By: Hannah Hartz
Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years’ experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz shares the skincare routine all guys should be following.
If you are reading this and you already have your thoughtfully-chosen, multi-step, separate-morning-and-night routine, this guide is not for you. You are already enlightened, bless you. Now if nothing from that first sentence made any sense to you, and you’re wondering to yourself, “why isn’t my ‘all-in-one shampoo/face wash/body wash’ cutting it?” then listen up. This quick guide has your name all over it!
Let’s start by taking a peek at the differences between men’s and women’s skin – and why our average points of interest in skincare are divided. Besides the societal fact that men put less pressure on themselves to stay looking young and fabulous all the time, men’s skin actually does have biological differences that cause it to age differently than women’s, giving us ladies more of a push to find anything we can to keep our skin looking as youthful as possible.
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Men are graced with higher collagen density in their skin as well as more consistently thicker skin throughout their lives. Women’s skin starts to thin out fairly rapidly around the time we hit 40. But it’s not all fun and games for men. With thicker skin comes rougher texture as well as more pronounced pore size and higher rates of sebum (oil) production as a result of higher secretions of the hormone androgen. You may say “who cares!” but no one likes blackheads, and excessive sebum prevents positive products from being able to penetrate into the skin. Beard hair can be a quick way to cover up any imperfections, but that, too, is not without its issues! Beard grooming and shaving can lead to sensitizing the skin below, as well as irritating it and exposing it to potential bacteria. It can also lead to nicks in the skin from bad blades or even frustrating ingrown hairs.
So, what’s a guy to do? Don’t worry, I won’t give you a million time-consuming steps that will take over your whole day. There are some pretty simple ways to start adding in basic necessities to your routine to keep your skin healthy and looking and feeling great.
Yep, a real one. Not a soap or an “all-in-one.” A real good cleanser. Wash your face in the morning when you wake up (or after working out) and then again at night before bed (or after working out). Your skin is exposed to a lot of junk throughout the day that may cause breakouts and irritation. These are things that you want to make sure to rid your skin of before you go to sleep, so your skin can properly renew itself. In the morning, you want to wash off all the dead skin cells and excess oils the skin accumulated during your sleep. Think of it as a fresh start to your morning and night!
I recommend using a gentle salicylic or glycolic to swipe across your face after cleansing. This will help to control the excess oil production and keep the pores nice and clean, while also helping to keep your skin regenerating properly. Many companies make it super easy by having toning wipes available already with their product on it. All you have to do is swipe it across your face and let it do its glorious work.
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A common misconception with oily skin is that it doesn’t need a moisturizer because it’s already “moist” enough. But oily skin does not necessarily equate to hydrated skin, which is something you can never have enough of! This hydrate-and-protect step means picking out a lotion that’s suited for your skin type. It can be a very light formulation, even a gel formulation. Something that will protect your skin as well as help to keep it functioning at its fullest and lock in necessary hydration. The second part of this (and always, always, always the most important part!) is SPF! You always need to stay protected. You can pick out a morning moisturizer that already has SPF in it and then choose a different nighttime moisturizer. You can pick out one moisturizer that you use morning and night, and then throw on that last SPF step in the mornings before you go outside. Whatever you do, just make sure you don’t skip that sun protection!
And that’s it! A couple of easy things to throw into your day to ensure healthy skin. If you have trouble figuring out which of these would work best for your particular skin, never hesitate to ask your local esthetician for some direction. Who knows – maybe once you see the difference a few steps here and there make, you might come looking for the next round of products to add in.