Yeah the boys.
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As a woman, the skin care space is hard to navigate – the multitude of products, services and tips out there can be downright confusing. But we at least have the help of mothers, grandmothers and fellow women to call upon. For men, it’s a different story. Skin care is rarely brought up over a few beers at the footy, it turns out.
That being said, skin care is still important for the other 50 per cent of the population. Men still age, get wrinkles, experience pigmentation and find dark circles under their eyes, but they just aren’t taught to take care of their skin the same way women are.
That’s where we come in: introducing the Gritty Pretty guide to skincare for men. This one’s for our male readers (hiiiii guys) – or it could for your brother, your significant other or dad.
Before diving into the essential five step routine, it would be remiss of us not to first acknowledge the difference between female and male skin. “The most notable difference between female and male skin is the 25 per cent additional thickness in male skin,” says Alphie Sadsad, Sephora Australia’s National Artistry Lead. “This makes the skin generally tougher and has a more notable texture on the surface.” Men might need to up the ante on heavy duty products to keep their skin in check. And then, there’s facial hair which can lead to congestion.
There’s still stigma around skin care for males. “It isn’t really something [most men] learnt about or prioritised when they were young,” says Sadsad. “I think often it can seem unmanly to invest in your skincare but skincare is unisex and isn’t something to be embarrassed by.”
Often, by the time men do get a good routine going, they’re playing catch up. “For a lot of guys, it’s not usually until your 40s that you see the real benefits of a good routine,” Paul Anderson, Managing Director of Mankind Sydney notes.”So it’s often too late when they realise they should have made more of an effort.”
Words to the wise: start young.
Cleansing is an indispensable step in any skincare routine. Like clockwork – morning and night – take at least 30 seconds to clean the skin. Like women, men should choose a cleanser based on their skin type but a good rule of thumb is to look for something that will clean thoroughly (remember: male skin produces more oil) but won’t strip.
Is toning necessary? For men, yes. Anderson notes that a lot of Aussie blokes struggle with pigmentation, blotchiness and premature ageing. A toner can help balance skin, even skin tone and minimise pores. Look for one packed with the good stuff: Vitamin C, AHAs and BHAs.
Because men deserve to be pampered too, masking is an added bonus (and a bit of fun). Why not mask together?
“I would recommend masking once or twice a week,” says Sadsad. “It will just help give the skin a little extra love and promote an element of self-care among men.”
“Eye cream is always a must,” says Sadsad. “Particularly for slowing down the ageing of the delicate skin around the eye.” This added step is a non-negotiable for men as the moisturiser used to combat texture and oiliness is often too rich for the eye area, which can aggravate the skin. Anderson reiterates that it will help revitalise the skin and keep it looking youthful.
The final step in any routine is moisturiser and for men, it’s no different. Finding one that is both hydrating and protecting is key as it will assist in keeping the skin moisturised whilst still keeping oil production at bay. Choose one with SPF for the morning routine and a more nourishing one at night and you’re good to go.
Do you have a skincare product that the men in your life swear by? Leave it in the comments below!