Skin Care for Men – how to do it?

Guys, listen up: willing yourself to have problem-free skin won’t work. To keep your face in top form, follow these solutions to your most aggravating problems.

1. Wrinkles

Problem: Your once barely noticeable crow’s feet look more like unmistakable bear’s claws.

Skin-care solution: Sunscreen, and lots of it. Every minute your skin faces the sun without protection is another opportunity for damage to occur. And since skin damage is cumulative, even a daily 15-minute walk with the dog sans protection puts you at risk for actinic keratosis (a pre-cancerous skin condition) or even skin cancer. To keep problems at bay, look for a product with at least SPF 30, says Dr. Michael Davis of Dermatology Associates in Toronto. If texture or scent is a concern, try formulas from lines such as La Roche Posay, RoC or Vichy, which all offer unscented, light-feeling options. For a cheap and pain-free way to fight wrinkles, exfoliate twice a week, says Morgan Hoodfar, beauty consultant at Spa Atlantis in Toronto. Because men tend to let dead skin cells build up, it’s the quickest way to see and feel noticeable results.

Cosmetic enhancement solution: Every patient is different, says Toronto-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. John Goldhar of CosMedix MD, so a consultation is key for determining individual needs. Just a few of the many wrinkle-reducing services that treat lined skin: Botox, light therapy and laser resurfacing.

Tip: According to Dr. Goldhar, when it comes to wrinkle formation, muscle action can also play a role. “Using the same expression and exercising the same group of muscles causes them to become larger. And because men tend to have stronger muscles, they often require more treatments or injections to achieve noticeable results”,he says.

2. Acne scars

Problem: Brought on by years of pimple popping, your face bears witness to a lifelong battle with zits.

Skin-care solution: Where scarring is concerned, non-prescription options have little benefit, says Dr. Goldhar. Still, if you prefer topical solutions, he suggests asking your doctor for a 15 to 20 per cent potency prescription for AHA, vitamin A or glycolic acid.

Tip: Beware of over-the-counter products that claim to contain Retin-A, says Dr. Davis. “Most likely, products like these are derivatives and not the real thing. The only way to get the genuine product is with a prescription.”

Cosmetic enhancement solution: Hoodfar recommends chemical peels or microdermabrasion to smooth uneven skin by removing the damaged top layers before trying treatments with longer-lasting results, such as fillers, resurfacing lasers or Cool Touch facial rejuvenation treatments.

3. Ingrown hairs

Problem: Following your daily shave, your face and neck are inhabited by a minefield of red, irritated bumps.

Skin-care solution: Short of retiring your razor, the best way to prevent ingrown hairs is knowing how to work your wand. First, lose the multiple-blade razors, says Dr. Davis. The more blades you have, the greater chance hair has to turn on itself and grow inward. Pay attention to the direction of hair growth and when you can, go with the grain. Shave every second day when possible, and use an electric razor, which won’t disrupt the root. Swap your regular
face wash for a cleanser that’s mildly exfoliating, to slough off the top layer of skin to prevent hairs from getting trapped.

Cosmetic enhancement solution: To deal with persistent ingrown hairs once and for all, laser hair removal is the most effective treatment available. “Many men would hesitate lasering their face and neck to the point where regrowth was completely stunted,” says Dr. Goldhar.”But for those who consistently experience ingrown hairs on certain areas of their body, laser hair removal deals with this issue while leaving other areas untouched,” he says.

Tip: If complete hair removal is too permanent an option, try one or two sessions, which will reduce growth without eliminating all hair completely.

4. Adult acne

Problem: You’re well past your pimple-producing years, yet your face hasn’t received the memo.

Skin-care solution: It comes down to trial and error, says Dr. Goldhar. Just keep in mind that not all products are created equal especially when it comes to caring for both sexes. “Men tend to have oilier skin, which means the products that work for women may not be as effective on men, or vice versa,” he says. The key is finding a line that suits your specific skin type and leaves your face clean and hydrated.

Cosmetic enhancement solution: Because the problem starts below the surface of the skin an area topical skin-care products can’t reach options such as laser resurfacing, photo facials, light therapy or injectable fillers are all good options, say Dr. Davis and Dr. Goldhar. Depending on the type of acne, Hoodfar says supplements such as Adeeva can balance skin and purify problematic breakouts.

Tip: Not all skin types are ideal for cosmetic enhancement- based acne treatments. Ask your doctor about your options if you’ve experienced pigmentation or discoloration problems in the past.

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