Essential Skincare for Men
By Shelly Ballestero
Women are not the only ones out there who care about what they look like, right? Men have mirrors, too; they just don’t verbalize how much they care about their appearance as much as women do.
Think about the men in your life. Whether it is your husband, father, grandfather, brother, or uncle, this article is devoted to them.
OK, guys, here it goes. This is what we are going to cover: your skin; what to use; how to use and how often. I promise I will make this painless and written mostly with bullet points.
First Things First
What is your skin type? Meaning, are you oily, dry, sensitive, or normal?
Here’s a quick way to find out:
- Wash your face with tepid water.
- Wait one hour. Are you feeling dry or slick?
- Take a lens tissue or blotting tissue and press around face (forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin).
- If the tissue comes back dry, then your skin does not produce that much oil and pores are small; if it comes back oily, your pores are bigger and produce more sebum (oil).
- If you have medium-sized pores with smooth skin tone, you would be considered normal skin type.
- You may have combination skin if your face is oily in the T-zone -not a T-bone!-(forehead, nose, and chin) and dry or normal everywhere else.
Your New Daily Routine
- Most Skin Types: cleanse, shave, tone, aftershave, moisturize, and add eye cream. (If you are in a hurry, skip the aftershave.)
- Very oily skin: cleanse, shave, tone, and aftershave.
- Heavy beard: cleanse, pre-shave, shave, tone, aftershave, and moisturize (Recommended: So Clean 4.4 oz., a cleanser or beard softener).
- Ingrown hair: cleanse, scrub, pre-shave, shave, tone, spot treat, aftershave, and moisturize. Using Smooth 1.2 oz. by Mychelle will help irritation after shave.
Let’s Break It Down:
NORMAL TO DRY SKIN:
Cleanser – Aubrey-Organics Basic Cleansing Bar (Aubrey-Organics.com) has a low scent. Made with 85% organic ingredients, it leaves the skin clean and refreshed without over-drying. You can have it in the shower with you. There is also a kit called Flower Thereapy Skin Care Sampler. Don’t let the name fool you! For a small price, you can try it out and see how you like the line first. It has a cleanser, toner, lotion, and cream.
Moisturizer – Men’s Stock Daily moisturizer
Cleanser – White Cranberry Cleanser by Mychelle cleanses the skin without over-drying. 100% pure has a wonderful cleanser and smells invigorating also (100percentpure.com) Organic Eucalyptus Sea Foam Facial Cleanser is also good.
Moisturizer – Miessence Purifying Moisturizer (Miessence.com)
Blemish Control – Herbal Blemish stick by Burt’s Bees (burtsbees.com) or try tea tree oil.
Cleanser – Unscented Cleansing Cream by CWS (allnaturalcosmetics.com); John Master’s Organics (JohnMastersOrganics.com) Linden Blossom Face Cream Cleanser is a great cleanser for sensitive skin yet very effective.
Moisturizer – Vegecol with Aloe Moisturizing Cream by Aubrey-Organics
Treatment for dilated capillaries – Capillary Calming Serum by Mychelle. It’s a little pricey, but it works. Your Homemade version*: 1 tablespoon of Jojoba oil, 1 teaspoon of macadamia oil, 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil, 5 drops each of German chamomile, calendula (CO2 extract), helichrysum, and lavender. Mix together and let synergize for 24 hours. Shake before each use and apply morning and night.(1) (For ingredients check out MountainRoseHerbs.com)
You can always make your own with Apple Cider Vinegar (dilute with water, not recommended for sensitive skin). Apply to a cotton ball and dab on your face. Or buy a ready-made one by Fruit Enzyme mist by Mychelle (Mychelleusa.com) for all skin types, 100% Pure Organic Lavender Hydrosol and Peppermint Green Tea Refresher packed with anti-aging ingredients (most skin types; eczema skin usually reacts with peppermint).
Shave Cream Choices
Avalon Organics Moisturizing Cream Shave (avalonorganics.com), Organic Grooming Shave Cream by Herban Cowboy (vitasprings.com) or Gaia Made for Men Shave Gel (gaiaskinnaturals.com).
Aubrey-Organics Men’s Stock in North Woods, Spice Island, City Rhythms; Smooth by Mychelle will help with irritation after shave and is light on the skin. Another one to try is by Burt’s Bees called Natural Skincare for Men Aftershave.
Pre-shave product is usually made up of oil (castor oil, olive oil with essential oils) that softens coarse beard hair so that it is easier to cut. You may like So Clean by Mychelle. It can also double as a cleanser.
Evening Daily Routine
- Most skin types: cleanse, tone, moisturize
- Oily skin: cleanse, tone, appropriate moisturizer
Use once or twice a week, depending on skin type. Clay masks draw out impurities, while a mask with oats will soothe. Try French Green Clay & Green Tea Purifying mask like John Master’s Organics.
Once a week should be enough. I know some say two to three times per week, but that can irritate your skin. You can use baking soda mixed with water or grind up some oats (1/2 cup), ¼ cup powdered milk, and 1 teaspoon of cornmeal. Store the mixture in an airtight container. When using the mixture, add enough water to make a paste and massage onto skin. Then rinse.
You can try the Allum Block. It costs about $15, but it helps the blood flow. The un-petroleum jelly by Alba Botanicals is a good choice, too.
This is a cool all-in-one system called Clenzology by Garden of Life (Gardenoflifeusa.com). It has body cleansing that smells terrific, facial solution (a.m. & p.m.) that cleanses the mucus membranes and nasal cavities, tooth and gum solution, ear solution to clean the ear canal and reduce build up of excess wax, and a sea sponge. I got if for my husband and found myself using it, too.
Use daily, preferably with a 25 SPF or higher. Plus, wear a hat and sunglasses. Be sure to get checked out by a dermatologist yearly.
These are formulated (highly concentrated) to be multi-taskers and address fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness, etc. When applying eye cream, the size of a grain of rice and no more than the size of a pea should do. I like to put my eye cream on following the orbital muscle. That way I don’t go against the flow and drag or pull the thin, delicate skin. Aubrey-Organics Men’s Stock Daily Rejuvenating Eye Cream, John Master’s Organics Firming Eye Gel, and 100 percent Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream are my recommendations.
The Man in the Mirror
Before leaving the house, do the “NeNe” check, the no-hair-gets-left-behind rule:
Nose hair – trim them
Ear Hair – trim them
Neck Hair – shave them
Eyebrow Hair – trim them
Tip: When trimming eyebrows, cut in layers so the hairs won’t stick straight out. If brows are unruly, apply castor oil with a Q-tip (be careful of eye area). This helps to soften them.
Now that you have done the mirror check, you are ready for some cologne. Why not try an alternative that does not contain Phthalates or parabens like Pacifica? Pacifica is a family owned company out of Oregon (Pacificaperfume.com). The company has a wonderful line of lotions, soaps, candles, and cologne. Some of my favorites are the Mediterranean Fig and Spanish Amber. I am not a big scent person myself, but this smells nice for the guys and is very affordable.
So you’re ready for that big date with that special woman now. I think she will notice the difference and love it! You are special and deserve to look and feel great, too.
*Reference: Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles
Shelly Ballestero is a licensed esthetician, make-up artist, beauty editor of Lifestyle Magazine, and author.
Shelly has studied under Emmy Award winner Eve Pearl, head make-up artist for ABC's The View. In addition, Shelly is one of the make-up experts for Jane Iredale cosmetics and participates in the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa conference. Shelly and her husband, Angelo, a worship pastor, live in Windermere, Florida, with their two children.
(Photo of Shelly courtesy of Katie Meehan, www.phfocus.com.)
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