The skinny on skin care for men
Sonya Bass, CH
Men have come a long way since the days of shaving with a cutthroat razor and bar soap. Today when the average male selects his personal care products, he knows what he is expecting from them. Here is a look at some natural personal care products including moisturizers, shave cremes, aftershave lotions, and sunscreens.
Men develop a certain rugged attractiveness as they age. Gone are the pimply complexions of their teens and twenties; in their place are a few strategically developed smile lines and just a smattering of distinguishing grey hairs.
Men have come a long way since the days of shaving with a cutthroat razor and bar soap. Today when the average male selects his personal care products, he knows what he is expecting from them. He wants the creme or lotion to feel good on his skin and to live up to the promise on the label; once chosen, he is loyal to that label.
A peek into his bathroom cabinet may reveal moisturizer, shave creme, aftershave lotion, sunscreen, hair conditioner, and deodorant. Men may not use as many products as women, but they tend to use them diligently.
Moisturizer for Your Mug
To keep a healthy outdoorsy-look, men should use a moisturizer morning and evening. A lotion with sun protection factor of 15 (SPF15) provides protection against sun damage and a topically applied lotion containing coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a great choice for night moisturizer. CoQ10 is essential for new skin cell growth; as we age, our body loses its ability to produce this enzyme.
A Close Shave
Shaving, whether wet or dry, is a process of scraping the skin with a very sharp blade in order to remove hair. Facial hair is usually stubbly and coarse; body hair is softer. The razor blade not only removes hair but also a layer of dead cells from the surface of the skin.
Wet shaving involves preparing the skin with either a commercial shave foam or lather created by a block of shaving soap and a wet soft bristle brush. Shave lather allows the razor to glide smoothly over the skin preventing nicks or small cuts.
Many commercial shave cremes, even those purporting to be natural, may contain chemicals such as methyl and propyl parabens, diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). Sore, rough, reddened skin may be caused by reactions to chemicals, and/or a high pH (above the 5.5 pH of the skin).
Natural shaving cremes contain skin-soothing ingredients such as witch hazel, aloe vera, comfrey, and camomile. These ingredients will care for the skin, keeping it hydrated and healthy. The preservatives in these products include vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract. The only negative is their shorter shelf life; because natural shaving cremes do not contain chemical preservatives, purchase in small quantities and store in a cool place.
Both wet and dry shavers need an aftershave that tightens pores and soothes and moisturizes the skin. Natural aftershaves have healing properties essential when small nicks or cuts occur during shaving. The solution for men with sensitive skin is a homemade aftershave that does not contain chemical preservatives.
Removing body hair from back, arms, and legs has become more popular with male sports enthusiasts, runners, cyclists, and swimmers. Recently available is a natural sugar-based waxing system formulated specifically for men. With a little practice, this product, which contains camomile and aloe vera, will help soften and condition the skin.
Growing old gracefully now has new meaning for today’s active, attractive male.
You can find these ingredients at natural product stores.
1/4 cup witch hazel
1/2 cup camomile tea (warm)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
1 vitamin E capsule
Pour ingredients into a small jar. Squeeze the contents of the vitamin E capsule into the mix, and shake vigorously. Transfer to a small spray bottle. Shake before use.