Women aren’t the only ones whose skin needs some TLC as we head into warmer months. Men, too, need to care for and protect their skin.
“We tend to think of male skin type as tougher, thicker, but actually it’s more sensitive,” says Dr. Natalie Semchyshyn, a SLUCare dermatologist. “Compared to women, their skin loses moisture faster, is more prone to dryness and doesn't exfoliate as much.”
For a man who has never engaged in a skin-care program before, Semchyshyn recommends starting with a noncomedogenic moisturizer containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Noncomedogenic products do not clog pores and may help prevent break-outs. A slightly more advanced product choice might also include an antioxidant, such as phloretin, ferulic acid and vitamins C and E, to help protect the skin against damage from ultraviolet rays and pollution.
However, choosing noncomedogenic products may not be enough to prevent break-outs in acne-prone men. “Good ingredients to look for in acne products include benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, glycolic acid and salicylic acid,” Semchyshyn says. “A good starting regimen could include a benzoyl peroxide-containing wash, glycolic/salicylic acid treatment pads and a sulfur mask. You have to use the products for at least two months to see the full improvement from a new regimen. If you need more help, see a dermatologist.”
Sun protection is key for both men and women who want to avoid premature aging and hyper-pigmentation, and Semchyshyn urges everyone to wear sunscreen. “Zinc oxide is my favorite sunscreen ingredient and is especially good for sensitive skin,” she says. “And zinc oxide doesn’t have to be the ‘white stuff.’ Nowadays, it’s micronized to make it clear and easy to wear.” She also reminds everyone to reapply sunscreen every two hours when exposed to direct sunlight.
Sweat can clog pores and cause irritation, so Semchyshyn recommends men wash with a gentle cleanser after a sweat-inducing activity and follow with moisturizer. “Sweating clogs pores; so along with washing, it’s important to use products with benzoyl peroxide on the chest, back and shoulders to unclog the pores, as well as cleanse the skin,” she says.
Following these simple tips can help men look their best all summer long.