your body.
Limit your exfoliation to twice per week. Any more would put too much strain on your skin. Besides, dead skin doesn't accumulate fast enough to require daily exfoliation.
If exfoliating makes your skin red, raw, or painful, use a gentle scrub, apply less pressure, or do it less often.
The last step of your skin care routine is to wear sunscreen every day.
Sunscreen isn’t just for sunny days. In fact, the sun’s rays do damage any time they strike your skin. You’re less likely to get a sunburn in the winter, but it's still possible. Here in Australia, it’s easy to get sunburn any time of the year.
Where should you apply sunscreen? Your face is an obvious choice. The skin is thinner and more delicate there. But it’s not a bad idea to spread sunscreen to any exposed part of your body. Not only will it keep your skin healthy and clear but it will also protect you against skin cancer.
Which should you use? It doesn’t really matter. Just make sure you’re using a brand with at least 30 SPF. It should include some combination (or all) of the following UV-blocking ingredients:
The best sunscreens are the ones labeled “multi-spectrum,” “broad spectrum,” or “UVA/UVB protection.”
Oh, and since you’re already applying sunscreen, choose a brand that doubles as a moisturizer. If you commit to applying your sunscreen every day, you can kill two birds with one stone.
A lot of guys don't bother to care about their skin. Those who do often focus on their face and neglect the skin on the rest of their body. There are plenty of body parts you’d like to be smooth and healthy. If there’s a female in your life, you probably notice that she lotions her entire body. There’s no reason you can’t as well.
You may not care about your skin's appearance on other parts of your body, but healthy skin all over will make you look and feel good - especially during those intimate moments. Apply this simple skin care routine all over your body, but especially to problematic areas, such as your hands, feet, knees, and elbows.
If you have any bald patches on your head, apply your skin care regimen there as well. If people are going to see it, it may as well look good!
Now that you have a skin care regimen to care for your skin, follow these simple habits to keep it clear and healthy.
You may be thinking, “I’m older. My skin is supposed to be rougher.” Sorry, but that isn’t true! You may feel a little older, but your birthday suit can still look good.
It’s tough for us to recommend specific products or treatments. Every guy’s face is different. You may need a stronger cleanser or a more abrasive exfoliant. We could list some of our favorite products, but they wouldn’t be right for everyone.
So if you want better skin (and who doesn’t?), we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our doctors. We can help you design a skin care routine that’s right for your skin. Learn more.