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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Gimme Some Skin

Apr 07, 2011 06:46PM

Over the past several years there has been a marked increase in men receiving spa treatments and the sales of men's skin-care products. A major downside to all this is now men have the same opportunity to waste money on unnecessary or problematic skin-care products as women do. In many ways, however, men have it even harder differentiating between reliable and unreliable products because in general, they are reluctant "cosmetic" consumers and are hesitant to spend too much energy delving into consumer information on the topic. As a result, most men don't use sunscreen on a consistent basis and leave their skin at risk for cancer, not to mention wrinkles. This also means that most men don't know what irritating ingredients might be lurking in their shaving products, and they end up with razor burn, (which is often really "product" burn). While it would be great if it were simple enough to recommend products from skin care lines "designed" for men, it turns out that most of those products are either poorly formulated, contain too many irritating ingredients, or are overpriced and not worth the extra expense. Here is the basic knowledge every man needs to take great care of his skin.

To begin with, all men need a gentle, water-soluble cleanser, a gentle shave product (foam, cream, or gel), followed by a gentle, nonirritating aftershave or shaving lotion (which is actually just the manly name for a gentle toner). Shaving with a razor abrades the skin enough to cause havoc, but then men typically splash alcohol-based aftershave full of irritating ingredients over that broken skin. Think of splashing aftershave on a cut or scrape on any other part of your body. Now, why would you want to do that to your face? An ideal after-shave product for men would be an aspirin-based topical product that uses additional potent anti-irritants. Aspirin is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent for irritated skin and is able to alleviate the redness and razor bumps/burn. Take one or two aspirin tablets, dissolve it in about two tablespoons of water and then apply that to the face with a cotton pad.

When it comes to treating breakouts, preventing wrinkles, and addressing dry skin, the protocol is the same for men as it is for women. For breakouts, a topical antibacterial product containing benzoyl peroxide, daily sun care with at least SPF 15 and effective UVA protection (it must contain one of the following ingredients: avobenzone (which may also be listed as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide) and a state-of-the-art moisturizer loaded with antioxidants and ingredients that replace vital substances to skin.

Finally, the basic skin-care rule number one for both men and women: If the skin-care product you use burns, irritates, tingles, causes the skin to become inflamed, or hurts, don't use it.

Jackielyn Turner is the owner of Beautiful Expression Skincare Studio in Downtown Melbourne. For information and appointments call 321-728-3223.

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