Skin care for men? Yes, why not? Here are some tips...
WHEN IT comes to skin care, men need to take as much care as women, especially since they use cosmetics such as shaving creams and aftershaves on a day-to-day basis.
Men's skin does differ from that of women, though only subtly. The skin tends to be 25 per cent thicker, and that's because the collagen content is higher. (Collagen is the fibrous substance that gives your skin body and suppleness.)
Also, men's skin produces more sebum or oil, which forms a protective film on the skin's surface. So aging of the skin in men is slightly slower.
Men also need to cleanse and moisturise the skin as well as use an effective sunscreen. Facials are beneficial too.
For the face, use a face wash depending on your skin type.
A lot of men have dry skin, in which case they may need to use a water-soluble face wash.
If you have oily skin, one of the foaming face washes is preferable.
If you have normal skin, you need not use a moisturiser. But if your skin tends to dry up, then use a moisturiser at bedtime. Often, men with oily skin tend to suffer dryness especially in winter. In this case, they can use an oil-free moisturiser. Oil massages are just as important for men. Use olive oil or sunflower oil for massaging.
Using a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more is the most essential part of skin care routine. It will prevent sunburn and hyper-pigmentation, especially if you are working outdoors.
A close shave
A few words about shaving. The beard area contains between 6,000 and 25,000 coarse circular or oval hair fibres. Growth rate of the facial hair varies from person to person, but is in the order of 0.4mm over a twenty-four-hour period. Distribution too is not homogenous over the beard area - it tends to be lowest over the lower cheek and highest over the upper lip. Generally, hair emerges from the skin surface at an angle of 30-60 degrees.
Tips for a comfortable shave
Wash stubble with soap and hot water to remove oil. Shower before shaving, allowing stubble to soak. Try to shave only in the direction of hair growth usually downward. Use a shaving cream, gel or soap. These products surround the hair with moisture. They also reduce friction. Complete your shaving regimen with an aftershave. The alcohol found in many aftershaves can cause skin irritation. So use a cream or gel aftershave if you have sensitive skin. If you have dry skin, you might just need to use a moisturiser after shaving.
Aftershaves leave a refreshing feeling and soothe razor discomfort. A skin bracer or refresher has a higher alcohol content than an aftershave lotion and may be used either as an aftershave or as a body refresher after a bath or shower. Aftershaves or skin bracers are beneficial for those with oily skin. Individuals with dry skin should avoid aftershave products and instead apply an emollient cream or lotion after shaving and washing the face.
LILY MADHOK, therapeutic nutritionist, dietician and beautician, will answer queries relating to beauty in this column. She is the Director of Salon 2000, ITC Park Sheraton. E-mail queries to email@example.com.
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