Sensitive skin is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 50% of men have sensitive skin.
Causes of Sensitive Skin
- Genetics - sensitive skin can be inherited and can be more prevalent is some ethnicities and skin tones.
- Ingredients in men's skincare products, such as fragrance, alcohol or exfoliating acids and enzymes
- Unprotected sun exposure
- Seasonal changes in temperature or drastic temperature change due to travel.
- Increase stress level
- Certain fabrics, such as wool and synthetics, chemicals in fabrics, or chemicals in detergent and fabric softeners
- Food sensitivity, such as spicy foods and citrus fruits.
- Medications, such as antibiotics and steroids.
The symptoms of sensitive skin can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include redness, itching, dryness, blotchiness, and acne. When men's sensitive skin flares up, the best thing to do is to not do too much. You want to let your skin recover on its own. A less is more approach is best.
Men's Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin
- Wash face twice a day, morning and night. Choose the best men's face wash that is gentle, free from synthetic fragrances and non-comedogenic (which means it doesn’t contains no pore clogging ingredients). A gentle face wash rinses away impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils causing dryness and irritation.
- Apply a face balm SPF15 to hydrate your skin in the morning and a antioxidant face moisturizer at night. Look for a moisturizer that is nourishing and non-greasy.
- Apply men's face moisturizer SPF everyday, even on cloudy days. Either a mineral or non-mineral (what the industry calls “chemical”) SPF is good. Pick the moisturizer with SPF you enjoy and would use everyday, chemical or mineral is just a preference.
- Exfoliation is still essential for sensitive skin. Look for a face scrub with fine, pulverized, powder particles in clays. Start with exfoliating once a week. Use gentle light pressure and let the men's face scrub particles do the hard work. If you choose a facial exfoliant with alpha hydroxy acid or salicylic acid (BHA), start with a lower acid percentage and use once a week, and then increase frequency once your skin has adjusted.
You can also add other steps to your skincare routine as needed, such as toner and serums. Again, look for gentle products with lower percentage of actives and build from there. It is important to start with a simple men's skincare routine and gradually add more steps as your skin adjusts. Remember, it typically takes between two to three weeks for your skin to adjust to a new product, so patience is key.
Shaving for Sensitive Skin
Shaving can be a challenge for men, especially those with sensitive skin. Here a few tips to help you minimize irritation:
- First, take your time and enjoy this self-care ritual.
- Shaving after shower is key. After a warm shower, the facial hair is softened and prepped for shave. If you can’t shower beforehand, then wash your face with tepid water and then apply a warm compress over the face for one to two minutes to soften the facial hair.
- Always use a sharp clean razor. A dull razor can lead to increased irritation. Before shaving, sanitize the razor blade by wiping it with alcohol.
- Use a natural shaving cream for sensitive skin. A men's shave cream softens facial hair, lifts hair up and away from the skin and forms a protective cushion between your face and razor, allowing for a smooth close shave. If more glide is needed, you can add a pre-shave oil before applying the men's shave cream.
- For the first pass, always shave in the direction of the hair growth and rinse razor clean with hot water after every couple of passes.
- Apply an after shave for men and follow up with a moisturizer to help soothe and moisturize your skin.
If you have any questions about men's skincare for sensitive skin, be sure to talk to a dermatologist or men's skincare specialist. They can help you create a personalized skincare routine that is right for you and recommend the right men's skin care products for a healthy clear complexion.