Men are often forgotten about when it comes to skin care, although in the age of the ‘metrosexual’ more products are appearing on our shelves. You may hear some people saying that the only essential skin care products are soap, water and deodorant but this untrue. Leaving your skin uncared for makes you more susceptible to disease, infection and general unsightliness. But what skin care products are essential for men to keep them looking young, fresh and healthy?
Top Skincare Tips For Men
A good cleanser will help to remove dead skin cells, dirt and grime. Cleanser is used to clean and prepare the skin for further treatments. There are many cleansers out there on the market, but it would be advisable to invest in one that contains moisturizers and, if possible, is alcohol free. Some cleansers, like soap, can ‘dry out’ the skin, stripping it of its natural oils, which can make your skin feel tight.
A toner’s purpose is to clean out the pores. It goes deeper than a cleanser and will remove any dirt and grime missed. The toner will also help to balance your skin out, making broken capillaries and ruddy complexions appear more even. It also helps to prepare your skin for shaving.
Shaving Gel And Razor
Whilst there are many electric razors now available that do not require shaving gels or creams, it is still best for the skin to use a manual razor. Dry shaving can cause the skin to become irritated, and the hair will be stiff and harder to trim. As with the cleanser, a shaving gel or cream that contains moisturizers will be more beneficial. The razor should be sharp at all times. A blunt razor requires more pressure to cut the hair, which in turn can damage the skin and cause in-growing hairs.
There are many scents available, but the best aftershave is one that you actually apply to your skin. The point of an aftershave is to soothe any possible irritations and re-hydrate your skin. Sprays just do not do this effectively, so gels and balms are best.
Moisturizing is possibly the most important part of facial care. Dry skin can speed up the aging process, causing wrinkles and lines and a leather-like appearance. Daily moisturizing will help to smooth out skin by re-hydrating it. It is advisable to buy a moisturizer that contains UVA and UVB filters to help protect the skin against harmful rays. The SPF factor is not usually very high though, so further protection will be necessary during the warmer months.
Exfoliating the skin will remove any excess dead skin cells. This is not only good for the face, but for the entire body. Using an exfoliator on a regular basis will help to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. You do not need to use it every day though, once a week is often enough. Exfoliation is brilliant for your hands and feet too, removing any possible callouses.
Body odor is highly unsociable and needs to be combated. While sweat itself is the body’s natural way of keeping cool, it can cause embarrassment. Body odor is actually caused by the bacteria growth in stale sweat and by keeping clean you can limit this without the use of deodorants and antiperspirants. However, it is still recommended that you use deodorants on a daily basis after you have had a wash.
Even men can become sunburned and are putting themselves at risk of skin cancer. A high SPF sunscreen will limit the risk of damaging the skin. If you want a tan, use a self-bronzing lotion – it’s safer and healthier.
Shampoo And Conditioner
The hair on our heads is frequently damaged by styling and the elements we expose it to. Shampooing will clean the hair, stripping it of the dirt and grime, but it will also take away the moisture. A good conditioner will help to re-hydrate the hair and protect it against damage.
There are, of course, many other products on the market aimed at men’s grooming, but they are not what are considered to be essential. The items listed here will not only keep you looking good but will help keep your body healthy and protected against bacterial infections. Remember, looking good makes us feel good.
Green Beauty Tips
In this day and age, where conservation is a must, we save energy and money where and when we can. Beauty treatments needn’t be different. It is easy to care for the skin whilst remaining kind to the environment as well as your bank balance by using green and organic products.
One way of ensuring that the products you use are 100% organic is by making them yourself. Whilst this may be slightly more expensive as you have to buy the ingredients, you can rest assure you are making a difference to the environment by not using a product loaded in atmosphere damaging toxins. Searching your cupboards, you may find some items you already have that can be used. For example, olive oil is a natural moisturizer, protecting your skin and nails from drying out. It is also very good for protecting children against nappy rash and cradle cap!
Less Is More
Remember that you don’t need to trowel your makeup on! If you are having to use a lot of moisturizer to nourish your skin, you are probably using the wrong one. There are plenty of products on the shelf to test in the store. Check that you are using the correct product for your skin type – it’s no good using a moisturizer for oily skin if you suffer from dry skin!
Shower, Don’t Bathe
It is well known that a bath will use up more water than a shower. That is as long as you are not standing under the shower for an hour or so! Reduce your shower time to ten or fifteen minutes maximum. It is also advisable to lower the temperature of the water you are using. Hot water uses a lot of energy, and colder water is better for your skin!
When you are buying beauty products, check that they in biodegradable packaging. You can also help the environment by recycling any boxes, tubes and tubs.
There are many products out on the shelf that are ecologically friendly and readily available. They may be slightly more expensive, but most of the time you do not need to use as much of them as you would of another brand. There are also shops on the high street which are designed specifically for protecting the environment using only products that are organic and natural and are not tested on animals.
So next time you are shopping for your beauty products remember to check the labeling for signs that it is ecological friendly. Green is the way forward, it’s cool, it’s trendy and it’s environmentally friendly!
How To Avoid Shaving Bumps
After shaving it is perfectly normal to find small red bumps, occasionally with a white head, dotting your bikini line or chin. These are called in-growing hairs, caused by the cut hair getting trapped beneath the skin. The medical term for it is ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’. They are unsightly and irritating, often causing an itchy rash, known as ‘razor rash’. However, by following some simple steps you can avoid shaving bumps.
Dry shaving is more likely to irritate the skin, so it is essential that you prepare the area before attacking it with a razor. Exfoliating will help to remove dead skin cells, which can dull the blade. Use a moisturizing shaving gel or cream to soften the hair; this will also help to keep the skin hydrated.
Whilst shaving against the hair is most effective for cutting the hair closer to the skin, it is more likely to cause in-growing hairs. Shaving with the hair will lessen the risk of shaving bumps. Avoid swapping shaving for waxing. Waxing pulls hairs out by the roots and can cause the follicles to become blocked leading to in-growing hairs.
After shaving use a moisturizer to re-hydrate the skin. The motion of rubbing in the moisturizer will also help to improve circulation, which can in turn help to prevent razor rash.
If you do get in-growing hairs, never squeeze them! You are more likely to cause the follicle to become infected, giving it a white head. Using a pair of fine tweezers, you may be able to pull the end of the hair out from under the skin, allowing it to grow normally. Do not pluck the hair though, simply cut it short as pulling hair by the roots will increase the chances of shaving bumps. Witch hazel and calamine lotion are both very soothing creams when it comes to treating rashes.
In-growing hairs, or shaving bumps, are more likely to develop on sensitive parts of the body such as the bikini line and armpits. Whilst it may be uncomfortable and unsightly, leaving the hair to grow to a length of over 2 millimetres will also lessen the risk of shaving bumps. You should only shave hair off when you have to, so avoid using the razor every day.
By following these steps your skin will benefit by feeling smoother, softer and bump free. Just remember to keep your skin well hydrated and you are one step closer to a better shave. You will be more confident in yourself and you never know what that might bring!