From 30% extra thickness to double the amount of oil glands, men’s skin is actually quite different to that of women. If you have been facing any skin challenges recently, here are 10 of the most common skin issues that men face, as well as tips on how to overcome them.
Acne and Oily Skin
In general, men’s skin is much oilier than women’s skin.
- Men have sebaceous glands that are more active, and also have larger, in quantity and individual size, pores
- The sebum production in men’s skin is double what women experience, making male skin much shinier
- Due to the extra oil, male skin has a lower pH than female skin, making it much more prone to acne
All of this, coupled with external factors, from humidity to stress to sweating, means that acne is a common issue faced by many men.
So, what do you do about it?
Here are a few steps that you can take to clear a breakout, and prevent future ones from occurring:
- Use an over-the-counter acne treatment that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide, or try tea tree oil if you would prefer a natural alternative
- Make sure that your phone, your hands, your pillowcase, and anything else that regularly touches your face is kept clean
- Start using a retinol skin care product
- Exfoliate 1-2 times a week
- Cut back on fats and carbohydrates in your diet, as these have been linked to acne breakouts
- Use a sunscreen every day, preferably one that contains vitamin C
While women develop fine, light facial hair, the facial hair on men tends to be dark, coarse and thick. The hair follicles are also shaped in a flatter way, which makes them curlier.
This can make men far more susceptible to razor burn, which is officially known as pseudofollicultis barbae.
Because razor burn is caused when the cut end of a hair curls back and re-enters the skin, resulting in inflammation. The inflammation can manifest in a number of way, from bumps to discoloration to pus, none of which a man wants to have to deal with after shaving.
So what do you do when you experience razor burn?
Firstly, you should try not to shave for a couple of days, as this will allow the hair to grow out.
You should also be establishing a healthy shaving routine, by doing the following:
- Exfoliate regularly, as this will clear away dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, preventing your hairs from growing back into them
- Use a nourishing after-shave, as this will moisturize and soothe your skin
- Shave in the direction of hair growth, rather than against
- Make sure that your blade is always sharp and clean
- If you have coarser facial hair, use a pre-shave product to soften your hairs before shaving
Dark Under-Eye Circles
Dark under-eye circles can be caused by a number of different factors, from allergies to a lack of sleep to poor lifestyle choices.
However, whatever the cause of yours, you are likely to want them gone as soon as possible…
The quickest way to do this is to apply a cold compress to your eyes, as this will reduce any inflammation.
If your dark circles tend to appear in the morning, this could be down to the way in which you sleep…
Try adding in one or two extra pillows, as keeping your head elevated will prevent blood from collecting underneath your eyes while you sleep.
There are many eye creams out there that can help to clear and prevent dark circles. If you do decide to opt for one, try to choose one that contains at least one of the following ingredients:
- Caffeine will constrict blood vessel
- Arnica has anti-inflammatory properties
- Green tea or grapeseed oil will both help to strengthen capillary walls
Rosacea is a skin condition that affects around 14 million Americans, and, unfortunately, has no cure. This could be partly due to the fact that the exact cause of the condition is still unknown, although it is something that causes the blood vessels in the face to dilate.
Wondering what rosacea looks like?
There are a few different types, meaning that it can manifest in different ways:
- Facial redness with frequent flushing or blushing
- Tiny red pimples and fine red lines on the face
- An enlarged bulbous nose and thickening of the skin
- Swollen eyelids, conjunctivitis, and other eye problems
Rosacea tends to mostly show up on the face, making this an extremely frustrating condition to deal with…
Prescription drugs are usually the go-to method for alleviating rosacea, and, once you have a flare-up cleared, you need to be extremely vigilant in preventing future ones from occurring.
Well, rosacea flare-ups are triggered by environmental factors. Common ones include certain foods, alcohol, stress, exercise and sunlight, but there are so many more out there.
The best way to minimize the flare-ups that you experience is to keep a diary for a while, noting when you have flare-ups. The diary page provided by the National Rosacea Society is a great example of this, and can easily be printed out.
Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Wrinkles are an unavoidable part of aging, and while they may not appear as a sudden onslaught, in the way that they do for many women, they will still catch up with you at some point.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming, keeping your face smooth and clear for years to come:
- Exfoliate a couple of times a week, as this helps to speed up collagen and elastin production
- Use a moisturizer every day, as dry and dehydrated skin will wrinkle much faster than hydrated skin
- Always wear a sunscreen, as the sun is responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles
- Cut back on smoking and alcohol
- Improve your diet, as this will have a direct impact on the health and appearance of your skin
- Use a retinol product, as this vitamin A derivative has been proven to be the most effective anti-aging ingredient out there
- Use skin care products containing antioxidants, especially if you live in a polluted city
While men’s skin may be thicker, this does not mean that men do not experience sensitive skin.
Sensitivity can be brought about by many things, from a change in weather or diet to stress or using new skin care products.
If you think that it could be down to a product that you are using, you need to stop using all of your products and begin with just one, adding in the rest slowly and individually, so that you can determine which one your skin is reacting to.
If your sensitivity is down to an environmental factor, then you need to work on protecting your skin as much as possible. Sensitive skin is a sign that your skin’s natural protective barrier has been compromised, so you need to build and strengthen this back up.
Stop using harsh products on your skin, opting for mild and gentle cleansers instead. Harsh ingredients will only strip away your skin’s natural defences, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.
A quality moisturizer is also key.
Because a moisturizer is designed to form a thin film over the surface of your skin, providing, in a way, its own protective barrier.
While men are less prone to dry skin than women, largely due to the fact that their skin is naturally oilier, this is an issue that many men can still face.
There are a number of factors out there that can accelerate dryness, meaning that you are left with flaky and itchy skin before you know it.
If you do have dry skin, here are a few ways in which you can increase your skin’s moisture and hydration, preventing the dryness from becoming a more serious problem:
- Cut back on long, hot showers, as these strip your skin of its natural oils
- Use gentle skin care products that do not contain any harsh ingredients
- Apply a moisturizer a couple of times a day, as this helps prevent moisture loss
- Apply an oil to your skin to keep it nourished and hydrated
- Always use a sunscreen
- Keep your skin hydrated from within, by drinking plenty of fluids and eating a healthy diet
Eczema actually refers to a group of skin conditions, which manifest as redness, itchiness, blisters, crusting, pigmentation changes, and more.
The most common type of eczema experienced by men is atopic eczema, which is caused by an allergy or sensitivity.
While there may be no cure for eczema, there are a number of ways in which you can treat and prevent flare-ups:
- Topical steroids, which will tackle the inflammation, should be used alongside emollients, as these will keep the skin moist and prevent it from cracking
- Take an allergy test so that you can identify your specific allergens
- Maintain good personal hygiene
- Shower immediately after sweating
- Apply a moisturizer several times a day, preferably onto damp, rather than dry, skin
- Make sure that you are getting enough sleep
- Avoid stress
- Stay away from cigarette smoke, as this is a big trigger
Sunburn is something that you need to desperately try to avoid, because each time you are sunburned, this significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Even if your skin has only slightly tanned, this is still a sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged.
To prevent a sunburn, make sure that you are following each of these steps:
- Staying out of direct sunlight during its hottest hours, usually between 11am and 3pm
- Wearing sunglasses and a hat to protect your face from the sun
- Applying a broad spectrum sunscreen frequently throughout the day
- Wear loose clothing that will protect your skin from the sun. If you can see through the fabric when you hold it up to the light, then that means the sun’s UV rays can also penetrate through the fabric
But what if you already have a sunburn?
The key ingredient to treating this is vitamin E, as this is so effective at helping the skin to heal itself.
Also known as liver spots, age spots are dark blemishes that appear on the skin, usually in areas that have been over-exposed to the sun over time. These include the face, the shoulders, the upper back and the backs of your hands.
What causes age spots?
The exact cause is still unknown, but UV exposure is believed to be one of the main causes, while skin aging is another.
While age spots tend to develop in those over the age of 40, they can still occur in younger men, especially if you have had quite a bit of exposure to UV light over your lifetime.
Since age spots are harmless, treatment is not necessary.
However, if they are in an unsightly place and you would like them gone, you have a couple of options…
Your first is a prescription medication, which usually contains a controversial ingredient called hydroquinone. These creams take several months to work, and do make your skin more sensitive to UV light while they are being used.
Your second option is a medical procedure, and while there may be a few to choose, each comes with its own set of risks. From laser treatment to dermabrasion, this is something that you should speak to your doctor about.
You could also try over-the-counter creams, and while these may not be as strong or effective as prescription creams, they can still fade your age spots to some degree.
Look for one that contains one of the following ingredients:
- Kojic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Alpha hydroxy acid
Are you struggling with any of these skin issues? Let us know what helps you!