If you’re concerned about the appearance or health of your skin, you’re not alone. Having glowing, radiant skin may not be the goal of most men, whereas healthy, youthful-looking skin is a different story. Gone are the days when skin care (and self-care) were just for women.
Whether you’re here to begin your skin care journey or want to learn more to improve your skin care regimen, we’ve got you covered.
The internet has an overabundance of skin care tips and advice for women, but when it comes to men, it seems there are more myths and half-truths than helpful advice. Today, we’ll help separate fact from fiction regarding male skin care.
#1 Fiction: Spend Big for Big Results
While it may be true for some consumer products that the more you pay, the better the quality. When it comes to skin care, that’s just plain false. The fact that no skin care regimen will completely halt the aging process hasn’t stopped people from spending big, hoping to do just that. Still, many anti-aging products promise miraculous results – and charge accordingly.
Fact: Anti-Aging Ingredients Matter More Than the Price Tag
Ingredients are the most important factor in determining which skin care products are effective for men. Products containing scientifically supported ingredients are worth more than high-priced brand names.
According to dermatologists, the best anti-aging ingredients are as follows:
- Vitamin C
- Ferulic Acid
- Jojoba Oil
- Retinoids (retinol, bakuchiol)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Azelaic Acid
- Glycolic Acid
- Lactic Acid
Even an inexpensive sunscreen can be the best weapon to protect your skin. A broad-spectrum sunblock protects against UVA and UVB rays, which cause aging and burning. Your dermatologist can help you find cost-effective anti-aging skin products that work.
#2 Fiction: What You Eat Doesn’t Affect Your Skin
Most people think if they don’t have acne, eczema, or other skin conditions, they can eat whatever they like and it won’t affect the health of their skin.
Anyone can experience unwanted skin issues with poor eating habits. Carbohydrates and foods loaded with sugar can lead to inflammation and eventually saggy skin. Fruits and veggies, on the other hand, provide your body with antioxidants.
Fact: A Well-Balanced Diet is Good for Your Skin Health
As you age, the best thing you can do is eat a healthy diet that considers your skin care. Eating a well-balanced diet is vital to ensure you get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients. This will help keep your skin looking younger and healthier.
Consuming an insufficient amount of vitamins can lead to the following skin and hair issues:
- Hair loss
- Damaged skin
- Dry hair and skin
- Poor wound healing
- Itchy skin
Although noticeable effects of vitamin deficiency can take several months, it’s better to avoid problems by maintaining a diet designed to support your skin health.
#3 Fiction: A Spray Tan Protects Your Skin from the Sun
You’re not alone if you thought that getting a temporary tan would make you less susceptible to UV damage. Many people believe the myth that a spray tan can protect them from the sun. Although they are harmless, getting a fake tan doesn’t provide sun protection any more than it will prevent sunburn.
Fact: Only Sunblock Can Protect Your Skin from UVB Rays
Spray or natural tans only change the color of your skin; they don’t increase protection against harmful UVB rays nor do they act as a shield against sunburn.
It’s also a myth that high SPF sunscreen can protect against 100% UVB and UVA rays. UVB radiation can wreak havoc on the top layers of your skin, damage skin cells, and potentially lead to skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, resulting in a tan and aging of the skin.
Sunscreen doesn’t block all UVB and UVA rays, but using a broad-spectrum formula with an SPF of 30 or more will block about 97% of UVB rays. Although SPF only applies to UVB rays, a broad-spectrum sunscreen will also protect the skin from UVA rays.
#4 Fiction: Sunscreen Is Only Necessary for the Summer
One of the most believable myths to gain traction is that sunscreen is only necessary during summer. Most people believe harmful UVA and UVB rays are not as strong or don’t exist for the remainder of the year. They also think they don’t need sunblock if it’s overcast or they’re indoors.
Fact: UVB Rays Are Present All Year Round (Even On Cloudy Days)
Ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer may not be as intense in colder months, but they are ever-present. Exposing your skin to UVB rays can increase the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Since most windows offer no UV protection, many experts recommend wearing sunscreen indoors. UV rays can penetrate clouds and most windows, so don’t skip the sunscreen if you plan to be outside on a cloudy day or spend the day inside a home or office with lots of big windows. Regardless of the time of year, whether it’s raining or snowing, protect your skin and wear sunscreen.
Sun-protective clothing (aka UV or UPF clothing) can add a layer of skin protection even when wearing sunscreen. It can also be an alternative to applying (and reapplying) sunscreen on cloudy or indoor days.
#5 Fiction: You Don’t Need to Moisturize If You Have Oily Skin
This common misconception may seem like it makes sense, but even people with oily skin need to moisturize. Men often have oily, thicker skin because of the effects of testosterone, so debunking this myth is vital.
Fact: Oily Skin Can Be Dehydrated
Oily skin doesn’t necessarily translate into hydrated skin. The skin’s natural response to dehydration is to create more oil. Excessive oil production may be your skin’s way of overcompensating for dehydration.
Moisturizers help keep your skin hydrated, which may eventually reduce oil production, leaving your skin less oily. The goal is not to strip your skin of all its natural oils but to balance oil production.
Try using products designed for people with oily skin, like non-comedogenic moisturizers. These moisturizers contain ingredients that won’t block or clog your pores. If you have poily skin, avoid skin care products that list ingredients like cocoa butter, mineral oil, or coconut oil, as they can block your skin’s pores.
#6 Fiction: You Can Only Use Men-Specific Skin Care Products
When you think about it, it seems ridiculous that men should only use men-specific skin care products. It may be true that men and women have different needs regarding skin care, but ingredients work the same whether they come in a pink or blue bottle. What goes into a product is more important than the branding.
Fact: Many Skin Care Products Are Unisex
Men are spending more and more time focusing on their skin health, which has led many popular skin care brands to offer unisex products in addition to male- and female-specific ones. If you’re serious about skin care, it’s worth considering products based on their effectiveness instead of their packaging.
From moisturizers to body lotions to cleansers, taking care of your skin’s health has never been easier. Understanding your skin type (oily, dry, or combination) and how your ethnicity can affect your skin care needs are ultimately more important than choosing a gender-specific product.
#7 Fiction: Most Guys Don’t Care About Skin Care
You’ve probably heard at least once in your life, “Men don’t need to moisturize,” “Men don’t need lotion,” or any number of declarations implying men don’t care (or need to care) about their skin health. This absurd and widely spread myth makes it difficult for guys who care to learn what products are best suited for them.
Fact: The Male Skincare Industry Is a Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry
The idea that to be a “real” man means you don’t want to protect your skin from the sun or stave off the signs of aging has kept a lot of guys from being proactive with their skincare and health. Recent studies show that men between 15 and 45 are more interested in their appearance and hygiene.
According to Verified Market Research, the market for men’s grooming products is projected to reach more than $80 billion by 20301. Based on these predictions, it’s evident that skincare companies believe men care about their skin.
The bottom line is – skin is skin. Pores get clogged, and skin gets oily, dehydrated, or irritated, regardless of gender. Using moisturizer and sunscreen and eating a balanced diet helps keep skin healthy and youthful in women and men.
Skin Care for Men: The Final Verdict
There are so many myths and misconceptions about skin care for men. And, unfortunately, this misinformation can be so overwhelming for guys that they let their skin health fall to the wayside. The good news is, once you sort through the BS, a skin care routine is pretty simple to follow.