A friend called me on the phone the other day.
"My wife wants me to take better care of my skin,” he said, “can you recommend something for my face?"
"Sure," I said. "What type of skin do you have?"
"I don't know,” he replied. That brought our conversation to a grinding halt.
After a spirited game of Twenty Questions, I figured out his issue and made the appropriate product suggestions. Skincare is a new concept for some men -- something you need to work on and finesse with guys who couldn’t tell you the difference between a moisturizer and an exfoliator, let alone their skin type. Knowing your true skin type — that is, the type of skin you have under ideal environmental conditions — is the first step to selecting the products that meet your unique needs. For guys like my friend (who had oily skin, btw) here are some easy ways to learn your skin type while finding the best clean skincare regimen.
“Normal” skin is rarely too oily or dry. Zits are a rarity. You can tell normal skin, as with any skin type, by its texture and appearance. Small pores, even-toned, and smooth, and firm with excellent elasticity and moisture. If you have normal skin — well, lucky bloody you. Stick with a daily cleanse-tone-moisturize routine for your face and a wash-scrub-spray for the rest of your corpus, and you'll live a long and productive life.
Oily skin is typically thicker and firmer than normal skin, with less sensitivity to chemicals, detergents, or perfumes. Pores are medium to large in size and can sometimes become clogged with a sebaceous material that causes blackheads, whiteheads, or blemishes. Try a glycolic facial cleanser, followed by astringent and an oil free face lotion, every morning after you shower. Use an oil-free body cleansing gel when you bathe. Avoid cheap mass-market soaps (not soaps, really, but harsh detergents). Scrub every other day. Mask at least once a week. Tone after exercise or when you're sweaty. Use an astringent aftershave instead of a shave balm and stay away from the all-over body moisturizers.
Your skin often feels tight and flakey and -- let me guess -- you hate winter? Dry skin is usually thin, dull, easily irritated, and rough to the touch. It's easy to mistake dry skin symptoms or some mild forms of skin disease for truly dry skin. Start by following the above instructions for normal skin talk to a dermatologist if you don’t see an improvement.
Sensitive skin means you may have moderate to severe reactions to the sun, the wind, temperature extremes, cheaper shave creams, fragrances, perfumed soaps, alcohol-based deodorants — the list goes on. You burn very easily when out in the sun. Your skin always seems to sting or itch. Most of the time, you're just damned uncomfortable.
Be careful about the products you choose for your skin and try switching to a daily invigorating face wash that embraces clean skincare for men and steers away from harmful unnatural ingredients.
For shaving, try a gel instead of a cream and follow up with a post shave elixir. Caution remains the word of the day. If you see redness after an application of any of these products, discontinue their use at once.
Combination skin actually refers to the skin on your face and not the skin that covers the rest of your carcass. Most combination skin consists of an oily "T" zone (forehead, nose, and chin) with dry cheeks and eye areas. In some instances, guys exhibit an entire smorgasbord of skin conditions or, more unusual still, a dry "T" zone with normal cheeks and eye areas.
Basically, treat each area according to what you have read above for other skin types. And mask your "T" zone two to four times a month, just to even things out. The secret to men's natural skincare is starting a routine and sticking to it.
The pores on your face are very large. When you squeeze them, they exude a fatty discharge. Your skin is excessively oily and prone to acne or frequent outbreaks of blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes. Consult a dermatologist, if you have not already done so.
If you are already on prescription medication, do not pop, squeeze or pick at acne blemishes. Wash your face twice daily with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Use cosmetics and toiletries that are specifically marked "noncomedogenic." Avoid things that can aggravate your acne (oils, airborne grease, irritating clothing or sporting equipment, and so on). Use protective clothing and sunscreens/sunblocks, and avoid tanning booths. There’s a whole world of acne face wash for men out there -- just go for the natural stuff.