Today’s hombre is a little different to those ‘out in all weather, hard-as-nails, leather-faced’ warriors of the past. Now, men…cream. And they don’t care who knows it.
It seems one minute David Beckham was plucking his eyebrows and the next thing you know, the tough guy next door is shaving his armpits and cutting the grass in a homemade mud-mask. The time of ‘I exfoliate, mate‘ is well and truly here.
Whatever magical spell or secret decree gave men the go-ahead to spend a little more time on themselves in the bathroom is, believe it or not, a good thing for everyone. If he’s treating himself like someone he respects, shit’s about to get interesting. The once simple shave and aftershave face-slap is now a re-birth at a font.
Remember you’ve got that face of yours for a long time to come. What harm could it do putting some care into it now and again. It’ll stop you looking like a worn-out tyre tread before you hit middle age. And no, you won’t lose your street cred or be the butt of the other guy’s jokes. And if you are, their faces are more likely to crack when they smile than yours will.
So, next time you find yourself in the store standing in front of a thousand potions and lotions don’t just reach for the first one you see and run to the checkout. Here are some essential skincare tips to help you stop looking like a dried-out prune.
Right, got a pen?
According to these guys, there are around 21 different facial expressions we use daily; it’s an old article so maybe we’ve picked up some more along the way like the ‘wow a new app!’ smirk. Anyway, the face is the first thing people see. It shows everything we’re feeling, even if we’re trying to hide it. We all know a fake smile when we see it or the feeling of our own face scrunching up when we don’t agree with something…
It’s important not to forget your face. Take a closer look at it whenever you get a chance, don’t be afraid of it, it’s all yours. Your face can also give you the first warnings if somethings up: Pull down your eyelids, look for the healthy flesh colour, check up your nose, poke out your tongue, smile at yourself and release some endorphins.
Before we dive head first into the never-ending buffet of skincare products there are some more fundamental things to get under your belt first. Like, if you want to avoid that pasty McDonalds white sheen, then put in your belly real foods that are gonna help keep your skin healthy-looking and good-feeling. Here’s a little list of foods your skin will absolutely love:
- Fish. Fatty ones. Contain tons of Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant for the skin to prevent inflammation. And protein to help your skin keep its elasticity. And also Oh Oh Omega 3 that reduces redness and helps to keep your skin thick, supple and moisturised.
- Avocado. A natural sunscreen because of the high levels of Vitamin C and E. Remember you have to eat it, not smear it on your skin, but that could also work.
- Nuts & Seeds. They’re not just for birds gentlemen. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and E.
Obviously, you can’t eat these all day every day, just keep in mind that your body can only work with what you’re giving it. If you only put crap in, you haven’t given your body much to go on.
There’s a load of muscles in your face. You put them to work every time you scream at that muppet who misses an open goal or you crack-up when your mate Bill does his monkey walk. But to keep your face competitive it needs regular exercise. If you’re feeling considerably jowly put your face through its paces to keep your skin tight and in place.
Here are a few workouts to get the blood moving around your face and to pump some oxygen into those muscles while putting some colour back on your cheeks.
Right, some exercises…oh clean your hands first, you”ll be touching your face a lot.
Squeeze and release
- Scrunch your face as small as you can hold for 5, then
- Stretch it out as large as you can for 5. Repeat 10 times.
A general wake-up call for all of the muscles in your face.
Pass the ball
- Close your mouth and push some air up into your top lip. Relax.
- Slowly move the ball of air over into your right cheek, the left side of your face should be flat against your teeth.
- Now roll the ball of air back under your upper lip and into your left cheek.
Great for keeping the skin around your mouth looking as tight as a drum.
Tug ‘o’ eye
- Use a finger to gently pull the outside corner of your right eye towards the right ear.
- Now it’s game on. Use the muscles around that eye to pull it back to centre.
- Repeat with the other eye.
- Use more fingers to up the ante.
Strengthens the skin around your eye socket.
- Stand straight, shoulders back and watch a game of pretend tennis played by old people.
- Follow the slow rally, move your neck to the right hold then the left hold, stop when you feel the pull.
- Here comes the lob, look up! Stretching your neck skyward, hold for a few seconds and lower, look at your beautiful belly and smile.
- Repeat 10 times.
This keeps the blood flowing to your brain and keeps your neck skin from flapping like a turkey.
Do these face sports a few times a week at 15 minutes a session. Remember try not to overstretch, you could end up looking like that guy who has a constantly surprised expression on his face.
And then there’s the wrinkles…the thing is there’s no avoiding them. The older you get the longer your facial expressions tend to hang around mainly because your face is made of skin and not plastic and skin reacts to everything, from the sun, funny jokes, the odd flying fist and another birthday. It’s probably best to get used to it now and love the skin you’re in and all that jazz. It’s not about looking younger, it’s about strengthening your face muscles and building up the skin’s natural defences.
A few extra tips to take the pressure off of your face. Allowing your skin to take a time-out.
Your face looks better after a good night’s sleep, granted it’s not always easy to get but you’ll do yourself a favour if you skip on afternoon coffees, late dinners and the urge to use your phone right before you tuck yourself in. Here’s a handy article from the men and women in white coats who know their shit when it comes to ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
Put down the razor. Let that 5 o’clock shadow dream of being a beard for the weekend. Or give shaving a miss for a week or two. Let your skin breathe. And take a well-deserved rest from metal on skin. Your skin will replenish its natural oils and texture because it doesn’t have to rebuild and protect itself after every time you shave. Just an idea!
And if you’re a military man and have to shave every day, try our aftershave cream. It’s the face version of treating yourself to a massage when a holiday isn’t an option.
Now you’ve got the basics down…
Keep it irregular. Washing every morning can kill off your skin’s natural oils. So every other day is a good rule of thumb. And when you do, use a mild face wash that doesn’t dry out your skin and clears your pores of grime.
You’ll be surprised how dirty you can get while you sleep! Dreams are hard work. Keep a glass of water by your bed for if you wake up with a tongue like a desert and give your skin a little watering from the inside.
Your face is outside all day long and the outer layer of skin takes a beating. A good moisturiser or face cream will keep it hydrated and protected against most of the nasties hanging in the air. Listen to what your skin tells you, If your skin feels tight and is dry in patches it’s just screaming out for a drink. Moisturise it.
If you don’t want to smell like you landed in grandma’s potpourri, avoid using anything with a strong perfume. Stay close to home with an earthy or woodsy tincture (posh word for smell.)
Get clued up about your skin
Men have more testosterone floating around in our bodies. This can cause your skin to be oily and thicker than the fairer sex. If your skin gets dry and flaky reach for a cream or moisturiser that helps to soften the skin and give it back some moisture that it misses. Not sure of your skin type? Take this ‘what skin have I got’ test, it’s put together by scientists, so it must be good
No time for quizzes? then here’s a quick rundown of skin types. Wash your hands, find a mirror and explore your face.
Feels neither good nor bad. Just regular. No irritations or blemishes. And it’s pretty smooth all over.
Tip: You’ve got it easier than most. Normal skin requires less effort to take care of.
Just avoid anything that makes your skin greasy or dries it out. Use products that contain natural ingredients to keep your skin strong and healthy-looking.
Feels dry in places and oily in others. It can get easily irritated because it can’t make up its mind. A few enlarged pores sprinkled around the T zone.
Tip: Avoid anything with chemicals. Keep it natural. Use a moisturiser made for oily skin on the oily parts and a moisturiser made for dry skin on the dry parts. It’s that simple.
Feels greasier than a fat fryer. Looks shiny in spots with the odd band of blackheads hiding out. One good thing, less wrinkles because your skin is naturally lubricated.
Tip: Watch what you eat. See Face food. Don’t forget to wash your face and stay away from anything with a perfume in it. You might blow up like a balloon.
Feels tight, flaky and in need of some sun. Wrinkles make their home in dry skin easier than other types. You can thank the weather or your father’s gene’s for giving you dry skin.
Tip: If the garden is dry, you water it. Same with your skin. Moisturise it regularly, to put back a bit of bounce and nourishment.
Feels ready to blow. Glows like a beetroot and is prone to outbursts.
Tip: Find out what makes you erupt like a volcano. Could be food, washing powder, or stress. Avoid chemicals. Maybe delete that word from your vocabulary. Take care in the sun. Look for natural products made purposely for sensitive skin, think baby-bum cream.
Each skin type needs special care and attention. Some products will do more harm than good. Don’t be afraid to pick up a product and read what’s in it before you throw it into the shopping basket. You should know what you’re putting on your skin because your body absorbs that stuff. Don’t be fooled by flashy packaging it probably means the product is not as good as it pretends to be.
If you’re new to the world of skincare and don’t know where to start try our Mini Skincare Trio. It contains face wash, aftershave cream and face cream in handy fist-sized tubes.
Face to face
Now you’ve got a face that you’re looking after, take it out and show the world. Nothing beats a good heart to heart, face to face. All the care you’ve been taking will show. You won’t be glowing like you’re carrying around your own personal backlight- that’s marketing baloney. But you feel more confident just because you’ve taken care of the skin you’re in. And your face shows it.