Throughout the last few years, it’s become more socially acceptable for men to care about how they look. Men are now spending time and money for good haircuts, name brand clothing, expensive cars, even top-of-the-line watches and rings. But what about their skin care? Thankfully, many companies are now beginning to carry lines of face wash and moisturizer that are formulated specifically for men.
How Your Skin Ages
Skin is extremely important because it is an outward sign of what’s going on in the body. Any good habits, eating patterns, salon product use, alcohol, and more will affect the skin. Genetics will certainly play a role in your skin’s health. But more importantly, lifestyle factors and choices will affect how old your skin is.
“One thing is that there is the intrinsic aspect of aging, that there is nothing you can do about it,” said Dr. David Sawcer, one of the professors of dermatology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. In other words, some aspects of aging will simply happen. Dr. Sawcer continues, “Observed scientifically, the elasticity, the matrix of the skin that holds it together – collagen – changes. And the arrival of wrinkles as skin gets thinner and also drier. But it is in the extrinsic world, the aging by virtue of the things we do, that constitutes a larger component of speeding up the aging process.” Read on for some ways that you can slow down those extrinsic factors of adding on years.
Too Much Dry Skin?
Dry skin can be a constant problem for men and women, especially in the winter. So what factors also dry your skin out? Primarily smoking and alcohol.
Alcohol is a culprit because it dehydrates the body. When a person is drinking alcohol, he’s less likely to drink enough water in between, which doubles the dehydrating effect. Smoking affects skin care attempts because it prevents oxygen from getting to your skin. This lack of oxygen can also affect the skin’s pigmentation. All in all, not getting enough oxygen, which is carried in red blood cells, will quickly make skin look dull and lifeless.
Your Face Will Freeze Like That
How many of us have heard our mothers say this when we pull a funny face? But the truth is that, while your face won’t freeze exactly in that position, it will develop wrinkles over time. “Repeated facial expressions such as facial exercises also speed up aging,” Sawcer adds. “People think those are good for you when, in fact, they are likely to create more wrinkles.” Sleeping positions, stress, and facial exercises can have a detrimental effect on your skin care. Using a quality, salon product moisturizer will help to combat those wrinkles.
No More Cheeseburgers, Please
Remember the teenage years when you avoided certain foods for fear of breakouts? That philosophy still holds, though its results are different. A diet containing lots of greasy and highly-processed foods will work to break down the DNA. That means the cell structures are literally breaking down. Skin will dry out more easily and the collagen underneath the skin’s surface will begin to deteriorate.
If you want to slow down the aging process, eat lots of fruits and vegetables (no surprise!). These foods will also reduce the risk of cancer and help skin look its best. Besides, fruits and veggies will keep your body hydrated, unlike sodium-full foods which dehydrate you.
Massage Away the Stress
Stress will show on your face, not just in your expression but also in the shape and look of your face. Zaida Harris, an esthetician in Santa Monica, California, has seen this numerous times. “Stress plays a major role in the face,” she says. “Deep frown lines over time, clenching their jaws or grinding their teeth time and again without realizing it – a huge benefit of getting a facial is the incredible amount of tension relief you get. Scalp and neck massage, forehead and eyebrow massage are very effective. Stimulating the areas of the face from the scalp down to the shoulders can be very productive in reducing stress and improving circulation.”
That hits on an important point: the flow of blood throughout the skin. Just as smoking reduces the healthy movement of blood, so massage will stimulate it. Blood will bring healthy nutrients to the skin and carry away the waste, the dead skin cells, and other aspects that can make your skin dull.
Sun Protection: The Most Important Factor
In many ways, protection from the sun is the best thing you can do for your skin. You should always wear a hat and sunscreen, preferably a salon product that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If possible, you should also limit your sun exposure during its peak hours from 10am – 3pm. No matter what your current lifestyle choices, you can make a few small changes that will result in excellent anti-aging benefits.