Men’s Skin Care: 6 Common Problems & Solutions

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The skin care industry places a heavy focus on women. While men can follow some of the advice that’s out there too, male skin is actually quite different from female skin, meaning that it requires different levels of attention. 

If you have been experiencing a skin concern that you just aren’t quite sure how to deal with, here are the solutions to the six most common male skin problems out there. 

Oiliness and Acne

Man looking at pimple in mirror

Male skin is oilier than female skin, mostly due to the fact that men have almost twice as many sebaceous gland as women. This means that they produce double the amount of oil. 

As you can imagine, this can quickly lead to clogged pores, and therefore acne. 

However, while women may be quick to seek advice on how to deal with acne, men aren’t quite as forthcoming. This means that their acne can worsen pretty quickly, making it much harder to treat in the end. 

When it comes to treating acne, you need to take a few different approaches…

The first is to deal with the breakouts that are already there. There are a few ingredients that can help with this, such as: 

  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Retinoids 
  • Azelaic acid

Wondering if you can use toothpaste instead? 

Definitely not. While it may be true that toothpaste does contain antibacterial properties, it’s also formulated with several other ingredients that will irritate your skin even more. Those same antibacterial properties within toothpaste can be found in other, safer ingredients instead. 

Treating acne is one thing, but you should also be taking preventative steps to prevent future breakouts. 

One of the best things that you could do is ensure that your skin is kept cleansed. This will prevent blockages from forming in your pores, therefore stopping breakouts from erupting. 

However, make sure that you don’t scrub at your skin – this will only aggravate things even more. Exfoliation is key, but go for a chemical, rather than a physical, exfoliant. Again, salicylic acid would be a great choice, as this will exfoliate deep within your pores to remove any impurities. 

One more thing…

Don’t forget to moisturize! This may seem counter-intuitive, but oil is the opposite of water, and water is what your skin needs. If you choose a water-based, lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t contain any pore-clogging ingredients, then this will only benefit your skin. 

Redness and Irritation After Shaving

Some men shave their faces just about every day, making it hardly surprising that the skin starts to react after a while. Yes, shaving may be a form of exfoliation, but over-exfoliating can be extremely detrimental to the skin. 

Razor burn is one of the most common post-shave problems experienced by men. It basically means that you’ve been too aggressive with your skin, either due to your shaving method or using blunt razor blades. 

The best way to deal with this is by applying a cooling and soothing cream to your face. Avoid shaving in the area until your skin has healed, and make sure that you do all you can to prevent razor burn from forming in the future. 

Razor bumps are another common issue. These are caused by ingrown hairs and can be very sore. Keep the area cool and soothed with a moisturizing cream, and don’t shave that part of your skin until it heals. 

It’s also important to keep shaved areas of your skin constantly moisturized. Shaving removes the top, protective layer of dead skin cells, which can leave your skin vulnerable to dryness and damage. A moisturizer forms a protective layer over the top of your skin to keep it safe and hydrated. 

Man shaving

Dark Circles

Struggling with dark circles under your eyes? 

These can be caused by a number of different things, such as: 

  • Sleep deprivation and fatigue
  • Allergies 
  • Sun exposure 
  • Aging
  • Eye strain 
  • Dehydration 
  • Genetics 

As with all skin concerns that may arise, it’s important to get to the root of the problem in addition to treating individual symptoms. If you don’t, then your dark circles aren’t going to disappear permanently. 

How do you get rid of dark circles? 

Again, this depends on the cause. If sleep deprivation is your issue, and this is the most common reason behind dark circles, then adjust your sleep routine to ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep. 

If it’s allergies, medication could help, while sun exposure can be blocked with some SPF. Dehydration means you need more moisturizer and to consume more water, while eye strain may require a visit to an optician. 

There are a few skin care products out there that could possibly help. Look for ones containing vitamin C, which is one of the best brightening ingredients around. Vitamin K is another ingredient that has been proven to help with dark circles, while the simple DIY hack of placing cool, caffeinated tea bags over the eyes can work well too. 

Expression Lines and Wrinkle

Many people don’t realize that male skin is actually thicker than female skin. The difference lies in the dermis – this layer of skin is 20% thicker for men. 

What does this mean? 

It means that men are less prone to the more superficial fine lines and wrinkles that women experience. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t deal with lines at all…

Instead, men can sometimes find themselves with deep expression lines forming. These are the lines that naturally form on your face when you make different facial expressions, such as smiling and frowning. 

While you’re young, those lines simply bounce back into smoothness once you’ve released that facial expression. However, as you age, those lines start to stick around, soon becoming deeply etched into your skin. This happens gradually with women, but those lines can come on so much more suddenly in men. 

Man looking at wrinkles in mirror

If you want to significantly reduce the appearance of those lines and wrinkles, then you need to start dealing with the problem as early on as possible. 

This means putting together an anti-aging skin care routine.

How? 

These are the products that you will need: 

  • A cleanser – dirt and toxins from the environment settle into your skin every day, damaging the proteins that hold your skin up from within. Cleansing at the end of each day is a must, but choose a relatively gentle cleanser, especially if your skin is dry or sensitive 
  • Serums – serums are truly fantastic. They are highly-concentrated solutions designed to target various skin issues, so pick the serum that meets your skin’s requirements. In this case, you’ll need a couple of serums that address fine lines and wrinkles, and also boost collagen production back up 
  • An eye cream – although male skin may be thicker than female skin, the skin around the eyes is still pretty delicate. This is why expression lines often show up around the eyes before anywhere else on the face. An eye cream will keep this area plump and nourished
  • A moisturizer – not only are lines and wrinkles much more visible on dry skin, but a moisturizer will give your skin the ingredients it needs to stay plumper and younger-looking. Again, go for a moisturizer with anti-aging ingredients
  • An exfoliant – chemical exfoliations, such as alpha hydroxy acids, are key for stimulating skin cell turnover, which is exactly what you need to keep your skin looking youthful 
  • Face masks – this may seem like an indulgence, but a weekly face mask will give your skin an intense boost of anti-aging ingredients 

Dark Spots

Noticed dark spots appearing on your face? 

These are also known as age spots or sun spots, which should give you a clue about what causes them. 

When your skin is exposed to UV rays, it produces extra melanin to protect itself. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin its color, but over-exposure to the sun leads to an over-production of melanin. Over time, this excess melanin clusters together under certain parts of your skin, leading to those dark spots. 

The first thing you need to do to deal with this is start using sunscreen properly. Chances are, you’ve been pretty lax with your sunscreen use over the years, which is precisely why you are now experiencing dark spots. 

While a sudden diligence to SPF won’t reverse the damage that’s already been caused, it will prevent your existing dark spots from worsening, and will also stop new ones from forming. 

Once you’re ready to commit to the SPF, you can then work on fading those dark spots. After all, there’s no point putting in the effort in that regard if you allow the sun to continue making things worse. 

How can you fade dark spots? 

There are certain ingredients out there that are great for this. 

Alpha hydroxy acids are a good choice, because these will slowly exfoliate away darkened skin cells. Lightening ingredients, such as liquorice root extract and kojic acid, work well too, as does the brightening power of vitamin C. 

Eczema 

Man scratching skin

If your skin has been itchy, red, and scaly, then this could mean that you have eczema. This skin condition is usually caused by genetics, and while many first experience it as a baby, it can often show up for the first time in adults too. 

Being a chronic skin condition, there isn’t a cure for eczema. However, there are many prevention measures that you can take, as well as ways in which you can soothe your skin during a flare-up. 

Of course, if you suspect eczema, then a confirmation from your doctor or dermatologist is a must. This is important since you may need a prescription for topical corticosteroids, depending on how severe your case is. 

If your eczema is mild and you would prefer to deal with it at home, then an emollient moisturizer is an essential. This should be applied daily onto dry areas of skin to keep your skin soft and lubricated. It will also help to relieve the itching, which is vital since scratching at your skin will only worsen the problem. 

You will also need to start identifying your eczema triggers. This could be anything from hay fever allergies to a specific laundry detergent to certain foods – the sooner you know what your triggers are, the faster you will be able to start avoiding them. 

One trigger that many eczema sufferers share is stress. Although stress doesn’t cause eczema to arise in the first place, it definitely makes it worse. This is down to the cortisol produced by the body during times of stress, otherwise known as the stress hormone. 

Cortisol interferes with the skin’s functions in a number of ways, one of which is by triggering inflammation. This then exacerbates eczema. 

Minimizing stress may be easier said than done, but stress can actually play a role in many different skin conditions, making it worth taking control of. There are numerous stress relief techniques out there – the secret lies in finding the ones that work best for you. A few things that you could try the next time you’re feeling stressed are: 

  • Listening to some music 
  • Doing some exercise 
  • Spending time in nature 
  • Writing your thoughts down in a journal 
  • Working on a hobby that you enjoy 

Although females tend to be the biggest buyers when it comes to skin care products, men experience just as many skin issues that need to be dealt with. Since the composition of male skin differs from that of female skin, it is important to always seek targeted advice – after all, if you do the wrong thing, you may just end up making your problems worse. 

Fortunately, most skin issues can be dealt with by using the right topical products and ingredients, and by living a healthy lifestyle. 

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