Real Men Moisturize
by Troy Fairchild
Toughening up may be what’s needed for new Boot Camp recruits, but male skin really doesn’t benefit from rough treatment. However, in the name of machismo, many men continue to make these classic mistakes with their skin:
- Use bath-soap in bar form—often a perfumey, deodorant soap—to wash the face
- Shave against the grain (causes inflammation and even ingrown hairs—ouch!)
- Slap on alcohol-based aftershaves and colognes which photosensitize the skin
- Underestimate the powers of the sun, and don’t use sufficient UV protection
- Don’t adequately exfoliate or moisturize their skin
The results aren’t pretty. Well, OK, they aren’t supposed to be pretty, exactly. But these forms of skin neglect can threaten health as well as leave skin actually hurting and looking unappealingly raw. For instance, pseudofolliculitis (razor bumps) caused by shaving with alkaline products may require medical attention, and usually leave permanent dark scarring in many pigment-rich skins. Using alcohol-based colognes on the beard-line can result in permanent reddening, darkening, and a “dirty” look around the jaw line and neck—almost like “ring around the collar.” Dry, cracked lips in need of desquamation and deep hydration don’t exactly invite leading-man smooches. And the American Cancer Society reports that men experience skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, at a much higher rate than women, especially on the fragile ear area, where men seldom apply sunscreen. Tell your male clients the key steps below for male skin fitness:
- Acid-balanced cleanser to dissolve and remove impurities without upsetting skin pH; a beard-lifting lather with mild exfoliant, to ensure a close, smooth shave and reduce risk of ingrown hairs; and a soothing botanical balm after the daily blade.
- Real men always carry protection: respectfully shield the skin from damaging UV rays.