Here we go men. I have another article for you guys out there about the most important ingredients every man should use on their skin. Last week I published the complete guide to anti aging for men, so this is a great time for an article a bit more in depth info on the importance of each of these ingredients. AEDIT.com gave me permission to use their research on this so I can share it with my readers. From detoxing the skin using charcoal, to hydrating using hylauronic acid, let’s check out 8 ingredients every man should use on their skin.
For most men out there, the world of skin care can feel overwhelming. There are so many products and so many steps, where do you start? An effective skin care regimen doesn’t need to be complicated, which is great news for men since they tend to favor a simple routine with minimal steps. When it comes to skin care it’s all about the ingredients you’re using. Think of it like your diet. Our bodies need certain nutrients to function properly, and most of us give at least some thought into what we put into our bodies so we can function at our best.
Our skin is the same way, the ingredients we use on our face will ensure your skin is as healthy as can be. It has been scientifically proven that men and women have subtle differences in their skin, men’s complexions are thicker, produce more oil, and they have larger pores. Men also sweat almost 50% more than women with that sweat having a higher amount of lactic acid, which changes the PH balance. This doesn’t mean that it has to say just for men on the labels, just that many of these products are not actually formulated specifically for a man’s skin, and, even if they were, the jury is out on whether the difference between men’s and women’s skin is drastic enough to warrant different products.
Instead, men should use products based on their specific skin type, which they can find out by taking a quick trip to a dermatologist or aesthetician. Many men out there think they have oily skin, when in fact their skin is dry so it overproduces oil. Once you know your skin type, you can ask the same professional to recommend some products to you.
Another thing that will make shopping the skin care isle a bit easier, is knowing which ingredients do what. We spoke to board certified dermatologist Ron Shelton M. D of Manhattan’s Laser & Skin Surgery of New York to find out what ingredients should (at a minimum!) be in every man’s skincare routine.
“The most important skincare ingredient every man should have in his routine is sunscreen,” says Dr. Shelton. “Daily sunscreen use is very important to reduce further aging of the skin.” Another thing it reduces is the chance of skin cancer and sun damage, which has actually been shown to affect men than women.
The type of sunscreen you use is a personal preference. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays then dispersing them, while physical sunscreens form a barrier between the rays and your skin to basically reflect the rays. Shelton notes that “with perspiration, some sunscreens will run down from the forehead and irritate the eyes.” In that case, he recommends mineral-based, physical sunscreens. Remember to always use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.
Antioxidants are a staple in any skin care routine due to the fact that they can help control the negative impact free radicals have on our skin. Free radicals are caused by environmental pollution and UV rays among other negative factors that cause premature aging and damage to our skin. These also contribute to inflammation.
Skin care products containing Vitamin C and Vitamin E can greatly reduce this inflammation, not only by curbing the signs of aging but also by reducing the appearance of dark spots, uneven skin tone, and fine lines/wrinkles. Look for a moisturizer that contains antioxidants such as OleHenrikson C- Rush Vitamin C Gel or a serum such as Skinceuticals CE Ferulic.
Chances are you have seen the ingredient hylauronic acid in many skin care products, this is because it is one of the most important and universal skin care ingredients. This naturally occurring substance is vital to skin cells’ ability to retain moisture. It’s also a humectant, which means it has the ability to draw moisture from its surroundings.
Make sure that whatever moisturizer you use has a high percentage of hylauronic acid and it should be listed as one of the top ingredients in the contents. You can also add even more moisture through hylauronic acid by using a serum before moisturizer to have an added benefit by layering the two. AEDIT.com suggest layering the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hylauronic Acid Cream on top of The Ordinary Hylauronic Acid 2 % + B5 Serum.
Peptides are short chains of amino acids that make up the proteins in our skin. Think about collagen and elastin (i.e. the components of skin that keep it tight and looking fresh): those proteins are made up of amino acids. Using a skincare product that contains peptides can help keep these healthy and plentiful in your skin, which in turn will keep it looking healthier and younger.
Peptides can be found in all sorts of skin care products, but if you’re looking to keep steps to a minimum, go for one that has them added. A great brand is Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer & First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Sleeping Cream.
Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, and is one of the workhorses of dermatology. These days when we hear about retinol, we also hear about fine lines and wrinkles. Another amazing property of retinol is that it helps fight acne. So you get anti aging and acne all in one. It works by increasing cell turnover, which clears away dead skin cells to make room for the new ones.
Also, it’s especially important for men who haven’t been the best at wearing sunscreen. “Guys with sun damage should be using retinol,” says Dr. Shelton. “It can help reverse some signs of sun damage such as irregular coloration and can improve the collagen layers below the epidermis.” Retinols can be irritating at first so start slow and build up, and only wear it at night. Sunlight increases the skins’ sensitivity to retinols, so you must wear sunscreen all the time. A great brand for beginners is RoC Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.
One of the most important components of your complexion is the skin barrier, a microscopic layer of lipids that keeps moisture in and pollution out. When products are too aggressive or you exfoliate too much, that protective layer can become damaged and cause inflammation.
This can lead to dry skin, redness and even acne. “Ceramides are great in moisturizers to replace the skin’s barrier,” says Dr. Shelton. Ceramides are lipids just like what is in the skin barrier and using a product that replenishes them can help maintain a healthy barrier. Try a moisturizer such as Paula’s Choice Ceramide Enriched Firming Moisturizer and use both day and night.
Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids
Exfoliation is one of the most important parts of your skin care routine. If you have acne or breakouts, using an acid instead of a scrub will make all the difference. Alpha hydroxy acids (think: glycolic acid or lactic acid) help to break the bonds between dead skin cells and gently slough them away from the surface of the skin.
Beta hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid), meanwhile, get down into the pores and dissolves built-up oil and debris inside. Depending on your skin type, you may want to use one or both. Using an exfoliating toner a few times a week would help. Here is a good one to try: Glossier Solution.
You may have noticed a lot of men’s products contain charcoal and for good reason. Activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years to absorb toxins. When it comes to your skin, Dr. Shelton says “charcoal can help absorb over-produced amounts of oil.” If you have oily skin, using a cleanser that contains charcoal can help slow down the production of oil therefore cutting down on breakouts. It should be noted that people with sensitive skin should start out slow at first due to the charcoal being too harsh. Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash & Ocadite Black Mint Cleanser are good brands to try out.
Avoid This Ingredient
“If you have sensitive skin, avoid alcohol-based products as they tend to be drying,” says Dr. Shelton. You may see alcohol included in skin care products and that is because they slow down oil production short term. Long term use of alcohol can disrupt the skin barrier by stripping away too much oil.
This is especially important for people with sensitive skin because they need to keep their skin barrier healthy to avoid inflammation, but everyone should just use products that say alcohol free on the label. Check out AEDIT.com for the latest in beauty and skin care. Big shout out to the for letting me share their research. If you have any comments or questions I would love to hear them.
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