Tired of hearing your girlfriend banging on about how you need to look after your skin and to stop stealing her beauty products in order to do so as they “aren’t right for your oily skin”?
We hate to say it, but she’s got a point.
The majority of men couldn’t tell you their skin type if their lives depended on it, and more still simply just don’t care.
But before you go jumping on the bandwagon and shouting about your equal lack of concern, if you’re one of those types who is constantly whinging about your shiny forehead or flaky cheeks, know that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Sure, you might be smugly thinking that it’s easy enough to determine whether your skin is oily or dry, but what about all the variations in between? It’s likely that the way you treat your skin is having a severe impact on its condition, and learning a few simple tips and tricks, as well as choosing the products your skin really needs, could save you a lot of skin-related strife.
We’re not just talking your day-to-day woes either. Treating your skin right before it’s too late can save you from premature ageing in the future, too, so man up and pay attention. Here, we look at the five main skin types and educate you on what you can do to improve your lot.
• Generally problem free – few spots or blemishes
• Good level of elasticity and moisture
• Even skin tone and fine pores
• Soft, smooth and comfortable after cleansing, and little irritation after shaving, provided the right measures are taken to prevent it.
If you are lucky enough to fit into this category then you can follow a normal skincare routine, but don’t think just because your skin is relatively problem-free that you don’t need to make the effort. Most skincare will work just fine on your skin, so go for a gentle cleanser and be sure to exfoliate with a decent facial scrub a couple of times a week. And man up and moisturise, too – morning and night.
• Prone to spots and blackheads
• Coarse in texture
• Greasy problem areas with oil build-up throughout the day (usually affecting the forehead, nose and chin – otherwise known as the t-zone)
It may be tempting to reach for a gel-based foaming cleanser in order to achieve that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling, but in reality there is nothing worse. The Sodium Laureth Sulphate used to create the foam is an irritant in itself, and will strip the skin of the essential oils it needs, leaving it feeling as dry and tight as old leather. The result? Even more of an oil slick, where your skin attempts to over-compensate by producing even more sebum. Not feeling so clever now, are you?
Your skin needs some oils to remain naturally lubricated, so the key here is balance. Choose a gentle, SLS-free option and don’t even think about dodging the moisturiser. Your skin can still be dehydrated, oily or not, so go for a light lotion rather than a heavy cream to
Clay-based masks are your best friend – apply twice a week to soak up any excess oil and grease and leave your skin feeling clean and comfortable.
You can also try applying a facial oil before bed – we know this might sound insane to you, but the right kind of oils can actually balance your skin. A couple of drops will do just fine.
• Prone to dry, flaky areas
• Dull in appearance and texture
• Dry and rough to touch, easily irritated
• Fine pores
• Tight and uncomfortable following cleansing or shaving
It’s an awful feeling when you’ve washed your skin and it only seems to leave it drier and tighter, but trust us, you don’t want to be giving up on skincare just yet. Reverting back to the soap is the worst possible thing you can do, as nothing will dry your skin out more.
Choose a cream cleanser with essential oils to moisturise and hydrate, and be sure to moisturise morning and night. If you’re willing to go the whole hog then massage in a few drops of a hydrating serum beforehand – they contain smaller molecules which can penetrate deeper into the skin.
Invest in a good moisture mask, too – there are some great overnight options and if you’re going on holiday this year, this is an absolute must for the dehydrating flight.
Make sure you drink plenty of water ona day to day basis, too – hydration from the inside is just as important as on the outside – if not more so.
• Easily irritated by external factors (weather, food, chemicals, skincare)
• Reacts to some fragranced products and those containing alcohol
• Prone to shaving irritation
Those with sensitive skin should avoid perfumed and fragranced products where possible, and anything else that is known to irritate your skin. This can make skincare difficult, but thankfully there are some great products out there that are free of the worst culprits. Make sure you read your ingredients lists and check for lanolin, alcohol and menthol, all of which should be given the swerve.
Always do a patch test on an inconspicuous area of skin – behind your ear is a good one – before using a product. Hypoallergenic ones can be a good idea, but should always be tested nonetheless.
For this skin type, moisturising is key, and helps to maintain a healthy barrier from the elements and other daily irritants.
Above all, keep it simple – cleansing and moisturising twice daily should suffice.
• A mixture of two or more of the other four skin-types
• Oily and breakout-prone on the forehead, nose and chin
• Drier cheeks
• After cleansing, some areas will feel tight and dry while others seem eternally oily.
Combination skin can be a tricky one, as different areas of the face have different needs. Stick to a regular cleansing and moisturising routine, but go for a light lotion on the t-zone and a heavier, more hydrating cream on the drier areas. Laziness is not an option here – this mix of skin types has the potential to destroy your manly image if you don’t take care of it!
Take heed, gents. And remember, women are always right!