It's a misconception that men aren't as concerned about skincare as women. We all want to look good and making sure that we treat our skin well is a big part of taking good care of ourselves. To this end, we consulted with Jillian Frieder of Frieder Dermatology to get expert advice on how men can best take care of their skin. Dr. Frieder is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis and the early detection and treatment of skin cancers.
Here are 5 tips for men that will improve the condition and appearance of their skin:
1. Wear sunscreen every day
Here in South Florida, we have a high degree of UV exposure, so sun protection is vital. Many men think that throwing on a hat or long sleeves is sufficient, but it's not. Even if you're just running out to do casual errands, the cumulative sun exposure from just driving in the car and running into a store adds up over time. This puts us at risk for skin cancers as well as photoaging, which leads to wrinkles and skin pigmentation. Wear an SPF of at least 30 daily and reapply every 2-3 hours, especially if you're physically active. If you are going to be in the water, make sure you’re wearing water-resistant sunscreen. For those who have more sensitive skin, I recommend a physical sunscreen blocker with ingredients like zinc oxide.
2. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturize
Lots of guys think it’s ok to just use bar soap, but it is extremely drying. Instead, get a gentle facial cleanser. I really like Cetaphil or Galderma, which are great for sensitive skin types. The best time to moisturize is right out of the shower to lock in maximum moisture. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, look for moisturizers that are non-oily and non-comedogenic – meaning that they do not clog the pores.
3. Use a razor with fewer blades
A big complaint that I get from men is irritation around the beard from shaving. You can combat this by sticking with a single or double razor blade. Five-blade razors may work better but they can lead to more irritation. Also make sure that you're shaving with the skin and hair wet and shave with the direction of the hair growth and use a moisturizing, shaving cream and then a post-shave moisturizer.
4. Watch for signs of skin cancer
This goes hand in hand with being in the sun all the time down here in Florida. In dermatology, we like to refer to the ABCDEs of melanoma:
A – Asymmetry: cancerous moles are usually irregular in shape.
B – Border: any that are changing, becoming larger or irregular
C – Color: if you start noticing that the moles are getting darker or uneven in color, those are red flags for skin cancer.
D – Diameter: the diameter of moles should be smaller than a pencil eraser
E – Evolving: This is a big one. Any moles that are changing or becoming larger or darker should be looked at.
U – Ugly duckling: generally, everyone has signature mole pattern. If suddenly you start noticing that you have a mole that just doesn't look like the rest of your moles, get it checked out.
5. Get annual skin checks
You should consult your board-certified dermatologist to have all your moles evaluated. And I think for any adult living down in Florida and other parts of the country that have significant amount of sun exposure, it's important to get an annual skin check.