This is what men should know about the basics of protecting their skin
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It’s a sweeping stereotype, but lots of men have a fairly basic – or entirely non-existent – skincare routine.
Compare this to the regimes of women, who have cabinets full of lotions, serums, moisturisers and masks. Sexism is at play here: society historically places more pressure on women to look youthful and wrinkle-free. In comparison, the rugged, salt and pepper look is valued in men, meaning ageing isn’t as big a deal.
These preconceptions are changing as gender boundaries become increasingly blurred. Your skin isn’t just about vanity, but is an important part of overall health. The world of skincare can be a daunting one, but here’s what men should know about the basics of protecting their skin...
“Your skin is the largest organ in the body and is vital for lots of life functions, including immunity, temperature regulation and protection against microbes, as well as the elements,” explains Dr Catharine Denning, Curel’s dermatologist and aesthetic doctor ambassador. “Simply put, you would only survive a few hours without your skin, however, it’s one of the last things people think of in terms of their overall health.”
Protecting your skin properly will help reduce your risk of skin cancer. A proper skincare routine – which includes a good quality SPF – is vital. Even though those with fair skin have a greater risk of skin cancer, it’s important to remember that everyone can get it.
Even if male and female skin differs, Dennings says “they both benefit from the same type of active ingredients,” so you don’t necessarily have to stick to male-only products.
If you have a completely non-existent skincare routine, it’s a good idea to start small – you don’t want to suddenly adopt a multi-step routine you won’t be able to maintain, so start by cleansing and moisturising daily, using a light moisturiser, which will hydrate the skin without making it too oily. Another non-negotiable is including SPF.
For that extra boost of skin protection, you could think about adding in a vitamin C product, which will help defend against pollution and other toxins. Once you’ve found the products that work for you, you can start experimenting with others, like retinols and glycolic acids.
Products to get started...
Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser, £35
Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream, £10, Escentual
Curel Moisture Facial Milk, £17.50, Boots
Jurlique UV Defence High Protection Lotion SPF 50, £35