In a world where fat-cat companies regularly trick consumers into thinking they need something that is largely excessive (and often expensive), it’s easy to get sceptical about certain trends.
But there's one thing that is finally becoming normalised amongst the men of Australia — and is not a trend at all — and that is daily moisturising.
In today's article, we dive deep into all the reasons why a good moisturiser for men is a must-have in your vanity cupboard.
The Australian sun doesn't play
You don’t need to be a dermatologist to know that sun and skin aren’t the best of friends, and in Australia, the numbers (courtesy of The Cancer Council) say it all:
- 2 out of 3 Aussies are diagnosed with skin cancer before their 70th birthday
- Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers
- The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun
- GPs have over 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer
- The incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, 2-3 times the rates in Canada, the US, and the UK
These figures incite more than just a little desire to get a moisturiser with at least SPF30+ and wear it daily, knowing you’ve done yourself (and your handsome mug) a huge bloody favour.
Alternatively, we recommend opting for an SPF50+ sunscreen, which you apply following your moisturiser in the morning. A product like Software's Daily Sun Defence SPF50+ is great as it works for all skin types, is lightweight and non-greasy and because it's formulated with UVA and UVB filters, may reduce the risk of photoageing, sun spots and some skin cancers.
And the best part is, your skin will thank you by staying handsome (and hopefully cancer free) a hell of a lot longer.
Your eyes reveal your age
It’s simple, really. Eyes are sensitive, and so is the skin around them. While skin differs all over the body, this area is often the first to crack at any signs of ageing — especially when you're not moisturising properly.
Women have a choice of too many eye creams, many of which purport to be beneficial at different times of the day, and there are also a few men’s eye creams out there that claim to reverse skin ageing, but what you should be looking out for is fairly simple.
Find yourself a facial moisturiser containing either hyaluronic acid or vitamin E, and apply it around the eyes regularly. Just make sure not to rub it in with too much vim and vigour — remember what we just said about this area being sensitive and all?
Knowing your skin type: The key to finding the right moisturiser
Like most things that concern your health, prevention is always better than a cure, and the best defence for your skin is a healthy level of moisture.
This is where understanding your own skin type (and the concerns that may come with it) is imperative. There are 5 main skin types that will dictate the best men's moisturiser for you: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive.
While potentially stigmatising the other types more than just a little (hmm), the name says it all.
Normal-type skin is neither oily nor dry, has few imperfections, minimal pore size, and an even complexion. Any all-purpose moisturiser, preferably with a special protection factor to shield from the sun, is a good place to start.
Again with the self-explanatory naming, dry skin refers to skin that is drier than it should be and requires a cleanser that won’t dry it out further (pro tip: avoid harsh exfoliants) before a good face cream is applied.
Fellas with dry skin who don’t also suffer the hassle of acne can use oil-based moisturisers for extra efficacy, or even a straight oil like rosehip before bed for bonus brownie points.
Keep in mind that dry skin is different from dehydrated skin (though they can feel quite similar). Dehydration happens because your skin lacks water and it can affect people with any skin type, even on the oilier side.
An easy way to tell the difference is the pinch test. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand: if it isn't quick to snap back, it's probably a case of dehydrated skin.
There are many reasons for skin to be oiler than it should be, from hormonal to environmental (and loads of others in between), but whatever is making your skin oily, don’t fret: the right face cream and skincare regimen will help.
And yes, oily skin types still need to moisturise every day.
Wash your face with a ph-balanced cleanser, and avoid exfoliating more than once a week as it can over-stimulate the production of sebum, which creates oily skin in the first place. After that, an oil-free, lightweight moisturiser is perfect and you can even get one that will “mattify” your face. Neato.
Ever heard of the “T-Zone”? Neither had we, but it’s an important part of your face in terms of understanding your skin type.
Think of a capital “T” over your forehead at the top, down over your nose, and down again to your chin. This is where skin can be completely different to the rest of your face, which is what happens when you have combination skin, and different products may be in order to achieve balance.
In other words, you may need an oil-free face cream for the oilier zones of your face, and then a heavier moisturiser for areas where you have dry or dull skin.
Sensitive skin requires a touch of delicacy when picking a daily moisturiser.
For most people with sensitive skin, it’s a game of trial and error before finding the perfect fit, but a good place to start is by avoiding products with:
- Nasties that can dry out your skin (like alcohol),
- Ingredients that are irrelevant to skin health (think fragrances and artificial colours) ,
- Preservatives (especially parabens)
Instead, look for moisturisers that are formulated with gentle ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, jojoba oil, and hyaluronic acid, which are all less likely to aggravate your skin.
Need a hand with your skincare?
Skincare can be confusing and if you're after a personalised skincare product to tackle concerns like ageing, acne, pigmentation, skin texture and redness, we're here to help.
Simply take our online quiz and our Aussie GPs will create a product that actually works for smooth, healthy skin (without the wait or eyewatering bills).
Photo credit: Getty Images