It says something that one of the most helpful magazine articles about men’s skin care is in the March 15th issue of Men’s Fitness. No longer the province of GQ only, skin care for men is considered a fitness regimen today, and not an affectation for guys with too much time on their hands.
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 remains so. 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.
It Starts with Clean
In our fathers’ generations, athletes were obsessed with hygiene. Imagine surviving in a world before penicillin, and the 20th Century athlete’s obsession with clean, white under-gear for sports explains itself. That cleanliness extended to face, skin, and hair, and it was the look that made Gary Cooper, William Holden, Burt Lancaster, and that bunch the idols women never outgrew. Fast forward to Johnny Depp and you see a whole generation of stars who don’t hesitate to take care of their skin.
Experts say that even men – maybe especially men – need the exfoliating power of a good scrub. Not too harsh, but enough to clear away the dead skin that naturally accumulates every day.
For Those Who Shave
Shaving itself is often overdone, when it’s done at all. The style of stubble and the fad for beards aside, shaving is an area that can work for or against your skin’s well-being, depending on how you do it.
Multi-blade razors have given manufacturers a profitable means of planned obsolescence in their shaving instruments, but they can cause bumps and ingrown hairs because they pull whiskers up and cut them below the skin’s surface. A more moderate, straightforward and high-quality instrument is preferred for good skin care.
Nothing Unmanly About Moisturizing
Using a basic moisturizer after shaving and showering is a habit many men are adopting. Though some skin types may have shown the need all along, even naturally oily skin eventually gets flaky without a lotion or moisturizer. It’s a simple step to take, and – honest – it’s not just for sis anymore.
Last But Not Least: Sunscreen
Any escalation of skin care for a man should begin with getting the habit of sunscreen. SPF 30 is good. SPF 50 is better. Skin cancer is a killer and 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.
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