skin care

Do Real Men Moisturize?

by Michael on January 26, 2010 · 0 comments

What happens when women intrude on men's "moisturizing parties."

There are two schools of thought on men’s facial products:

  • “Real men don’t put anything on their faces except maybe some musky, spicy after shave.”
  • “I look at Tommy Lee Jones and think maybe I can do better.”

You know, there’s something to be said for that weathered look that adds so much character to a guy…if he’s a movie star. But think about the last regular guy you saw walking down the street with a face that has obviously been unprotected from the elements for 30-40 years and said to yourself, “now there goes a handsome man.”

The fact is, aging happens. Everyone’s face loses elasticity as they get older. But another fact is that it doesn’t have to happen in your 30s. Yet another, third fact is that some of this “natural” weathering can lead to some nasty conditions or even skin cancer.

The way to stay younger looking longer is to treat your skin well, including application of a good moisturizer. This isn’t makeup we’re talking about. It just locks in moisture and protects from the elements. And you don’t have to spend extra time in front of the mirror or buy a medicine chest full of specialized products to do it.

Two minutes of your life you will get back

Your quick skin care regimen starts after you put down the razor: a good after shave balm soothes the burn and protects your skin. First wash your whole face, then rub the balm gently into the damp skin where you shaved.

Then grab your moisturizer—one with an SPF, to protect you from sun damage—and gently apply it from the forehead down. Your skin should be slightly damp, as moisturizers don’t work as well when there’s no moisture to lock in. Be extra gentle in the fragile area under each eye, and don’t forget the nose. If your shave balm has an SPF, you can stop where you applied the balm. If not, continue to apply a protective layer of moisturizer all the way down to your collarbone.

And that, my friend, is it.

You can add a targeted eye cream (some are soothing, as if you splashed your eyes with ice water, but most don’t do much an all-purpose moisturizer can’t do) or a special “serum,” but these aren’t necessary for the basic task of prolonging your youthful skin.

Live well for better skin

Like the rest of your body, your skin also benefits from a positive lifestyle:

  • Get enough rest.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t spend long periods in the sun, or wear a hat to shade your face.
  • Watch the drinking binges.
  • Eat healthy food. (Salmon and tuna are especially good for the skin.)

With the stopgap exceptions of Botox and facelifts, there’s little you can do to get your younger look back when your face edges into Christopher Walken territory, so prevention is your best weapon.

What to buy

I’ve tried a few products over the years, and a few stand out.

To help keep your pores clean after you shave, Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser is a simple face wash. In fact, for basic, inexpensive products Neutrogena rules, and you really don’t have to spend much for a good face wash.

A few great aftershave balms I’ve tried are Zirh Soothe Post-Shave Solution and Billy Jealousy Shaved Ice After-Shave Balm on the higher end, and Nivea for Men Cooling Post Shave Balm on the more inexpensive side.

My favorite moisturizer is Zirh Protect face moisturizer—I’m yet to find anything I like better. But because your mileage (and budget) may vary, I recently tried Neutrogena Men Age Fighter Face Moisturizer and it does its job without clogging my pores, which I can’t say of everything at that price.

To wrap, a couple of minutes per day will help add at least a few years to your skin’s elasticity—and combined with the right lifestyle, you could end up looking 35 when you’re 45. But like saving for retirement, starting early yields the best results.

You can look “like you’ve really lived,” or you can really live and just keep them guessing. The choice is yours.

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