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Increased oiliness, larger pores, thicker skin, higher levels of collagen, facial hair; these are all characteristics of male skin in comparison to female skin. And just like the comparable differences between the male and female body; it’s down to hormones.
Due to higher levels of androgen (testosterone) production, male skin is typically 25% thicker than female skin – how insane? Somewhat frustratingly (from a female perspective, obvs) due to the higher levels of collagen, male skin also appears 15 years younger, but due to their generally more laid-back approach to beauty, it often doesn’t look that way later on in life. Unless of course, you have a derm-approved skincare regime that you follow. We got in touch with two world-renowned derms; celeb derm and Founder of Lancer Skincare, Dr. Harold Lancer, and Founder of the eponymously named skincare line, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.
Here’s what these skincare legends say a men’s skincare guide should look like:
1. Create a Plan
Dr. Lancer recommends that everyone should “Create a plan. Whether you create one with your dermatologist or assess your skin concerns on your own – figure out what you are going to tackle and how. This will help you stay on track as well as see optimal results!”
2. Go at Your Own Pace
“Start slowly – you don’t need to jump full speed ahead. Simplicity is key. You want your skin to get acclimated to products for about 3 months before you start adjusting and adding additional treatments. I start all my patients on the simple 3-step Method, $255, (Polish, Cleanse and Nourish) for their first three months” explains Dr. Lancer.
For the inexperienced, that means exfoliate once or twice a week, cleanse every evening and hydrate your skin with moisturizer morning and night. We also highly recommend wearing a factor 30 sunscreen every day – that’s how you’ll keep your skin looking 15 years younger! If that’s too complex, exfoliate once a week, and look for a moisturizer that contains SPF.
3. Look for these Ingredients
Dr. Dennis Gross adds “For guys that are new to skincare, don’t become overwhelmed. There are a lot of different products out there, but the most important thing to focus on are the ingredients.
Collagen Boosters: Anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C, peptides and retinol go a long way to help firm and brighten skin.
Antioxidants: Always try to use products with a diverse cocktail; vitamins C & E, lycopenes, green tea, grapeseed extract, etc. They will help to fight the free radicals that breakdown collagen.
Alpha Beta Hydroxy Acids: Multi-benefits in this powerful ingredient. It firms, exfoliates, reduces pore size, and leaves skin radiant! It’s the powerhouse ingredient behind my Alpha Beta Peels.
Hyaluronic Acid: Holds 1000 times its weight in water, firms and plumps skin. Since it’s naturally occurring in the body it works on all skin types all year round!”
4. Opt for Multi-Use Products
Dr. Lancer says it’s important to “Find products that have a multi-use. This is key for men. I created my Polished Line with Ryan Seacrest to help optimize your daily routine. Each product has multiple uses, for example, our cleanser also doubles as a shaving cream and our moisturizer doubles as an SPF. You don’t need much, but you do want to make sure you are hitting the key points when it comes to your daily routine.”
5. Address Your Pores
“People are obsessed with shrinking their pores but pores do not fully open and close. They act more like a camera lens – they can appear smaller and bigger – depending on environmental factors. While you can’t change the actual size of your pores, you can do a lot to reduce the appearance of their size.
Some lifestyle changes you can incorporate are; wearing sunscreen daily, refraining from smoking or consuming caffeine and alcohol, and making sure to wash off all makeup [or daily grime] before bed. Product-wise, you can incorporate an active serum-like the Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum, $65, which works in seven different ways to tighten pores: Pore-perfecting complex farnesol, adipic acid, agarikon mushroom, and prickly pear dissolves waxy buildup within the pore walls and flushes away impurities and alpha & beta hydroxy acids speed cellular turnover and help reduce future blockage” says Dr. Gross.
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6. Moisturize (Even if Your Skin is Oily)
Dr. Gross reminds us “Oily skin needs a moisturizer too. Even though it seems counterintuitive, if you have oily skin and you forego a moisturizer, your skin will become drier and rebound with more oil production. This will lead to breakouts. If you have oily skin, look for an oil-free moisturizer and avoid comedogenic [pore-blocking] ingredients. My Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion, $81, is a unique water-break gel-cream moisturizer that is perfect for anyone with oily skin.”
We also love the new, super lightweight L’Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water, $18, that’s packed with aloe water and hyaluronic acid. The formula is non-greasy and sinks into the skin quickly and easily.
7. Use Anti-Aging Products
According to Dr. Lancer, “It is never too early to start using Anti-Aging products. As you get older your cells are more vulnerable to the internal processes of aging and your skin takes twice as long to refresh and create new cells.”
8. Wear SPF Every Day
Dr. Dennis Gross reminds us, “You need to wear sunscreen every day. The sun doesn’t all of a sudden become obsolete when temperatures drop. Ask any avid skier or snowboarder, they will likely be able to recount an instance where they got sunburnt on the slopes. It does not matter what season it is or where you live, the sun is our skin’s worst enemy when it comes to skin cancer, skin damage and premature skin aging, which is why sun protection is so important. UVA/UVB trigger free radicals, which act like little darts on our skin, poking holes in our collagen and elastin. Sunspots actually form as a result of excess pigmentation due to too much ultraviolet light. Practicing “safe sun” and wearing an SPF 365 days a year is our best defense, and I cannot emphasize it enough.”
We recommend the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF 50, $23, which melts into skin really quickly and doesn’t leave a heavy or greasy feeling.
9. Don’t Be Afraid of In-Office Treatments
“Don’t be afraid of in-office treatments. In my practice, we are seeing a significantly higher number of males coming in for treatments, specifically for filler, Botox and lasers. Be sure that you trust your dermatologist and stay away from discounted injectable treatments. Creating a 360 skincare plan combining in-office procedures with at-home treatments will give you the best results,” explains Dr. Dennis Gross.
10. Don’t Stress
“Stop stressing! Stress disturbs your body’s homeostasis and throws your hormones out of whack. Not only can it affect your skin, but unrelenting stress can also result in the thinning of your hair! Focus on self-care, internally and externally, and your improvements will extend beyond your physical appearance. Not only will your skin look healthier, but you will feel healthier too,’ Dr Lancer told us, and we couldn’t agree more!
Do you guys have a consistent regime? Let us know in the comments below.