Some men seem to think that a lot of things separate them from their female counterparts. Many people often (falsely) exclaim that men have it easy because all they have to do is wash their face with some water and comb their hair, and they are ready to go.
Although it’s true that (most) men don’t wear makeup or have as elaborate skincare routines as women do, it’s completely false that men should only wash their face with water and call it a day.
The truth of the matter is — men’s skin is no different than women’s. There are no properties that make it more impervious to damage (and that includes sun damage, gentlemen), aging, acne, etc.
So, why are many men still convinced that they don’t need to take care of their skin? Why do they think that their skin will take care of itself?
That’s probably because our society as a whole has spent decades convincing men that grooming, skincare, and generally caring about their appearance is “unmanly.” Generations of men have been fed the same misconceptions about skincare. Today, we’re breaking them apart and explaining once and for all that men’s skin needs love and attention too.
How Men’s Skin Gets Damaged
We only need a few words to answer this question — the same way women’s skin does. Age, sun, and dirt damage men’s skin in the same way they do a woman’s. In fact, men might be a bit more prone to skin damage because many men refuse to wear sunscreen, moisturize, or even use a face wash. That leaves them with clogged pores and generally speeds up the aging process.
What’s more, men also use aftershaves that typically sting them after use. They say that’s the way it’s supposed to be, but the stinging is your skin’s way of complaining about the amount of alcohol in the aftershave that drys it out.
Men and women have the same skin structure and, although some men still refuse to hear it, need to tend to their skin in equal measure. Skin type is what determines a skincare routine, not gender.
Common Misconceptions About Men’s Skincare
Of course, we don’t want to chastise all men or generalize without any proof. Here at Ottawa Ottawa Vein & Cosmetic Medical Clinic, we see many male clients concerned about the state of their skin and willing to do whatever it takes to take care of it. However, even men who have a skincare routine sometimes fall victim to common misconceptions.
So, let’s unpack this together, shall we?
Skincare is a Female-Only Thing
As mentioned, some men see skincare as unmanly. They think having, for example, oily skin is natural, and there’s nothing one can do about it (or should, for that matter).
Well, although oily skin IS natural, we can, in fact, do quite a bit to ensure we keep the oil production to a minimum. The same goes for dry skin or any other type of issue. If it presents, men should attend to it the same way women do.
Skincare is a vital part of maintaining physical health. Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and not caring for it means jeopardizing our well-being. So, even though skincare has a lot to do with appearance (which is why some men shun it or label it as “girly”), not caring for your skin can be detrimental to your health.
I Have a Beard; I Don’t Need Anything Else
Many men not only refuse to use skincare products but also have no idea what type of skin they have. They say their beard covers everything up anyway, so they don’t have to bother.
That is possibly the greatest myth about men’s skincare of them all. A beard won’t protect the skin from aging or sun damage. What’s more, skin can still get oily and get clogged pores or get dry even if you have a ZZ Top-worthy beard.
So, cleaning the skin and moisturizing it is vital, even if you can’t really see the skin from the bushy beard!
Men Don’t Need Sunscreen
Not using sunscreen for whatever reason (but especially because “it’s a girl thing”) is potentially disastrous for men. First of all, we should all protect ourselves against the sun. Furthermore, men are actually at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than women.
Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in men, which means that by not applying sunscreen daily, you’re actually risking your health.
Men Age Better
It’s a fairly common misconception that men age better than women. But that’s just a society-wide delusion that has a lot to do with media representation of male vs. female beauty.
In reality, women age just as well as men, and the state of your skin later in life solely depends on how you treated it during those early years (and genetics, of course).
A Bar of Soap Is All You Need
Cleaning your skin in the morning with regular soap is not a skincare routine. Body soap isn’t gentle enough for the skin of your face, and it will dry it out.
Some men also believe that this can prevent acne. Although we can see how that conclusion came to be, given that acne is a direct consequence of excess oil, acne can still appear on dry skin. It has to do with hormones, skin type, and genetics, so a bar of soap can’t really stop it.
Your skin needs its natural oils, and stripping it from it can cause other issues. So it isn’t just acne that you have to worry about, you know!
But You Shouldn’t Wash Your Face Often, Or It Will Get Dry
This is only true if you’re using regular soap to wash your face. But even then, your skin needs daily cleaning. Gentle face washes that are made for your skin type and that you will use every day are a much better option than soap.
If You Do Use Moisturizer, Only Use Thick Ones
This misconception probably has roots in the famous, “Go big or go home!” saying. Some men think that if they do need to moisturize (and they really do), they might as well do it “right.” So, they get thick, heavy creams that often slog their pores and aren’t good for their skin type.
Always get the skincare products that are made specifically for your skin. If you have oily skin, a heavy moisturizer will only make it worse.
How To Take Care Of Your Skin (Men, Pay Attention!)
So, now that we’ve established that men do indeed need to care for their skin, let’s see how they can do that.
Find Out What Your Skin Type Is
Finding out which skin type you have is the first step. You need to know how your skin behaves so you know which products to get.
This step isn’t as difficult given that there are only four skin types:
- Combination skin
If you’re unsure which skin type you have, you can always ask a dermatologist or a skin care professional.
Develop a Skincare Routine
This is the step most men struggle with. They think skincare needs to be an elaborate, 12-step daily protocol that will eat up their free time.
In reality, all you really need is a good cleanser, an exfoliator that you’ll use from time to time (and before shaving), and a moisturizer for your skin type.
Of course, as mentioned, you also need sunscreen. Protecting your skin against the sun will prevent sun damage and potential skin cancer.
Seek Professional Help If Necessary (You Don’t Have to Live With Acne, You Know)
If you have skin issues such as spots, blemishes, acne, and wrinkle-prone skin, you can (and should) seek professional help. A dermatologist might help you perfect your skincare routine to ensure your skin is issue-free or suggest treatments for existing issues.
If you think microneedling and dermal fillers are just for the ladies, think again!
A Few Parting Words
Caring for your skin should be a vital part of your routine, no matter the gender. We really hope we made that clear in this article. And, who knows, maybe you’ll even become a skincare enthusiast!
But even if that doesn’t happen, a solid, simple skincare routine will be more than enough to protect you and keep you looking as fine as possible!