A Gentleman’s Guide to Great Skin

Want to step up your skincare game but feel a bit out of your element? Read our best tips!

It’s time to talk about one of the sexiest organs in men’s health: their skin. Proper skin care can prevent blemishes, signs of aging and even cancer.

And it can help you look your best.

Let’s face it: Most men don’t spend long afternoons at the spa, but that’s OK. They don’t need to. Skin care doesn’t have to be complicated. This straightforward guide will help you obtain healthy skin by breaking down common skincare concerns and teaching you the right routine for your needs.

Read the article on Giddy.

Shave like a pro

There’s something pretty sexy about a fresh, close shave. However, getting to the barber every day of the week might not be feasible. Whatever your beard habits may be, you should know how to give yourself a proper shave, like the pros.

To get the closest cut, shave after taking a shower or washing your face. The steam from hot water will open your pores and make your hairs stand straighter on their ends. You should always shave with the grain of your hair, not against it, to avoid irritation or accidental cuts.

If you usually get razor burn, try switching to an alcohol-free aftershave. Some perfumes in aftershave can irritate sensitive skin, in which case you can use witch hazel and moisturizer instead.

Blemish buster

Think only teenagers get acne? Think again. Acne can be just as stubborn in adulthood and can be caused or aggravated by stress, pollution, poor diet or dehydration. If you struggle with acne, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common skin concerns, and it’s very treatable.

In order to prevent pimples and blackheads from forming, keep your pores as clean and clear as possible. Use a facial cleanser twice daily—morning and evening—to clear away excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria. Make sure to use a cleanser specifically formulated for the face; regular soap can be too harsh on delicate facial skin. When searching for the right facial cleanser, pick one that says “non-comedogenic” on the label; this means it’s formulated not to clog your pores.

Niacinamide is another powerful tool for fighting acne. Using topical serums that contain niacinamide after cleansing can reduce the appearance of redness, calm inflammation and regulate the production of sebum throughout the day. Over time, it can even fade hyperpigmentation and scars left behind by old pimples. Niacinamide is available orally, too, as a vitamin B3 supplement.

If you have particularly stubborn acne, you may want to consider using retinol before bed. Retinol, a highly concentrated form of vitamin A, has been clinically proven to stimulate skin cell turnover. It must be applied at night, because bright light of any kind will deactivate the ingredients. As an added bonus, retinol also helps fight the signs of aging.

Look timeless

After cleansing, apply a vitamin C serum to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots over time. This will also brighten your complexion while helping retain its natural moisture barrier, another key step in fighting the signs of aging.

Your skin is most receptive to moisture while you sleep, so give it a drink. Before bed, apply a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, a compound that draws moisture molecules to the skin, and ceramides. If you’re on the dry side, find a moisturizer with plant-derived squalane as well. You can even add a few drops of squalene oil to your moisturizer of choice. Squalane mimics your skin’s natural sebum, giving it that tall drink of water it needs.

Dark circles & puffy eyes

Dark circles are usually caused by blood pooling underneath the very thin layer of skin that protects the eye socket. Most of the time, you can reduce the appearance of dark circles by massaging this area to increase blood flow. Using a cream with active ingredients like caffeine and vitamin C will also help stimulate circulation.

Sometimes, dark circles are entirely hereditary. In that case, there’s very little you can do about them. If you feel self-conscious, you can try applying a concealer with skin-matching undertones to neutralize the area. Having a natural-looking concealer in your arsenal is not just great for dark circles but also for the morning after a night of drinking: Your coworkers will think you were in bed by sundown.

Wear sunscreen

If you take away one thing here, it should be this: Wear sunscreen every day. No matter what the weather is like outside, wear a lotion or sunscreen with SPF. Even if it’s overcast, UVA/UVB rays can still damage the skin and potentially cause cancer. You can reduce the risk of getting skin cancer by limiting your exposure to these harmful rays. Avoid tanning beds and unprotected long days in the sun.

A surefire way to wear sunscreen every day is to get a facial moisturizer with SPF already in it. Try a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or greater; find one with hyaluronic acid for an added bonus. Don’t forget to apply it to your neck, beard and lips. Eating and drinking throughout the day will diminish the layer of product on your lips, so keep a lip balm with SPF handy.

Skin care made simple

It may seem this article has introduced you to an overwhelming number of products and techniques, but remember, you don’t need to do it all. It’s most important to cleanse, moisturize and protect your skin. Additional vitamins and products can be beneficial, but you can pick and choose what works for your routine and comfort.

This essential organ needs the same care and attention you give to the other organs in your body. Not only will you feel fresh and confident when facing the world, but you are also taking the right steps toward preventing things as basic as acne and as serious as melanoma.

If you have concerns, consider seeing a dermatologist.

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