Looking good is not just a female prerogative. Men have also realised that looking one’s best imparts self-confidence, and is necessary in today’s competitive world. A man’s skin is just as vulnerable as a woman’s. Exposure to the sun, air pollutants, chlorinated water, harsh soaps and after-shave preparations, all influence his skin, making it dry and sensitive, and also hastening the ageing process of the skin. Men are ardent followers of the ‘soap and water’ routine. But, soaps can be too alkaline and harsh on the skin. Here’s a quick skincare guide:
• Cleansing: Men require skincare routines that are simple and not too time-consuming. Two of the most important aspects of a daily routine for men are cleansing and sun-protection. Cleansing at night is of utmost importance to remove all the pollutants that have been deposited on the skin during the day. If the skin is normal to dry, a light cleansing gel can be applied and massaged on the skin and then wiped off. For oily skin, use a face wash. For acne and problem skins, a medicated cleanser should be used. After cleansing, dab on skin tonic to tone and refresh the skin.
• Facial scrub: Use a facial scrub twice a week, rubbing gently with small circular motions, and wash off with plain water. This helps to remove dead cells and brighten the skin. It also keeps the pores unclogged, thus discouraging blackheads.
• Shaving products: For shaving, choose a gentle and creamy emollient product. This softens the hair, making shaving much easier. It also leaves the skin smooth and supple. Most after-shave lotions are alcohol-based, which have a drying effect on the skin. A non-greasy after-shave cream would be ideal. Go in for an after-shave cream that contains sandalwood, which is a powerful antiseptic, and helps to soothe the skin.
• Sunscreen: The application of sunscreen before going out in the sun plays an important role in preventing UV ray damage. A sunblock lotion with SPF 20 or 25 would suit most skins. For oily skin, a sunscreen gel would be more suitable.
• Nourishment: Nourishing provides emollients which helps the skin to hold moisture. So, as the skin’s oil-gland activity decreases, nourishing assumes more importance. The application of night creams with a light massage also helps in providing the skin with ingredients that improve skin texture. A nourishing cream which contains antioxidants like wheat-germ oil, or vitamin-rich ingredients help to keep the skin looking younger.
• Facial: Weekly salon facials go a long way towards delaying the ageing signs and rejuvenating the skin. Apart from maintaining skin-elasticity and resilience, facial massages help to improve the normal functions of the skin, including that of cell-renewal. Face, head and body massages also have great value in terms of inducing relaxation and reducing stress. For oily skin and eruptive conditions, a facial treatment with clean-ups should be done, instead of facial massage.
(The author is a beauty expert)