Excellence in Skin Care


Author: Isabel Clemente - L.E. - Medical and Oncology Aesthetician

Let’s be honest: how many mothers actually teach their sons to take care of their skin as part of their grooming?  And how many fathers actually teach their sons how to shave when the time comes?  Well, not many.  The result is adult men with scars from teenage years’ acne and dry, sensitive skin as a result of poor care and shaving techniques.

In the past, a man who took care of his skin was seen as one who “took too much time in front of the mirror,” a negative effect for his male image.  Luckily, times have changed and we see more men taking the time to care for their skin and, therefore have fewer problems with it.

Despite the evolution of our society, though, there are still taboos and misconceptions that are hard for a man to overcome.  Biologically, there are other obstacles to overcome: the male brain is wired differently than the female brain and simply put, a man is more focused on the results of a process than in the process itself.   Therefore, getting a man to perform a routine that requires more than just “wash and go”, is a bit of a challenge.  Of course, there are and there have always been men who take their personal hygiene and grooming quite seriously.  On the other hand, there are still parts of our country in which a “macho” stereotype is still in vogue and those who are concerned with their appearances are viewed as people who “fuss too much over it.”

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and its primary defense from the environment.  For that fact alone, skin should be looked after consistently, regardless of gender.  Men’s skin is 25% thicker than women’s due to a higher collagen density and sebum, the latter accounting for longer lasting acne periods.  The aging process is different in men and women and, in comparing a man and a woman of the same age, the skin of a man technically is younger than the skin of the woman.  In addition to the higher collagen density, another factor accounts for the younger looking appearance on a man’s skin: the higher production of sweat - more than twice of that of a woman -, which is in part caused by higher body temperature.   Sweat contains lactic acid, a natural humectant, and it is possible that men skin benefits from that.  However, despite the extra help from nature, some women may look younger because women, in general, are more inclined to take better care of their skin.  A man can add one or two steps during shaving as a simple way to integrate skin care into his routine, and, voila - better skin!  Poor shaving procedures are probably responsible for the majority of problems in a man’s skin.  Pseudofolliculitis Barbae, which includes ingrown hairs, razor bumps and razor burns can be minimized significantly just by using products appropriate for one’s particular skin type as well as good and sharp blades.

Understanding a little bit about the skin and the beard itself would greatly improve the appearance and health of a man’s skin.  Also important is protection, especially when it comes to sun exposure.  Sun rays are not only the major factor in skin premature aging, but also in skin cancer, which is rising rapidly among men.  Using a sunscreen is as fundamental to a man’s grooming as shaving.  So, in order to take better care of his skin without too much fuss, a man should consider doing three things: find out his skin type (oily, dry or combination), get tips on how to shave properly and what to use for the process, and protect his skin.  Go to a good and caring skin care therapist and she will help you with some good tips.  And, hey, you will still be a guy!