Gone are the days when skincare was only associated with women. Men were stereotyped as being too strong, and skincare was perceived as being too feminine for them. Progressive times have made men equally conscious of their skin as other sexes. Men too want a nice, healthy-looking skin, and why not ? Men are often oblivious as to what skincare practices to follow and what products to use. Best for Him had a conversation with Dr. Samridhi Sharma, MBBS, FAM (fellowship in aesthetic medicine), and Medical Advisor at Klinikally Skin and Hair Expert, Gurgaon to learn more and help our readers create a perfect skincare routine.
Dr. Samridhi Sharma, MBBS, FAM, and Medical Advisor at Klinikally Skin and Hair Expert, Gurgaon
Why should men follow a skincare routine?
Even men need a skincare routine to look and feel fresh and clean. Image sourced from canva.
Men have thicker skin than women due to the presence of testosterone, which makes the skin texture rough and requires even more care.
Men produce more sebum, which makes their skin more prone to acne during puberty than it is in women.
Men don’t usually use sunscreen, so they have a higher chance of getting PIH (Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) when they’re out in the sun. This can also make them age faster.
Shaving can be a good way of exfoliating the skin, but it leaves the skin irritated and bumpy at times, which requires a robust post-shaving skincare routine.
When asked about why men don’t follow a skincare routine, Dr. Sharma told BFH, “I have asked many men in my consultations what they have been using to wash their faces for years, and the answer that came along is they have hardly ever known about facewashes and have been using soaps for years, which is sometimes shocking for me as well. Educating them on what suits them the best according to their skin type has to be an important discussion. Soap has a higher pH than our normal skin, which can disrupt the skin barrier in no time. This is why we have different types of facewashes available on the market ranging from oily to dry skin types.
Ageing men and their skin woes
“One of the main skin concerns that men face is hyperpigmentation, while they touch their 30s, these can present in the form of age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Darker and dusky tones tend to be more susceptible to pigmentation and tanning. Hyperpigmentation can occur in the form of melasma, which are symmetrical dark patches that can occur on the forehead, cheeks, chin, nose, and upper lip,” Dr. Sharma told BFH.
Dr. Sharma also said, “Pigmentation and hyperpigmentation in men can be attributed to a lot of reasons, such as too much exposure to the sun, congenital and genetic factors, ageing, and drug use, among others.”
How to follow up on a skincare regime
Maintain proper skincare routine. Image sourced from Canva.
It can be hard for men to evaluate and follow up on a skincare regime, but what they can do is follow a minimal skin routine that works for them.” It’s important that men identify their skin type and act accordingly. There can be various skin types such as oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, and combination skin. Hence, first and foremost, men should identify their skin type or take an appointment with a skin specialist as every skincare regimen is different according to different skin concerns and type. Make sure you speak to your doctor if you have any skin concerns, and don’t randomly buy products for trials,” said Dr. Sharma. These could be marketing gimmicks presented by the brands.
Dr. Sharma suggests the following tips and skincare products for an efficient skincare routine:
The first and last step should be washing your face and making it a habit. Remove all the excess oil, dirt, and impurities by using a gentle cleanser or a face wash and ensure that you do not use any harsh soaps.
The second step is to choose a particular ingredient, like niacinamide. If you have combination of acne-prone skin with drops on the full face, make sure to choose active ingredients according to what your dermatologist has recommended to you.
The third step is a good sebum-controlling yet hydrating moisturizer, which helps in keeping the skin firm and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, makes the skin look brighter, younger.
After-shaving habits should be kept in mind. I see a lot of men ignoring bumps, rashes, and cuts while shaving. Please make sure you don’t. Stretch your skin while shaving, use a single-blade razor. You should never shave on dry skin, moisturizing and using shaving foam are a must. You should always check for ingrown hair and excessive dryness. This sometimes leads to fungal infections as well if the beard is dense and long and commonly causes an alarming situation.
Wear sunscreen, whether inside or outside; make sure you apply your SPF 40/50, which is the most important part of the skincare regimen— Protection, I recommend something that is rich in biosaccharide gum, green tea extract (soothing down the red and irritated skin), and infragard, which is powerful against blue light as well.
Some men may think dark circles under their eyes make them look older, less youthful and energetic, or in need of more sleep, men are usually not comfortable concealing their undereye circles. I advise understanding the root cause, whether it is hereditary or ageing. It is difficult to say that they go away in no time, but you can always keep an under eye cream in your PM regimen and layer your under eyes with a good cream which makes it hydrated, calm, depuffed and fresh looking for the next morning. Also try to create a healthy lifestyle which includes less screen time, healthy diet and more hydration.
Skincare is all about using the right ingredients for your complexion and skin type. Visiting a skin specialist is the ideal way forward, as only a specialist can judge your skin and recommend products. Also, a healthy lifestyle is synonymous with good skin. If you frequently workout, do yoga, sleep healthy, and drink a lot of water, that will reflect in your skin.