Many guys start caring for their skin in their teens, especially when they begin developing acne (and noticing the opposite sex). But that routine often stops at a dab of Clearasil acne treatment and Nivea Men facial wash.
And while later in life some men might, under the influence of girlfriends and wives, start to take care of themselves a bit more, most don’t go beyond the usual soap-and-water routine.
Perhaps one reason for this relaxed attitude is that there doesn’t seem to be a need for anything more because guys age better than women, says Dr Georgia Lee of TLC Lifestyle.
When I see our three male celeb-models during our men’s grooming photoshoot for ELLE’s November magazine issue, I have to grudgingly agree.
Despite nursing a cold, Tosh Zhang was still Mr Suave. Then there was Pierre Png, who’s is in his 40s but retains a boyish demeanour. And don’t get me started on Elvin Ng, who was positively glowing even after a full day of filming. How is this fair?
According to Dr Lee, part of the “elixir” is men’s oilier skin, which is part of the reason why some of them suffer from severe acne and scarring in their teenage years.
Their skin also contains more collagen and elastin fibres, says The Sloane Clinic’s Dr Low Chai Ling. “As a result, men’s skin is on average about 20 to 30 per cent thicker than women’s. And it is this thicker skin that does a better job at resisting wrinkles,” she explains.
“In addition, as men’s faces are naturally oilier than women’s, they are able to trap moisture, which keeps skin hydrated, giving it a plump and more youthful appearance.”
That said, there are still some things your man can do to upkeep his looks. Read on to find out what they are.
1. Share your skincare
While his skin is oilier than yours, your guy can steal your skincare to use if he wants to. According to Dr Low, women’s skincare products are formulated slightly differently, but as long as he reads the ingredients and adjusts it to his skin type, it’s perfectly fine for him to use what you have in your stash. “I know many men who ‘steal’ their girlfriends’ products for their own use, and to great results,” she says.
2. Step up his skincare routine as he ages
Like women, men need to bump up their skincare routine as they grow older, even if they do age better than women. The most important skincare product to use daily? Sunscreen - this is especially essential for men as they tend to be sporty and spend more time outdoors than women.
Dr Low also adds that if your guy does sports, he should include a weekly facial scrub to keep skin clean, clear and healthy.
Here’s a breakdown of what he should focus on during the different stages of ageing.
In his 20s:
Both Drs Lee and Low agree that the most important thing for men to focus on during this time is on keeping skin healthy and clear. Dr Lee advises men to focus on oil control and address any acne issues they might have, while Dr Low shares that using products that contain BHA, such salicylic acid, can help keep shaving bumps and acne at bay.
In his 30s:
Just like you, your guy needs to start thinking of preventive ageing when he reaches his 30s. “As men are usually active in the day, skincare ingredients in the products should not make their skin photosensitive,” says Dr Low. Look out for ingredients like niacinamide, or vitamin B3, to help hydrate skin while protecting it against the first signs of ageing. Dr Lee adds that including an anti-ageing component into his daily oil-control skincare regimen will also help.
In his 40s:
Your guy should definitely be incorporating anti-ageing products into his skincare routine by now. Dr Low shares that adding a spot treatment, like an eye cream, is useful to keep under-eye dark circles and wrinkles at bay. The active ingredient to look out for: coenzyme Q10, to boost collagen and elastin production.
3. Consider aesthetic treatments
“In general, my male patients don’t like treatments that need very involved follow-ups or too much downtime,” says Dr Lee. For quick results, get him to try these three aesthetic treatments.
“Men do well with microdermabrasion to keep their skin clean and clear,” says Dr Low.
Dr Low shares, “Men have very expressive faces that can lead to the formation of deep lines and wrinkles. These days, men do get Botox on their faces but done discreetly and in minute, well-placed doses to give them the fresh-faced look without any tell-tale signs of treatment.”
3. Laser resurfacing treatments
According to Dr Lee, these treatments, like the CO2 Fractional, can help reduce the depth of post-acne scars and even the appearance of pores and wrinkles. In addition, she also recommends lifting treatments that can help tighten the skin while further reducing the appearance of blemish scars.
For more on beauty, head here. Or check out Jessica Alba’s Super Basic Beauty Routine Will Make You Jealous or 4 Everyday Steps To Slow Skin Ageing.