Lots of men just endure skin problems rather than address them… there’s no need when most can be resolved or alleviated with simple solutions.
Shaving Rash/Razor Burn
You can read a variety of reasons for the causes of that telltale red rash in your shave zone, which can be mild or severe depending on your skin type. Bacteria on your razor, ingrown hairs, etc etc. All of which can be a factor but the most common cause is failing to prepare your face properly and shaving incorrectly, leading to red, sore, irritated skin. Instant improvement will come from these basic steps – shave after your shower, not before, ensuring the skin on your face is warmed up; use a gel or other shave lubricant and massage it well into your skin, stimulating the beard hairs to stand up; shave with the grain of your beard in short, firm strokes. If there’s stil a problem with burn or rash, use aloe-based cream, Vitamin E cream or one of the many other after-shave products now on the market to soothe. The prep and shaving routine above, after sustained use, should prevent future rash breakouts.
Sadly there is no ready cure for “ruddy face”, or rosacea, a non-contagious skin inflammation primarily of the face. It mainly affects men aged 30-50 and can get worse with age. There are prescription drugs which can help alleviate the condition but otherwise someone with rosacea needs to be vigilant against the environmental factors that can worsen the condition – certain foods, sunlight and, dammit, alcohol. Also avoid using any products that include alcohol on your face.
Hormones are the main cause of adolescent acne, as we all know, but for many men acne can continue into adulthood, impairing confidence. A study a few years back by Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that the median age of people with acne has risen by almost 23%, from 20.5 years to about 26.5 years. The causes can be varied and hard to pinpoint. Stress, poor lifestyle, diet and lack of sleep can all be causes, but genetics probably plays a greater role – some people have skin more prone to acne than others. There are many products now which help cleanse and exfoliate the skin, which should alleviate adult acne. Look for products which contain benzoyl peroxide (which helps destroy bacteria that leads to acne) or salicylic acid (which helps unclog pores). Maintain a facial cleansing routine to prevent reoccurences. If no luck, visit a medical professional who can use a a number of other stronger methods to help you rid yourself of the scourge.
Poor lifestyle and lack of sleep can certainly give you dark circles under the eyes but they can also emerge without those factors. Genetics (again) and also allergies are often more common causes of dark circles. There are a number of things you can do to alleviate the condition, from cold compresses on the eyes or sleeping on higher pillows to avoid blood collecting under the eyes. There are also a range of creams you can try, from those with caffeine which constrict blood vessels to Arnica-based creams with anti-inflammatory properties and eye creams with green tea or grapeseed oil that help strengthen capillary walls. Also check your diet – dark chocolate and omega-3 fatty acid foods like salmon and walnuts may improve blood flow to the skin.
Or tinea cruris, a common fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs, is a form of ringworm (which is not actually a worm). Don’t leave it untreated or it can spread. The simple and usually 100 per cent effective solution is regular application of a topical antifungal medication (like Canestan) and keeping the area clean and dry. For the sporty gent, this means special vigilance after being physically active.
Forget remaining wrinkle-free as you age. It ain’t gonna happen but besides, it adds that distinguished “wise-old” look. But you can stall advancing age with some regular maintenance. There’s been an explosion of “anti-aging” products for men in recent years. Only trial and error will determine which ones works for you but there are simple techniques for keeping your skin looking young and supple – give your face a gentle scrub with an exfoliating face wash at least once or twice a week; use a light daily moisturiser; apply sunscreen before heading outdoors (the sun will do the fastest damage to your skin); avoid smoking,too many late nights or over-indulgence in alcohol; eat more fruit and vegetables (diet can play a big role in the health of your skin); apply an anti-wrinkle cream with retinol a couple of times a week.