The ultimate anti-aging skin care guide for men
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Guys, let’s be honest. Our skincare routine can be a little lacking. We maybe add a dab of moisturizer after shaving, but anything more than that is treated as an unnecessary extravagance.
But if you take care of other parts of your body by working out, eating as best you can, looking after your teeth, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take care of your skin too. Looking after your skin is just like looking after any other aspect of your health. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best.
Here we cut through a lot of the nonsense that surrounds skincare and explain how you can look after your skin with 10 simple tips.
What are the signs of skin aging?
As you age the outer layers of your skin (your epidermis) become thinner, and the connective tissues beneath (mostly made of collagen protein) weaken. The layer of fat beneath your skin also reduces and your skin produces less sebum oil. The muscle tissue in your skin also becomes less supple.
All of this can cause your skin to lose its elasticity and to sag and wrinkle over time. Your jawline may not be as sharp as it once was, you start to develop crow’s feet and other lines, and you may start to get jowls.
Your skin also produces fewer pigment cells as you age, so it can lighten with time and become more translucent. The pigment cells that remain can grow, giving you more moles, age spots, and liver spots.
Lifestyle changes that take care of your skin
So how can men prevent aging? First things first. Your lifestyle is your foundation for taking care of your skin and your body. If you haven’t fixed your foundation, any products you use will be a waste of time. Try to:
- Drink enough water: Every cell in your body needs water to function properly, including the cells in your skin. If you drink enough water each day to properly hydrate your skin, it can improve your complexion and skin elasticity. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines. There’s so much advice out there about how much you should drink, but the truth is it varies depending on how big you are and how much you sweat. You can tell if you’re properly hydrated by the color of your pee. It should be pale yellow. Any darker and you need to drink some water.
- Eat a healthy diet: The food you eat has a big impact on the health of your skin. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of the vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients your skin needs to be at its healthiest. Phytonutrients like antioxidants can protect your skin cells from internal damage by free radicals, whilst others can reduce damage caused by inflammation. Fatty oils in fish can help your skin retain more moisture. Overall, try to eat a range of fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts, and whole grains, and stick to fish and lean meat over red and processed meats.
- Exercise regularly: Research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle can make people age prematurely. Other research has also demonstrated that exercise can improve the supply of nutrients to your skin cells and increase the production of various substances that keep your skin in good condition, like collagen.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is vital to your health, and not getting enough of it can increase the signs of skin aging. Most people need around seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Make sure you get enough sleep that you feel rested when you wake in the morning.
- Don’t smoke or drink excessively: As well as all the other harm that smoking causes, it can age and yellow your skin too. Quitting smoking is amongst the healthiest things you can do. Alcohol can also prematurely age your skin, so try to drink in moderation.
Skincare products for taking care of your skin
Once you’ve laid a foundation for good skin through your lifestyle habits, you can build on this by adding skincare products to your morning or evening routine. You can buy various anti-aging creams for men, and other anti-aging products for men, but a lot of these are unnecessary. You don’t need to spend big either. Sticking to trusted brands and their basic product lines is usually more than enough. Try to:
- Use a cleanser to keep your skin clean and clear: The skin on your face is subjected to a daily assault from the weather, allergens, and pollutants. Keeping it clean can remove harmful substances from your face and limit the damage they cause. Steer clear of soap and hot water that can dry your skin. Use a gentle facial cleanser and lukewarm water.
- Moisturize your skin: A daily moisturizer can help keep your skin hydrated and supple. Again, you don’t need an expensive moisturizer – the basic products are usually just as effective as the more expensive ones.
- Wear sunscreen: Ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight can damage your skin, both on the outside and in the deeper layers of your skin, making it age prematurely. To protect your skin you should wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Plenty of moisturizers also contain UV blocking agents, so using one of these helps you kill two skincare birds with one stone.
- Try a retinol skincare product: Retinols are a form of vitamin A that you can find in some over-the-counter skincare products, usually creams or serums. Unlike most products that claim to slow and reverse the signs of aging, retinols are backed by scientific evidence. They can increase the rate at which new skin cells replace old ones, as well as increase the production of new blood vessels and proteins in your skin. Retinols have been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, and lessen skin discoloration and blemishes.
- Trying a prescription retinoid product. Retinoids, like retinols, are also a form of vitamin A, but they’re stronger and faster-acting than retinols. They were developed to fight acne, but they have the same anti-aging skin benefits as retinols – the big difference is that these benefits are often seen faster and to a greater degree. Because of their strength, retinoid products can’t be bought over the counter, so you’ll need a prescription from a doctor before you can buy them. You can order a retinoid skincare product directly from FROM MARS called tretinoin, also sold as Retin A.
What is the best anti-aging skin care routine?
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a huge array of supposed-miracle skincare products to fight the signs of aging on your face. You can just add a few products to your morning or evening routine to reap the benefits, including a gentle skin cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen. On top of this, try a skincare product that contains retinol or retinoid, as these are scientifically proven to reduce the signs of aging.