In recognition of National Healthy Skin Month in November, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) released tips on how men can improve their skin care regimen (Nov. 8, 2016).
“Men’s skin care isn’t as taboo anymore as more men embrace ways to take care of their skin at home,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, assistant professor of dermatology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, in a press release.
“Although there are key differences between men and women’s skin—for example, men’s skin is thicker than women’s—the basic elements of an effective skin care plan remain the same.”
Before developing a skin care routine, Dr. Rossi says it’s important that patients understand their skin type:
Sensitive skin may sting or burn after product use;
Normal skin is clear and not sensitive;
Dry skin is flaky, itchy, or rough;
Oily skin is shiny and greasy; and
Combination skin is dry in some areas and oily in others.
“Understanding [their] skin type will help [patients] learn how to take care of [their] skin and select skin care products that are right for [them],” said Dr. Rossi.
Dr. Rossi recommends the following tips for male patients:
Consider product labels and ingredients: The skin care products patients choose will depend on their skin type. If they have acne-prone skin, they should look for cleansers and moisturizers that say “oil free” or “noncomedogenic,” as these will not clog their pores. If they have sensitive skin, they should use mild, “fragrance-free” products, as products containing fragrances can leave skin feeling irritated and dry. However, they should beware of products labelled “unscented,” as many contain masking fragrances that can still irritate the skin.
Wash face daily and after exercise: Since regular bar soap often contains harsh ingredients that can be drying to the skin, men should wash face with a mild facial cleanser and lukewarm—not hot—water.
Watch shaving technique: For some men, multi-blade razors can work too well or shave too closely to the skin. If the patient often experiences razor bumps, razor burns, or ingrown hairs, they should use a single- or double-blade razor instead and should not stretch their skin taut while shaving. Before they shave, they should wet their skin and hair to soften it. They should use a moisturizing shaving cream and shave in the direction of hair growth. Rinsing after each swipe of the razor, and change the blade after five to seven shaves is recommended to minimize irritation.
Moisturize daily: For the best results, men should apply moisturizers to their face and body immediately after bathing, showering, or shaving while the skin is still damp.
Check skin regularly: The AAD recommends that men be advised to check their skin daily for signs of skin cancer, such as new spots or moles that itch, bleed, or change colour.
Wear sunscreen whenever outdoors: To help prevent sun damage that can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer, men should apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including their scalp, ears, neck, and lips before going outdoors. For best protection, the AAD recommends the use of a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.