Mens skin care

In our rapidly urbanized lifestyle, men's skin care has become of increasing interest as the benefits are appreciated more. Easier shaving and a more attractive skin are some of the key aspects noted. Although men traditionally spend less time caring for their skin than women do, they also tend to spend more time outdoors, which not only damages the skin but places more stress on the skin through hazardous conditions. These conditions can be from sport or work activities.

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It is often said by medical professionals that your skin is the largest organ you have because it not only serves as a protective layer against the elements, but also breathes and perspires to provide overall temperature control for your body. I have also noticed how much detoxifying it is often called upon to do once the kidneys and liver are overtaxed! Typically this manifests in a red itchy skin around the torso, which originally I thought was a reaction to something eaten or even an allergic reaction. More importantly, however, your skin often reveals a great deal about your general health and diet through simple observation, conclusions that might take multiple medical tests to reveal. When you look at your life more holistically, in order to really have the best looking skin, men's skin care involves more than just proper grooming. It requires an investment in your health and a view on longevity together with a healthy respect for the sun. Ultimately men's skin care requires the use of a non-toxic, non-chemical based daily routine that includes:

This 'How-to' skin care video is an amusing take on the most offensive men's grooming gaffes, showing guys simple solutions for solving them. No more uni-brows, nose hair, nasty looking rough hands, and ugly shaving spots.

Mens skin care: sun protection

Once summer comes around and the outdoors beckon, it’s really easy to forget about your skin care. Time spent at the beach, poolside, cycling, hiking, sailing, surfing, or participating in any outdoor sports requires a routine for applying sunscreen. Overdoing the sun and acquiring sun damage to the skin causes premature aging and, of course, the dreaded skin cancer. Knowing which sunscreen to choose is an important factor for men's skin care, as it is not just about the highest SPF. There are 3 main things to look out for when selecting a sunscreen:

  • UVA and UVB balanced protection
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Water resistance capability

Selecting a sunscreen without any UVA protection as far as I am concerned is a complete waste of time and money. I would rather wear no sunscreen and protect myself with clothing or just stay in the shade! If you have too much UVB protection (SPF over 50) it is also very difficult to get a balanced high protection from the UVA rays. UVB rays cause your skin to redden when you have had too much and ultimately result in a sunburn. This alerts you to get out the sun. With a high SPF you will effectively be able to stay in the sun longer without burning and this allows the UVA rays a longer time to do their damage, which is deeper and more penetrating and the cause of DNA damage that can result in skin cancer. So a balance of UVA and UVB is better. SPF no higher than 40 and the highest possible UVA protection. 'Broad spectrum' tells you have good UVA protection, but if possible make sure there is some certification like Boots Star (5 stars preferable, no less than 4) as well. Plus COLIPA or ISO UVA certification.

Without knowing all the details where toxic chemicals are concerned, the best bet is to look for a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide ONLY. No other chemical sunscreens in combination. No other petrochemicals or synthetic preservatives either. If possible, look for added benefits like antioxidants that will not only help fight any potential DNA damage caused by excessive sun, but will attend to a healthier overall system to deal with all the toxins that come your way in our modern lifestyles!

Use the right amount of sunscreen, generally reapplying every two hours. About an ounce, depending on your size and height. No using enough is a common cause of sunburn. Applying a little extra to vulnerable areas such as the face, ears, back of the neck and if shaven or balding, the head. Water resistance qualities will help here, especially if very active outdoors. No sunscreen is completely water proof though so make sure to reapply after being in the water.

Extra sun care

If you have a skin type of 1 or 2, i.e. fair-skinned that easily burns and doesn't tan much, with blond or red hair and blue or green eyes, you must know that you are at a bigger risk for sun damage. Sunscreen is an absolute must, especially if choosing one that is non-toxic of course. But extra precautions are also a must if planning on taking in some serious sun:

  • Stay out of the sun during peak times (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), unless specifically looking to boost your Vitamin D levels
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat offering good protection for your head, back of your neck and face
  • Never leave home without your quality sunglasses. Remember that just because your sunglasses are darker, does not necessarily mean they protect against the sun's UV rays
  • Avoid tanning beds, unless you are sure they are the right UVB ray type and not too intense. They are just as dangerous as natural light, if not more so

Precautionary mens skin care

If you notice any change in your skin, don't hesitate to get them checked out by your doctor or a dermatologist. Those with skin types 1 or 2 are well advised to make regular appointments to have their skin thoroughly checked over. Examples of changes are:

  • new moles
  • existing moles that have recently changed shape, color or size
  • scaly or crusty growths that won't go away
  • areas of skin that are rough and coarse

Remember - although stopping the action and fun to have to slather on the sunscreen may seem frustrating, but believe me, its not just about mens skin care... it could help save your life!

Mens skin care References:

The Grooming Lounge

Mens skin care

Summer skin care

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