Face It Like A Man - A Guide To Summer Skincare

My shirt matches my legs in this photo

My shirt matches my legs in this photo

Summer is here, and while there are many reasons to be happy about this, including barbeques, beach days, beer gardens and tag rugby; there are also a few downsides to the warmer temperatures as summer brings with it its own special set of skin care challenges. Sun exposure, heat, humidity and dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin. Now I know that when it comes to men's grooming, skincare figures on the lower end of the priority list for most guys. However, most guys realise that taking care of your skin is not just for the ladies anymore. Men's skincare has evolved greatly from the days of a bar of soap and most modern men want to look good and stay looking young. Of course, looking after your skin is something that you should practice year round but summer requires some necessary adjustments to your daily routine. From lightweight oil-free lotions to exfoliating cleansers, here is your ultimate summer skincare guide for men.

Cleanse

During the summer, perspiration and oil production increase in our skin, which means we have to work a little harder to keep our skin clear. Because we tend to spend so much more time outside during the warmer months, the constant application of sunscreen over sweat and dirt that accumulates on our skin throughout the day causes breakouts and the appearance of greasy/oily skin. By cleansing your skin twice a day (in the morning and at night) with a gentle cleanser, you can remove unwanted dirt, oils and impurities that accumulate on the surface of your skin throughout the day, giving way to cleaner, healthier looking skin. If you shave every day, cleansing your face beforehand comes highly recommended. Go for a good exfoliating cleanser that will lift away dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and give you the smoothest shave possible. If you need a recommendation here then try Kiehl's Age Defender Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser. It's a two-in-one that thoroughly cleanses and purifies the skin while also removing excess oil and dirt. For best results, use daily as a cleanser and three times per week as an exfoliating mask to stimulate skin cell renewal. A good facial toner will also aid in hydration, balance the skins PH level, and help to rebuild the protective barrier that our skin naturally produces. My recommendation here is Neutrogena Alcohol and Oil-Free Toner. This product has an alcohol free formulation that's designed to give you a deep sense of cleaning without leaving your skin feeling too tight or dry.

Moisturise

After cleansing, exfoliating, toning and/or shaving, it's important to hydrate your skin. Shaving can often lead to skin irritation – especially if you have sensitive skin – so I recommend a moisturiser that allows for post-shave sensitivity, like Bulldog Sensitive After Shave Balm. This is designed especially for guys with extra sensitive skin. It has a mild and nourishing fragrance-free formulation containing baobab, oat oil and willow herb. It has great absorbency, leaves no residue and has an energising effect on the skin. It should go without saying but never ever dry shave. Be sure to lather up your fluff with a shaving gel or cream. These products provide a layer of protection and provide a smoother, closer shave.  If you're not shaving and prefer a lightweight moisturiser, again look to Kiehl's and try the Kiehl's Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men. Use this as an extra layer of hydration before finishing off with an SPF to protect from harmful UV rays.

Protect

Last but not least, stock up on a good SPF of at least factor 15. It's recommended that you wear an SPF year round to protect against skin-damaging rays but during the summer when you're spending more time out in the sun, it's even more important to wear an SPF at all times. Start your day by applying a facial sunscreen as the final step of your daily grooming routine before heading out the door. My best advice here is to kill two birds with the one stone and cut down on the number of products you need by picking up a good SPF moisturiser. I've found a lot of these products to be very greasy so again, I'm going to recommend a Kiehl's product ( you'd never be able to tell they send me stuff, would you?). Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser SPF 30 leaves skin feeling soft and nurtured while protecting against UVA and UVB rays. It also absorbs easily so you don't look like you rubbed a bag of fried chicken on your face before leaving the house.

 

If you tweak your skincare routine based on the season – and there are a different set of rules for Winter – you will have a better chance of seeing healthy, smoother, younger looking skin for an extended period of your life. You'll also reduce your chances of getting skin cancer if you apply an SPF daily and with the proper use of skin care products you'll keep your skin in a better overall condition. Skincare is an important part of life that we guys tend to neglect but if you stick to the tips laid out above then you'll find a routine that you can work with and your skin will thank you for it.

Patrick McLoughney