Men’s Skin VS Women’s Skin
Men’s skin is naturally thicker than women’s and produces more sebum, making it oilier. Don’t be tempted to steal your partner’s skin care products as they won’t be as effective for you as something that’s specially formulated for the guys. Most men also stress facial skin out with shaving on a regular basis which can cause sensitization and irritation and needs male-oriented skin care.
Skin As Men Age
If you’re noticing lines and wrinkles as you head past 40 and towards 50, you’re not alone. They’re caused by a reduction production of collagen by your body as you age, and as this is the protein that gives skin its elasticity and strength, things start to look older.
It’s perfectly normal to lose collagen as you age; once you get to about 30, you’ll lose around 1% of your collagen every year. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable - and the older you get, the worse the wrinkles and lines get. So how do you stop them in their tracks, or at least make it look like you have?
Maintain a Skin Care Routine
If you haven’t already done it, invest in some good quality professional skin care products and start using them every day. You’ll need a cleanser (or facial wash) along with moisturizer and exfoliator at minimum, and you can add in eye serum or cream if you notice signs of aging around your eyes too.
After cleansing your skin, the second step is to hydrate it. The latest wonder ingredients for anti-aging products are retinoids, a range of ingredients that are derived from vitamin A and shown to visibly decrease some of the main signs of getting older on your skin; crow’s feet, wrinkles and lines. They work by boosting collagen production but are also powerful antioxidants, so they also protect your skin from damage by any free radicals. Moisturizers and serums containing retinoids can also help repair existing skin damage and if you have any dark spots or suffer with rosacea or acne there are treatments and targeted products that even help with that.
If you want to take things a bit further, the next step is an esthetician and something a bit more professional.
Microdermabrasion could be for you if you have small amounts of fine lines and just want your skin to look brighter and tighter. The esthetician uses a vacuum suction device with a mild chemical crystal mixture to gently remove the top layer of your skin cells. It doesn’t hurt, there’s no downtime needed, and it can give you a more youthful glow. You will need more than one treatment to see the full effects though.
A chemical peel is where a mixture of chemicals is applied to your skin to remove the top, dead layer of skin cells. This helps to soften lines and wrinkles and even out the look of your skin – and it’s not as scary as it sounds.
There are strong peels or ‘deep’ peels that have impressive effects on damaged skin but DO require downtime so aren’t most people’s first choice. These deeper chemical peels work by stimulating the collagen production in your skin and can be really effective at reducing wrinkles, evening out pigmentation and texture and reducing the signs of sun damage.
Most people start with a light peel which is more of a skin brightener and may soften lines but isn’t going to help with deeper wrinkles.
Deep peels are permanent but lighter versions will need more than one treatment plus ‘top ups’ to make sure the effects last.
You wouldn’t wear the same clothes to go outside in the winter as you do in the summer, so why would you use the same skincare products and keep to the same routines when the weather gets colder? Your skin is sensitive to changes in the temperature, weather and humidity, and deserves a little TLC if you want it to look it's best in the colder months.
Going from warm, heated offices and homes out into cold winds and wet weather is harsh on your skin. Skin needs to maintain a constant supply of moisture, and when the humidity drops outside and is stripped out of centrally heated indoor environments, it can leave thirsty skin screaming for hydration. The winds that often accompany wet, cold winter weather can also lead to wind burn, where the skin on your lips and hands becomes red and dries out.
It doesn’t help that to warm up, we’ll spend longer in hot baths and steamy showers on cold days. Who hasn’t spent just a few minutes longer under a hot shower to avoid the cooler bathroom air? This might feel like a luxury but it’s actually stripping your skin of even more of the natural oils it needs to help look and feel good. No wonder your skin often needs intensive care after a harsh winter. Many of us find ourselves with dry and irritated skin that’s cracked, chapped and flaky. In some cases you could even end up with itchy rashes or eczema.
What Skincare Product Do You Most Need to Use in Winter?
The first step in protecting the health of your skin is to look for a really good quality hydrating moisturizer. The best moisturizer you can afford should form the bedrock of any winter skincare routine. If you feel that despite using a moisturizer regularly, your skin is feeling tight, irritated or flakey, upgrade your moisturizer to one that’s suitable for dry skin, even if you don’t usually suffer from dryness. Locking the hydration in and the inclement weather out will help keep the skin on your face much healthier.
In the winter it can pay to switch to rich oil-based creams, even if you prefer using lighter water based lotions during summer. The water in the lighter lotions can evaporate off of your skin, so the effects aren’t as long lasting as a more heavy duty oil-based cream. You’ll get used to the way it feels and in the long run it should leave your skin feeling much more comfortable.
Ingredient-wise, look for a product which contains vitamin E, as it’s helpful for keeping moisture in. Anything that has a built in humectant is also great for winter skin as these ingredients work to attract moisture to your skin.
Other Winter Skincare Saviors
We all know that one key to good skin, hair and nails is to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, which makes us feel great as well as look good. In reality, no matter how many lifestyle magazines we read, many of us don’t eat anywhere close to the amount of fresh fruit, vegetables and good, healthy, skin soothing fats that we should do.
The typical Western diet falls down on providing the recommended daily intake of some of the important nutrients needed to keep skin looking healthy skin and prevent premature ageing, but what can you do if you think your skin might be vitamin-deprived?
Many people turn to topical vitamins - that is vitamins applied to the skin in product form. A good quality product can certainly have a great effect on skin radiance and health. Most skin creams and serums that include vitamins have proven anti-aging benefits and can solve a multitude of problems, improving skin texture and tone and fading under-eye circles. If you include a good quality product as part of a facial treatment with targeted massage and nourishing oils, it will definitely benefit your skin as the oils sink into your skin and the massaging action helps to boost the effect of the products.
Taking supplements is another popular way of getting vitamins into your system, and the latest skincare micro-trend is using targeted skincare products that work from the inside out. Many people have added a skin supplement to their daily routine and the US market has seen sales of face supplements grow more than fivefold over the past two years.*
It’s easy to see why. The natural thing to do if you think your diet is a little low in essential vitamins and minerals is to try and boost it with a healthy sounding supplement (and a product that tackles the problems externally, too). There are some fabulously high tech sounding skincare supplements on the market so teaming them with a good quality topical skincare product gives you that double whammy of looking after your skin from both angles.
All in the delivery
If you’re choosing a topical vitamin product, you also need to take into account the way it’s delivered. Vitamins in creams and serums are lovely and will make your skin feel fantastic, but how deeply does the good stuff penetrate your skin? You can take it one step further with transdermal vitamin patches which promise to infuse your skin with any number of vitamins.
Anything from Vitamin C to CoQ10 patches are available for when your body feels in need of a vitamin boost, and the fact that it’s being taken in through your skin means that the nutrients aren’t affected by stomach acid in the way that they can be if taken as a food supplement. Do they work?
Apparently they do, and they release the vitamins slowly, all day long rather than in one big hit like a food supplement.
If you’re visiting a spa or salon, you’ll also have the option to try facials that involve different ways of ‘delivering’ vitamins and other active ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin.
Beauty has always been my passion, and as a licensed esthetician, I know that true beauty comes from the inside. I use products that are organic and natural, because I believe that what we put on the outside affects us on the inside. I also choose products that are cruelty free and I have vegan options as well... because, animals deserve our love and respect.