SKIN CARE FOR MEN
The global men’s personal care market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from 2022 to 2030. That stat should tell you that more guys are giving up outdated ideas that skin care should be left to the ladies.
Furthermore, research shows that skin concerns or disorders can affect self-image and mental health. Because when you look your best, you feel much better too.
So, if you’ve been skipping out on skin care, it’s time to take action. You need to care for your facial skin for the same reasons you need to care for your hair, your teeth, and your body - because lack of care accelerates the effects of aging. And just a few simple changes to your routine can have long-lasting results. Learn more below on how to combat breakouts, dark circles, dull skin, shaving irritations, and those fine lines that’ll creep out of nowhere.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE & FEMALE FACIAL SKIN
Whilst there are steps we should all take that will improve our skin health, (for example adequate sleep, hydration, sun protection), other aspects of our skin care routine will be driven by skin type, age, ethnicity and gender (for example the products we use).
Notably, men’s and women’s facial skin are different:
1. More testosterone = Bigger pores + Oiler Skin
Adult males typically produce about 10x as much testosterone as women and have larger pores and pump out more sebum, which is thicker and causes congestion. Which means men’s facial skin is more prone to the effects of free radicals in the air (larger pores – bigger ‘doors’ to the skin) and the skin is oilier and shinier. That alone serves as a reason why men need to better protect their skin and get rid of excess oils.
2. Signs of ageing come in a bang
There's no question that men and women age differently. Signs of aging appear later for men, but when they do, they occur more quickly and more fully formed. Skin sagging and wrinkles on male skin tend to be more pronounced. So, taking a preventative approach is incredibly important. Don’t wait for your facial skin to start ageing, because at that point it’s already too late. Nourishing your facial skin on a regular basis is fundamental to delaying skin-ageing.
3. Shaving stresses the skin
Every shave removes the upper layer of skin cells, exposing ‘immature’ skin that is more sensitive to external factors. Over-sensitive skin demands more pronounced care. And if you’re thinking that growing or having a beard relieves you from skincare, it is totally the opposite. Having a full beard elicits a whole range of different challenges when it comes to facial skincare.
So how should guys take care of their skin? Well, the good news is that skin care doesn’t need to be complicated. Check out our tips below on how you can implement a good men’s skin care routine.
LIMIT SUN EXPOSURE
Sun damage can lead to wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer. So, it comes as no surprise that the most important thing men can do is use sunscreen daily. It’s one of the most inexpensive ways to keep your skin looking its best for the longest period of time possible. Sun damage is cumulative, which means the sooner you work to prevent it by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen daily, the better off you'll be.
Sunscreen is not just for holidays or hot days! Your skin is exposed to the sun every time you go outdoors and these momentary daily exposures to the sun can start to take their toll in the long term. For best protection, use an oil-free, water-resistant moisturiser with an SPF of 30 or higher all year round.
CLEANSE EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT
Wash your face first thing in the morning and last thing at night (before applying any additional products, of course). You should also wash your face after exercise.
Trade your soap for a cleanser. Soaps remove so much oil that your skin is deprived of its natural moisture barrier. That leaves your skin dry and can lead to flaking, scaling, and itching. And if you are especially sensitive, soap can aggravate things even more. Cleanser is milder but too much scrubbing can still dry out your epidermal layer.
Be mindful of washing your face too much as it can ruin your skin’s natural oils, but you should be washing your face every single morning and every night before you go to bed. You don’t want to give the day’s pore-clogging irritants the chance to sink in and do damage overnight. This can cause large pores, dry skin, rashes, infections, inflammation and/or acne outbreaks.
Cold water causes your pores to contract. Then, when you apply your cleansing face wash, the effectiveness of the active ingredients is downgraded because they aren’t able to absorb well. So even on those steamy summer days, work up the courage to wash your face with warm water, before and after applying your face wash.
Dermatologists recommend using a mild foaming/gentle cleanser before shaving to help reduce surface oil. If you don’t have sensitive skin, you can alternate between a mild wash and an exfoliating cleanser (once or twice a week) for an enhanced shaving experience. Exfoliating or removing dead skin cells, is an essential skincare step for all men, but to varying degrees.
Tip: When it's time to dry, try patting your (freshly clean) towel rather than rubbing. Rubbing leaves your skin irritated and dried out. Once the skin is cleansed, you can start adding other products, like serums and moisturizers. The products you should use will depend on your age, skin type and ethnicity.
SHAVE THE RIGHT WAY AND USE HIGH QUALITY BLADES
Shaving is one of the most common causes of skin irritation, but a proper skin care routine in conjunction with shaving can improve skin.
Razor bumps are caused by irritated hair follicles, and irritation is worse if your stubble isn't nice and soft before you shave. So how do you soften stubble? One easy trick is to shave in the shower or right after you step out. The warm water makes your stubble more pliable and easier for your razor to cut through. Plus, damp skin is easier to trim.
Use a mild moisturizing shaving cream to cut down on the razor burn. Avoid products with skin-drying alcohol, and look for oils, glycerin, sorbitol, and urea on the ingredient list.
Use high quality blades. For some men, multi-blade razors can shave too closely to the skin. If you often experience razor bumps, razor burns, or ingrown hairs, use a single- or double-blade razor instead and do not stretch your skin taut while shaving.
Shave in the direction of hair growth using light gentle strokes. Rinse after each swipe of the razor, and once your disposable blade has served its purpose five to seven times, toss it to minimize skin irritation. If the lubrication strips of your razor look faded or worn, or if the blades feel dull, use a fresh blade. Dull blades can cause nicks and irritate your neck and face.
A shave isn't done when the shaving is done. It's done when the skin is protected and hydrated. Afterward, rinse the face with cold water or apply a cold towel to help close the pores and slow blood flow to the surface of the skin. Then apply an oil -free SPF 30+ moisturiser or post-shave balm to nourish and soothe the skin.
Tip: Always store your razor in a dry and area and disinfect it before use. A salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cleanser will help treat most bumps, like folliculitis, ingrown hairs, and acne. If you get ingrown hairs, or too irritated from shaving, try electric razors. They tend to be a bit easier on the skin. Aftershaves are unnecessary but if you want to carry on the practice use one without an alcohol base. Alcohol dries out the skin, which can lead to ingrown hairs, bumps, and discomfort.
MOISTURISE & PROTECT
Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and make your skin look brighter and younger. For the best results, apply moisturizer to your face and body immediately after cleansing, showering and/or shaving while the skin is still damp.
During the day use a moisturizer that has at least SPF 30. Sunscreen isn’t just for holidays, the beach, or outdoor sports gents! Incidental sun exposure, like the time you spend walking outside or sipping a beer on the patio, adds up and causes skin damage.
At night, opt for a lightweight moisturiser without sunscreen.
An eye cream can help with wrinkle prevention and the reduction of puffiness under the eyes. Always apply your eye cream before the moisturizer though. Peptides are a terrific ingredient for an eye cream for their ability to boost collagen production and promote firmness.
CHANGE YOUR TOWELS
Sure, acne can sprout up for a number of reasons—from hormones to stress—but there's another culprit that could be right there in front of you without you even realizing it: your dirty towel.
A towel might look clean, but can actually collect a ton of dirt, dust, oil and dead skin cells that you can't even see. And that allows them to act as breeding grounds for nasty viruses, fungi and bacteria. In fact, researchers at the University of Arizona discovered that towels are the MOST bacteria-infested items in our homes. That's because towels live in damp environments and retain moisture for long periods of time, which allows the bacteria to survive. Plus, they're used in the bathroom—one of the most germ-ridden areas of the house.
So just think of what's happening when you use a dirty towel to dry your face after washing it!
We know that bacteria can be an underlying cause of breakouts. As you rub the towel on your skin, bacteria can transfer to your face and collect in your pores, encouraging pimples and causing skin irritation.
For acne-prone skin you should be replacing or washing your towel daily and remember to gently pat your skin dry—don't rub vigorously! Rubbing can exacerbate existing acne by causing more irritation.
AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE
We all do it. We touch our faces countless times every day. An itchy nose, tired eyes, yawning, are all things we do without a second thought. But, touching your face can spread dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face, which can lead to clogged pores and an outbreak of acne (and of course the spread of viruses).
You should only touch your face when cleansing, moisturizing, or applying sunscreen — and only if your hands are clean, of course!
Easier said than done we know, but it serves as yet another reminder that we should be washing our hands often (using at least 20 seconds to do so) and try our best to avoid touching our faces.
Tip: Make sure you clean your phone regularly too, especially as it comes into close contact with your face multiple times a day.
You know the drill. Water is important for overall health. It keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and helps maintain your skin's elasticity. People who drink large amounts of water are less likely to suffer from scars, wrinkles, and soft lines and they won't show as many signs of aging as those who drink little amounts of water. Drinking plenty of water also prevents signs of severe hydration like dry, tight, or itchy skin.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends 2 litres for men as the adequate amount of water to drink daily for our bodies to run optimally, and to help vital vitamins and nutrients (we’ll get those later) reach the skin through proper blood flow.
When it comes to crushing your hydration goals, it can also help to:
add foods high in water to your plate (not sure where to start? try cucumbers, celery, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries and cauliflower);
limit alcohol which dehydrates your body and skin, which can make it look more wrinkled and dry;
avoid sugary sweets/drinks, as sugar stiffens collagen via a process called glycation, which ages the skin.
GET 7-9 HOURS SLEEP
The effects of poor sleep for your skin are significant, including, skin that ages faster and skin that doesn’t recover as well as from environmental stressors like sun exposure. Lack of sleep also causes dark undereye circles, paler skin, swollen eyes and hanging eyelids.
Science shows you can sleep your skin younger. First and foremost, you should understand that sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. Skin makes new collagen when you sleep, which prevents sagging. More collagen means skin is plumper and less likely to wrinkle. Only getting 5 hours a night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours would.
Tip: Track your sleep with a wearable fitness tracker to ensure you are getting enough. Also try to sleep on your back (as sleeping on a rough cotton surface can irritate your skin and compress your face for long hours at a time, resulting in wrinkles). Finally, wash those pillowcases and bed sheets regularly.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Stress shows on your face. For example, stress is a factor in the development of acne, skin rashes, dry skin and wrinkles. Furthermore, feeling stressed may also lead to bad habits such as grinding your teeth or biting your lips.
When you’re stressed, your body releases ‘stress hormones’, such as cortisol and inflammatory proteins. They affect different functions, like the flow of blood to your skin. A common sign of stress is skin irritation or a rash. Additionally, acne itself can induce stress and anxiety.
Stress causes changes to the proteins in your skin and reduces its elasticity. This loss of elasticity can contribute to wrinkle formation. Stress may also lead to repeated furrowing of your brow that may also contribute to the formation of wrinkles.
Stress is known to trigger or aggravate several skin conditions that may cause rashes or inflamed skin, such as psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis.
Therefore, managing your stress and anxiety will have a positive impact on your skin. Read our tips here on managing your mental health.
Smoking is hard on your whole body, including your skin. Smoking cigarettes ages your skin more quickly, leaving it dull and wrinkly. In addition, your skin takes longer to heal from wounds when you smoke. Plus, some skin problems worsen with smoking, including psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa, which causes boils, cysts, and pimples to develop.
Tip: Your GP can help you stop smoking and can tell you about ‘stop smoking’ clinics. Visit the NHS website for more information to help you stop smoking.
CHECK YOUR SKIN REGULARLY
New spots or moles that itch, bleed, or change colour are often early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any suspicious spots or moles, make an appointment to see a GP and/or dermatologist. Men over the age of 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than the general population. However, when caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
TAKE A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT
Collagen is the most abundant structural protein in the human body. It has many important functions, including maintaining the skin’s elasticity (which can result in a more youthful appearance), maintaining the health of the hair and nails, and supporting joint health.
As we age, our natural collagen production begins to slow down which can result in sagging skin, the appearance of fine lines and thinning hair. By the time we get to 40, we will have lost around a third of our natural collagen.
Fortunately, clinical studies show that supplementing your diet with ingestible collagen can increase your collagen intake and has multiple benefits including improving skin elasticity & reducing acne and acne related blemishes.
A 2014 study of 69 participants aged 35 to 55 found that those who took 2.5 or 5 grams of collagen daily for 8 weeks showed a lot of improvement in skin elasticity, compared with those who did not take the supplement.
A separate study found that participants who took a collagen supplement daily for 12 weeks had 76% less dryness, 12% fewer visible wrinkles, better blood flow in the skin, and a 6% higher collagen content compared with a control group.
In addition, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin.
So, it comes as no surprise men’s health magazines and celebrities including Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom say collagen is the protein supplement you should be taking.
VITAMINS FOR THE SK-WIN
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful:
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Its main function in skin care is to protect against sun damage. Vitamin E absorbs the harmful UV light from the sun when applied to the skin. This can help prevent dark spots and wrinkles.
Vitamin D supports skin cell metabolism, helping the skin grow and repair itself. So, inadequate levels of vitamin D may trigger skin problems. Vitamin D may also help with chronic inflammation. Inflammation can lead to skin irritation, some types of acne, and eczema.
Vitamin C is vital for healthy skin. Vitamin C is found at high levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as the dermis (inner layer of skin). Its cancer-fighting (antioxidant) properties, and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. This is why vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many antiaging skin care products. Studies have shown that vitamin C enhances collagen synthesis, which may have an anti-ageing effect and vitamin C assists in antioxidant protection of the skin against UV-induced damage. You can use an antioxidant serum, like vitamin C in the morning underneath your moisturiser.
Vitamin B12 is needed to promote healthy skin (as well as hair and nails), given its role in cell production. In fact, low vitamin B12 levels can cause various dermatologic symptoms, including hyperpigmentation, vitiligo (the loss of skin colour in patches) and angular stomatitis (inflamed and cracked mouth corners).
Vitamin B5 has many important functions with one study showing that it helps facial acne and reduces the number of acne-related facial blemishes when taken as a dietary supplement. Side note: Did you know people take vitamin B5 supplements and derivatives to help with a range of conditions including Baldness, Dandruff & Asthma?
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is famous for inducing cell growth, and they work on the dermis by turning over skin cells faster than normal, which helps bring younger, newer skin cells to the surface.
MAKE HARD WORK LIGHT WORK
So, what skin care products should men use? The good news is that more skin care products have hit the shelves/web with men in mind so do your research. The products you choose will depend on your skin type, age and ethnicity (as well as your budget). Men tend to have oily and thicker skin, mainly because of testosterone but if you have dry skin (flaky, itchy or rough) or combination skin (dry in some areas, oily in others), seek out products that address that.
And when it comes to supplements, well, we're obviously going to plug our own! HIMMENSE SHIFT daily collagen drink has been especially formulated for men and is only 22 Kcal and contains 5.4g of protein. It is also infused with vitamin C, for maximum absorption, as well as vitamins B5, B6, B12, D3, Selenium and Ashwagandha for multiple health benefits.
Our #HIMMUNITY have reported the following benefits after taking HIMMENSE SHIFT:
☑️ Smoother, clearer, softer and more hydrated looking skin
☑️ Faster muscle recovery & rejuvenation
☑️ Reduced joint & muscle pain
☑️ Thicker fuller hair growth
☑️ Increased energy
☑️ Compliments on how good they are looking
We know men want to look and feel their best which is why we’ve made sure our collagen for men is free from added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours and does not contain lactose, gluten, dairy, soya, wheat, starch, yeast, animal fat, alcohol, emulsifying agents & soy lecithin. Plus our packaging is recyclable. Win win.
Our supplements are mansize. Also known as pocket-size. So, join the plus side and shop HIMMENSE SHIFT here.
Consistency is key – it leads to results. Following a daily routine is crucial in achieving fresh and healthy facial skin. Just like you brush your teeth, take a shower, and eat breakfast every day, you need to take care of your skin on a consistent basis. Commit to it.
Every man’s skin is different, and there is no "one size fits all" approach to skin care. If you aren’t sure what skin type you have, or if have questions about how to take care of your skin, see a certified dermatologist.
Published 5 January 2022
Read more Men's Health & Lifestyle blogs from HIMMENSE here