Skincare for Men: Part 1

Women are aging better than men. For every George Clooney, there are a hundred guys with turkey necks and lines carved in their foreheads. For every well-aging man, there are two women who look better for their age.

There’s a reason women are aging better than men, and that reason is sunscreen. What most people consider aging is really just sun damage. Losing skin tonality, in other words, is not an internal natural process as much as it’s the result of external damage.

Compare a 40-year-old school teacher’s face to a working man’s face. The teacher’s face, unexposed to sun light, will have few lines. The skin will remain taught. The skin will slightly glow.

The man’s face will have deep line carved across his forehead. His facial skin will be dull and starting to sag.

The first rule of skincare for men is to wear sunscreen. If all a man did to his skin was apply a moisturizing sunscreen in the morning, he would look five years younger. (With a proper skincare routine, he’ll look ten years younger.)

There are hundreds of sunscreens on the market, leaving most men confused. There’s no need to be confused if you keep four things in mind:

  • The sunscreen must offer UVA and UVB protection;
  • The sunscreen must no clog your pores;
  • The sunscreen must moisturize;
  • The sunscreen should be paraben-free, as parabens are estrogenic.

You need two different sunscreens – one for daily office use, and one for serious outdoor use.

I use Vanicream sunscreen, and consider it among the best in breed. It’s titanium and zinc oxides provide full protection against skin-destroying UVA and UVB rays.

However, Vanicream is thick and can leave some white patches on your skin if, like most guys, you don’t spend several minutes working it into the skin. That’s fine for heavy outdoor use, but can look weird in the office.

Most guys want a “glob and move” sunscreen. Get a blog into your hands, smear it on your face, and get away from the bathroom mirror.

Neutrogena is a great daily-use sunscreen. It’s non-oily, so it won’t clog your pores or make your nose look like a greasy pizza. It’s also affordable.

If you have dry skin, Cetaphil Fragrance Free Daily Facial Moisturizer will be right for you. Cetaphil has extra moisturizing properties. Where as it might make a person with oily skin look greasy, it will make a person with dry skin have a moist face.

My skincare regime involves far more than merely wearing sunscreen, and future posts will focus on advanced anti-aging protocols – including serums.

If you’re not wearing sunscreen before sun exposure, nothing else you do will matter. Once you’ve started wearing daily sunscreen, you’ll be ready for more advanced skincare tactics.

  • ElJefe

    Not sure which part of the States you’re in, but would you be as diligent with sun-screen if you lived in northern British Colombia (Prince George), for instance?

  • Mr.M

    you might want to study up on sunscreen and estrogen. The stuff makes you girly on the inside as well as the outside.

    • FFY

      “■The sunscreen should be paraben-free, as parabens are estrogenic”

  • bogspua

    Interesting subject.

    I lately started to take care of my skin as well (I am in my middle thirties), but went with the option of anti wrinkling balsam and cream for eyes. I have been doing for 1 month only, but definitely can see how my skin got improved and makes me look younger few years.

    Looking forward to part 2.

  • Scrouds

    I will welcome the grizzled old man look when it eventually comes to me.

    • Mick

      Yah I would rather have some natural colour and some lines across my forehead than be very pale with smooth creamy skin.
      Besides George Clooney has alot of WTF? Chicks dig that anyway.

  • Blumel

    Sunscreen has a whole host of problems. It blocks the absorption of vitamin D into your bloodstream. The Vitamin A in sunscreen turns into free radicals when the sun hits it and then gets absorbed into your skin, greatly increasing the likelihood of skin cancer.

    I use a strong antioxidant for skin protection (astaxanthin) and it seems to be working so far.

  • dangerandplay

    Funny. I never expected a post on sunscreen to engender such controversy.

    1. Sunscreen doesn’t turn you into a girly man unless you’re using one with parabens Even then, parabens aren’t a big deal if you’re only apply sunscreen onto your face. To get systemic absorption, you’d need to apply parabens all over your body. In any even, I suggested using paraben-free sunscreens.

    2. You’ll get plenty of Vitamin D with an exposed face. UVA and UVB rays are absorbed through your clothing, as the fibers in most clothing are not thick enough to stop the rays from coming through.

    3. I didn’t suggest using a Vitamin A sunscreen. If you guys wanna post your opinions, fine, but read the post first.

    4. If you’re 40 years old and decide to become a “grizzled old man,” can you make that choice? Sure thing. Just go outside for a few hours a day, and you’ll have plenty of wrinkles.

    If you’re 40 years old and already look grizzled, can you make the choice to have a supple face? No.

    The central theme of my work deals with freedom and choices. By wearing sunscreen today, you’ll have choices to make in the future.

    Don’t make limiting choices today that you’ll likely regret 10 years from now.

    5. If you’re a pasty-faced Brit, I wouldn’t stress over sunscreen. However, if you’re going to be exposed to the sun, wear it. Brits have really high rates of skin cancer:

    My post was only about the vanity aspect, because I assume people have scared guys enough over skin cancer. Nevertheless, skin cancer is a major reason I wear sunscreen – especially when you consider that I’m already going to get skin cancer since my face was burned extensively as a child. (Anyone who burned as a child is at a major risk for skin cancer in his late 30’s and beyond.)

    6. Glad you liked the post. You’ll especially like the anti-aging therapies I suggest. I’ve found some really “big guns” at affordable prices.

  • Rivelino

    yeah, good topic. i have written about this sporadically too. my ex took excellent care of her skin and passed on good tips.

    1. it’s not just the external. or rather, the internal can help fight the external. meaning, what you eat can make a huge difference in your skin.

    2. too much frowning also screws with you skin.

    3. night cream night cream night cream. i like the clinique repairwear.

    i am 37, and despite having some grey hairs, i generally get late 20s to early 30s. it’s hard for people to lie about this. i get 34 easily, but more of an average of 32. i started taking care of my skin 10 years ago.

    this shit really works. and although it’s true, girls don’t really care as much about a man with wrinkles, like d&p says, better to be safe than sorry. options options options

    • Mick

      Too much is attention is focused on the skin. Really it is the muscle under the skin that causes the wrinkles. Since the face is the only place that I am aware of that the muscle attaches to the skin, the integrity of the muscle and its ability to lie flat at rest is the main issue. The muscle pulling this way and that puckers the skin where it is attached. Like as if the skin is a leather sofa and can be kept supple by applying cream to it.

      Like after a woman gives birth , all the situps in the world will not get the stomach skin to lie flat against the muscle. The muscle is not attached here and will not correct sagging belly skin. The face however does respond to facial exercise, and allows the muscle under the skin to correct and lessen wrinkles. Forehead wrinkles can be greatly minimised with scalp and occipital muscle exercises. I have seen it work first hand. If you want smooth skin use vaseline.Since the muscle attaches to muscle and bone , this is where the wrinkles on the face can be corrected and allowed to lie flat at rest. That is why Botox works, it relaxes the muscle attached to the skin allowing it to lie flat.

  • Whitehall

    Gee, Dude! Just think where Clint Eastwood could be now if he had gotten this advice years ago.

    I subscribe to the Tuber Root Theory of Personality:

    “I yam what I yam.”

    Popeye the Sailor Man

    • Whitehall

      OK, I will try it. ANYTHING for more tang – NUTS RULE!

  • (r)Evoluzione

    There are two types of sunscreen. D&P showed major mojo by recommending the physical sunblocks, Titanium dioxide & Zinc oxide. The chemical sunblocks, like oxybenzone, oxyphenone, etc, have been shown to damage DNA as much or more than the sun’s rays itself.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve found that a high-antioxidant diet (paleo) plus significant omega 3 and vitamin D3 have conveyed significant sun protection. I just took a high altitude jaunt (10K’+ for 3 days,) and I only used sunscreen on one day with the most sun/snow exposure. I didn’t even tan. A few years ago, with the standard american diet, I would have burned.

    This is of course anecdotal evidence, but realize that the Inuit and Inupiat ate a ton of fish, fish oil, etc, and used NO sunscreen, and have notoriously resistant, resilient, tough yet supple skin and few wrinkles until old age.

    To sum up: eat a solid diet of high fat, paleo, lots of colorful veggies, and dose up on D3, and you’ll need less sun protection. Wnen you do need it, opt for mineral-based physical sunblocks.

    PS I am closing on 40, and people routinely guess my age a full 10 years younger–this is due to good genes and active wrinkle prevention & proactive hair care.

  • Carl Sagan

    I agree with what revolutinze says. Take your vitamin D guys. Go check out the vitamin D council to read up on the latest research. A lot of this sunscreen stuff is bullshit.

    My recommendations for a youthful visage would be the following:

    1) Don’t smoke
    2) Get plenty of sleep every night (at least 8 hours)
    3) Eat well and exercise on a daily basis (real workouts, none of this brisk walking bullshit)

    If you feel that you need to moisturize then go ahead and do it but those three things need to be in place if you really want to keep a youthful look going

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  • Emma the Emo

    One thing many dermatologists seem to find important: reapply your sunscreen every 3 hours or so. It doesn’t last all day.

  • Emma the Emo

    Although there are studies saying you should apply 30 minutes before exposure and then 30 minutes after.

  • JJ

    Still waiting on Skincare part II….