It’s strange, but true, that the same men who take pride in caring for their car, or their tools, or even their yard often shy away from taking care of their skin. As the largest organ of the body, the skin is pretty clearly your best friend – holding bad things out and the things we need in. Yet, from century-old history, we draw some imaginary lesson that skin care is for women. Not if you’re smart.

Even Muscle & Fitness Magazine makes a pretty good case that skin care is a fitness routine. It just makes sense. The unconscious visual cues that add up to a man’s attractiveness in a woman’s eyes evolved from generations of selecting the best mate. Health, above all, was attractive, and that’s still true today. It’s hard to look healthy when the largest and most visible organ of the body is not looking well. That’s the skin, and it carries a lot of weight in the case for being attracted to you.

You Can Count Them on Your Fingers

It’s not like taking care of your skin is a big, elaborate deal. Four things will get you there.

  1. Wash your face with something good. Bar soap is mostly too harsh, and anyway, why miss the chance to get double-duty by smoothing and moisturizing at the same time with an oatmeal cleanser, for example.
  2. Use a good razor – one that suits your particular skin and beard. Most multi-blade razors cut too close for most men, and a beard below the skin line is an invitation to ingrown hairs, bumps and infection.
  3. Start using an after-shave again, this time alcohol-free. It’s not about the scent; it’s about sealing your skin and holding on to moisture.
  4. Combine moisturizer and sun protection by using a skin cream that contains SPF 30 or higher. Yes, men got along for generations without these, and it’s hard to picture Wild Bill Hickok using them, but previous generations wore big hats – and they didn’t live this long.

So, it’s more about doing things a little differently than about doing a lot more things. Use a cleanser in the shower and use a moisturizing sunscreen, and you’ve got it knocked.

More About the Biggest Threat

If we had to boil it all down to one thing, wouldn’t it be the highest priority? That would be adding sunscreen to your daily routine. Because skin cancer is a killer. And of the estimated 7,230 people who will die from it this year, 4,740 of them will be men. One reason skin cancer takes more men is that men seem to know less about it.

Let’s do something for our lives, and not just our skin, and let’s begin with getting the habit of sunscreen. SPF 30 is good. SPF 50 is better. There is no doubt that sun exposure is a lifelong risk. The sooner you start protecting yourself, the better your chances are of avoiding the all-too-common basal cell carcinoma or deadly melanoma.

And don’t leave it to your own eyes only to look out for skin cancer.  A semi-annual once-over from a skilled physician is recommended here in the sunny South. Call us at 843-815-6468 or email info@globalfamilymed.com, and let’s have a look.