Men's skin type describes and interprets how and why your skin looks, feels, and behaves as it does. Recognizing and identifying all the distinctions of skin type for men are very important because different skin types for men require different product combination. Although men do need basic products like a good, gentle cleanser, shaving product, state-of-the-art moisturizer and sunscreen to incorporate into their daily skin care routine, the composition of these products, whether they are lotion-, cream-, gel-, serum- or liquid-based, should compliment your skin type.
The four most common skin type groupings for men are categorizes as:
- Normal (no apparent signs of oily or dry areas)
- Oily (shine appears all over skin, no dry areas at all)
- Dry (flaking can appear, no oily areas at all, skin feels tight)
- Combination (oily, typically in the central part of the face, and dry or normal areas elsewhere)
Acne-prone skin is often classified under oily or combination skin types and sometimes registered as a skin type all by itself. Occasionally, sensitive skin may be listed as an individual skin type but I do feel strongly that all skin types, regardless for men or women, should be considered sensitive.
The truth is, understanding your skin type is far more complicated than those 4 or 6 categories mentioned. That is why men find identifying their skin type an indefinable challenge of changes that never settles down in one specific direction.
To begin this experiment, do not use products or highlight undesirable skin types. Refrain from using products, such as soaps and bar cleanser that are known to make skin dry and irritated. Avoid occlusive moisturizers as they can clog pores and worsen breakouts. Keep away from after-shave lotions, astringents, toners and any other skin care products that are laden with alcohol and other potentially irritating ingredients that cause redness, inflammation, and flaking on the skin. All of these can wreak havoc on the skin.
However, understanding your skin type is extremely important, just not in the way the skin care industry or companies see it or the way we've been taught to think about it, because skin type is never fixed. The variations of what is taking place on your skin can change from season to season, month to month and even week to week. In addition to the complexity is the strong possibility of skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, skin discolorations, precancerous conditions, blackheads, sun damage and whiteheads.
When it comes to determining skin type for men, you need to forget what you've been taught by cosmetic salespeople, estheticians, fashion magazines and even dermatologists. The typical categories of normal, oily, dry, and combination, are a good basic, but they do not address every nuance, and they change and fluctuate with everything from the weather to your stress levels.
Once you have identified your skin type, you can begin your skin care routine. You need a gentle, water-soluble cleanser, a gentle shave product (gel, foam or cream), followed by a gentle, nonirritating post-shave or shaving lotion, which is actually just a masculine name for a gentle toner. The best after-shave product is an aspirin-based topical product that has additional potent anti-irritants. Aspirin is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent for irritated skin and is able to reduce the redness and razor bumps or burn. You can make your own by taking one or two aspirin tablets and dissolve it in about two tablespoons of water and then apply that to the face with a cotton pad.
When it comes to dealing with breakouts, preventing wrinkles, and addressing dry skin, the procedure is the same for men as it is for women. For blemishes, use a topical antibacterial product that contains benzoyl peroxide. It is very important to use sunscreen on a daily basis, rain or shine, 365 days a year. Suncare should be at least SPF 15 and loaded with effective UVA protection like avobenzone (which may also be listed as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide) and a state-of-the-art moisturizer laden with antioxidants and ingredients that replace vital substances to skin.
Any product containing antioxidants or other light- and air-sensitive ingredients should come in an opaque container whose contents receive minimal exposure to air. That automatically rules out products packaged in jars, because shortly after opening the antioxidants begin to lose potency and won't last for the lifespan of the product.
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Chris Chew is the vice president of the Mister Singapore Organization. The company produces the MISTER SINGAPORE and MISTER INTERNATIONAL pageants. More free skin care tips for men at his blog What are the skin types for men and Lose weight beauty
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