Have you thought about the skin underneath your beard though? Healthier skin will contribute to healthier whiskers. Your great looking beard makes you stand out. If your skin is less than stellar though, you’re doing yourself and your beard a great disservice. Good facial hair AND good skin will elevate your look and attractiveness.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely thinking of beginning or adding to your current skin care regimen already, and know that good skin and the care needed to get it, isn’t just for women.
Find out WHY taking care of your skin is a good idea. REGARDLESS of your gender. If you want to look and feel better, not to mention project a better image, and boost your confidence, keep reading.
Men’s skin is markedly different from a woman’s. Our skin is thicker, generally rougher, oilier and has bigger pores, so don’t go reaching for the products on your wife or girlfriend’s side of the counter. They are made for her more delicate skin and often have a decidedly less than masculine smell.
More and more guys are using skin care now, so a lot more research has gone into developing products made specifically for us.
If you’re not already caring for your skin beyond washing your face in the shower, I’m going to tell you right now, that is NOT enough.
By caring for your skin, you’ll reap the rewards of the time you take now, for the rest of your life. It’s worth investing some of your time and money taking care of your bodies largest organ.
Intrigued? Stay with me.
Like I said earlier, skin care routines are not just for women. Taking care of my skin certainly doesn’t make ME feel womanly. It makes me feel cleaner, fresher and ready to put my best face forward everyday. Good hygiene makes EVERYONE more attractive.
In fact, women notice good skin on men, and find it very attractive. Good grooming matters!
Your beard and the skin underneath each require their own care to help you look and feel your absolute best. A good beard balm and brush will keep your beard well-groomed and contribute to the health of your whiskers, but your skin deserves equal time and care.
Great skin will make you look more polished, and even more youthful. Let’s face it (no pun intended), once we get to ‘a certain age’, being told we look younger than we are, feels great.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to start setting your alarm an hour earlier.
Added to your existing routine, it takes minutes, and you can take care of some of it right in the shower. You’ll start your day feeling fresh and at night, it feels amazing to get rid of the day’s grime. Even if you can’t see it, I can assure you, the dirt is there.
Like most of us, you probably don’t want a ton of products taking up space on your bathroom counter. So, if you want to start taking better care of your skin, but want to do the bare minimum, I suggest you do these three things.
I’ll go into further detail as to what you should be looking for in each of these products, below.
Make sure you’re purchasing a product that works well with your skin type.
Dry – tends to flakiness, feels pulled or taut shortly after washing.
Oily – you’re probably prone to breakouts, your face looks shiny halfway through the day and you have quite visible pores
Normal to combination – generally you never feel too dry, or too oily. Maybe you’re the area down the centre of your face (nose and chin) can get oily or break out once in awhile, but you don’t have any major skin issues.
The first step to great skin. And believe it or not, clean skin can contribute to the health of your beard. Keep your cleanser in the shower and it will add almost no time to your morning routine.
A product that will clean your pores without stripping away natural oils is your best bet. Cetaphil is unscented, so won’t compete with any other products you’re using.
Alright, now your skin is clean. But cleansing alone might not get rid of all the dead skin cells we shed everyday. A good scrub will bring you a whole new level of clean.
If you’re just starting your beard, a scrub can inhibit ingrown hairs by keeping pores and follicles clear of the dead skin and dirt.
If you’re using our beard brush, great! That will help keep the hair follicles underneath clear and healthy. But the rest of your face (and chest and shoulders) need the same care. Using a scrub will help you achieve the healthiest, best-looking skin possible.
Wet your face in the shower, apply the scrub and rub gently for a minute or two. Rinse well. It’s hard to avoid getting it into your beard, so make sure you give your whiskers an extra rinse.
Exfoliating isn’t a product you need to use every day, especially if your skin is dry or sensitive. Guys with normal to oily skin, can use it more often, but 2-3 times a week is plenty if you’re cleansing every day.
I’m a big fan of using a konjac sponge to exfoliate. Made from bamboo charcoal and konnyaku root, this sponge has detoxifying qualities, and used with your cleanser, will take care of two steps in one and won’t irritate sensitive or dry skin.
The sponge is super easy to use. Soak it for a minute or two, (or just let it get wet in the shower), squeeze out the excess water and either use it to lather and wash with your cleanser, or use it on its own to slough off dry skin and all the other gunk that can clog your pores. When you’re done, hang it to dry on the handy suction hook that comes with it.
The konjac sponge isn’t harsh on your skin and can be used daily.
Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Toner? What the heck? Isn’t that what I put in my printer?’ Well, yeah, that’s toner too. But it’s not the toner I’m talking about here.
A toner will help balance the ph level on your skin, help control excess oil, sooth dry skin and tighten pores. Basically, this one will make you smoother and “tighter” when it comes to your skin, which is going to make you look younger and/or more energetic.
This step takes literally seconds. Put some on a cotton ball or pad, swipe it over your face, neck and chest. Done!
Some toners will dry you out further or irritate your skin, so make sure you get an alcohol free one. This one from Neutrogena is soothing to dry skin and fits easily in the budget.
A mildy astringent, alcohol-free toner like Anthony Astringent Toner Pads can bring this under control. They’ll tighten your pores and leave your face with a brisk, fresh feeling. These get bonus points for convenience as they’re ready to use, right out of the jar.
You’ll want to use a toner that’s not too oily, nor too drying. Baxter of California toner smells fresh, won’t interfere with your cologne and gets and can protect your skin from cell damage too.
Sunscreen is not just for the beach or slopes. It’s for everyday of the week, in all types of weather. This is a product I can’t recommend highly enough. I don’t care how old you are, sunscreen is a MUST.
The sun’s rays can damage our skin in two ways. UVA rays age skin and have now been shown to cause some skin cancers. UVB are the rays that make our skin tan or burn. Overexposure to UVB rays put you at major risk for skin cancer.
Don’t think you’re protected if you work in an office or drive for a living. UVA rays can penetrate windows and over time will contribute to skin damage.
The threat of melanoma was enough to get me using a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. After reading some data, I realize this isn’t an unreasonable fear. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with, and die from all kinds of skin cancers.
Most of us also don’t think much about our mortality. Well, we should. It takes a minute to do this one thing that has the potential to extend our lives.
If that doesn’t make you wake up and smell the coffee, then let me appeal to your sense of vanity. Daily sunscreen use has proven to slow down skin damage due to sun exposure, which means fewer age spots, lines and wrinkles.
Make sure your moisturizer has sunscreen in it (I’ve got some great options, below), and if you play outside, winter and/or summer, get yourself a facial sunscreen that’s more hardcore and can hold up to water and sweat.
Men of all skin-types and colour, take note. This applies to ALL of us.
This one is self-explanatory I think. A moisturizer, moisturizes. Which means it will make your skin softer and stronger, making it less likely to wrinkle and show signs of age. It also feels way better throughout the day.
Now that you know how important sunscreen is, make sure your daily moisturizer contains an SPF of at least 15. You can always supplement with one like the product mentioned above if you work or play hard outdoors.
When applying moisturizer, more does not equal better. A small amount will go far on clean, toned skin.
Men with dry skin are prone to show signs of aging more quickly, so moisturizer is a good safe-guard against premature lines and wrinkles. Look for a product, like this one from Neutrogena.
Just because your skin is oily, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t moisturize. Man Cave face moisturizer has a great manly smell, and after a few days you should notice your face is significantly less greasy.
By the time you’re about 30, you should think about using a moisturizer with anti-aging properties. Rugged & Dapper has a great men’s line and this lotion will help ward off fine lines and wrinkles.
Alright, now you know the basics. You don’t need to stop there though.
The skin around our eyes is more fragile and prone to signs of aging than the skin on the rest of our face. If you live in a dry climate or work in an air-conditioned building, a good eye cream like this one from Kyoku will keep the skin around your eyes from drying out. Dry skin looks aged and frankly, isn’t all that attractive. You don’t need much, and a 1oz jar should last you about 6 months.
Yes, you should take care of your lips too. They don’t have pores of their own and can quickly get flaky and dry. Not a great look. I’ve tried many and this Nivea one has an SPF of 15, and isn’t goopy or sticky. I buy them in bulk and keep them in my desk, the car and in every jacket pocket.
Using a mask once a week or so will elevate your routine and get your skin to looking its best faster than just the steps above. Pour a glass of wine or crack a beer while you let the mask you choose do it’s thing.Mud or clay are popular ingredients in facial masks and are good for tightening and detoxifying your skin. However, if your skin is dry or sensitive, I’d steer away from these ones.
I prefer a less messy option. These ones, made for men by My Spa Life, look more like the mask the Phantom of the Opera wears.
They’re made of a soft fabric type material, infused with healing and firming properties, and are good for all skin types.
Start with a clean face, open a mask, and put it on your face. There are holes for your eyes and mouth and the nose part pops out so your nostrils aren’t covered. Sit back for about 20 minutes, relax and when you’re done, just throw the mask in the trash.
Ok, I’ve just given you what seems a ton of info, but once you’ve got the products geared just for your skin type and start using them, you’ll see that taking care of your skin adds less than 10 minutes to your morning and nightly routines.
Before long you’ll be seeing the results of your skin care regimen, and so will others. I’d be surprised if people aren’t soon noticing how terrific you look and wondering what your secret is.