5 Skin Care Tips for the Guys!
- Posted on: Oct 26 2014
There are endless articles about skin care for women. What about the guys? You want to look your best in front of clients, bosses and let’s not forget in front of that special person in your life. The most important thing about a skin care regimen for a man is to keep it simple. Not only is it easier to follow, but, unlike us, you don’t have the luxury of covering up any redness or irritation with makeup.
1. Keep your skin from drying out
Avoid aftershaves that have alcohol as a main ingredient and harsh body soaps for washing the face (it’s not the same!). These can dry your skin, making it look more dull or flaky. Dry skin is more apt to have wrinkles that become “etched” in the skin or permanent. So look at the ingredients, avoid alcohol and choose a soap specifically for the face. Also, a moisturizer or shave gel with moisturizer can keep your skin supple and smooth.
2. Choose a good razor
You can feel the difference between the razor that comes 10 in a pack and the one you spend a few extra dollars on with the moisturizer strip. Your skin will thank you when you have less ingrown hairs and razor burn. That shave gel with moisturizer you got to keep your skin from becoming dry will also protect your skin while shaving.
3. Protect your skin! Wear sunscreen every day. Also, if you are going to be outside in the sun for an extended period of time, on a boat or golfing, for example, wear a hat with a brim.
Of course this isn’t that simple. Which one? Sunscreen or sunblock? How much SPF?
Sunscreen vs sunblock
Sunscreens are chemicals that filter the sun’s penetration into the skin. They are often thin, colorless and block UVB rays and sometimes UVA, as well. Sunblocks physically block the sun’s ultraviolet radiation into the skin, so are better at preventing sun damage, skin cancer and aging changes. These contain ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They give broad coverage against both UVA and UVB light. These often have a more opaque appearance, like the white blocks that were used by many lifeguards. However, these can come in many different colors and most products now don’t have that “cakey” appearance. The coverage provided by sunblocks is very high, but is not measured by SPF like sunscreens. In general, they are at least SPF 30. Products that are a combination of sunblock and sunscreen are great because you get the benefits of each, broad coverage with a smooth texture.
How much SPF?
Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, is the amplification of your own skin’s ability to be in the sun before it burns. For example, a SPF of 15 will allow you to be in the sun 15 times longer before you burn. This does not mean that it correlates proportionally to the amount of sun that it blocks. While an SPF of 2 absorbs 50% of the UV radiation, 15 absorbs 93% and 34 absorbs 97%. So, the difference between an SPF of 30 and 100 is actually very little. So, American Melanoma Foundation recommends using SPF of at least 15. I prefer SPF of 30 for the body and SPF 50 for the face, since sun exposure accelerates the aging process. Also, make sure to choose one that protects against not only UVB, but UVA radiation. The SPF only applies to the ability to block UVB rays, so look at the labels. The UVA radiation rays penetrate deeper into the skin and contribute to premature aging.
So, the best product is a combination of sunscreen and sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 that you like the texture and will use consistently!
4. Add antioxidants to your diet
Sunscreen, sunblock only block UVA and UVB rays, but these are not the only rays that cause cell damage in the skin. Infrared radiation rays cause free radicals in the skin, causing cell damage, aging changes and possibly skin cancer. Antioxidants can protect your cells from these effects. Beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium and vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that are found in a number of foods and skin care products. In particular selenium and vitamins A, C and E not only protect the skin against free radicals, but encourage cell growth and repair of tissues that are already damaged. Therefore, they help protect and heal the skin from the inside out!
As we all know, a balanced diet can give us not only the nutrients we need, but the antioxidants too. Specifically, foods high in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, collard greens, cantaloupe and apricots. Vitamin C can be found in papaya, citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli and dark leafy greens. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and greens, bell peppers and asparagus. Selenium can be found in nuts, mushrooms, seafood, beef, pork and chicken. So, dark, leafy greens, lean meats and bell peppers are good for your skin.
5. Use topical antioxidants
The topical applications of vitamin A, C and E, as well as selenium that when used daily can prevent sun damage and help make your skin look brighter. These do not have the side effects of redness or peeling that is sometimes seen with other brightening products, that are not ideal for most men. Vitamin C has to be in an acidic environment or high concentration to be absorbed. Since the skin is not acidic, make sure your product has Vitamin C as one of the top few ingredients. Products sold in a physicians office will have a much higher concentration than those found in a grocery store. Also, there is a double blind scientific study finding that vitamin C and E have an additive effect when used together. So a combination C and E product will get you the most bang for your buck.
In summary, avoid alcohol or drying products, use a moisturizing shave gel and good razor, protect your skin with a combination sunscreen and sunblock of at least SPF30 and add a vitamin C and E serum.With some simple steps you can have the soft, youthful skin that you want and we want to touch!
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