Skin: it’s a tricky business.
When it comes to maintaining your manly mug, nothing is more important. Your face is a part of your identity. A good complexion exudes confidence, so taking good care of the skin that adorns it should be the gentleman’s top priority.
But this is much easier said than done.
There are many different skin types and if you aren’t selective enough in choosing the right products to put on to your pores, you could be doing more harm than good to that gentlemanly image you so desire to acquire.
We know just how important a clear complexion is to the discerning urban gent and in the following guide we give you the information you need to know to identify your skin type and the products you should be using to keep your pores pristine and your skin looking its best.
So, chaps, it’s time to take a good, hard look in that mirror, identify your skin type and get on top of your skin care routine!
Normal skin - Advice for those with perfect pores
The easiest type of skin to regulate, but sadly the domain of only a lucky few, normal skin is usually the product of either impeccable genetics or extremely good fortune.
Whatever the reason, skin of this type is neither too dry nor too oily and is characterised by its almost perpetually perfect condition.
With very few, if any, imperfections, no severe sensitivity and pores which are barely visible, it would seem almost counter-intuitive to recommend a skin care regimen for those of you gents fortunate enough to already have the complete complexion.
Even so, there are a number factors you need to take into account if your face is to remain the picture of perfection. No amount of luck or genetics can protect your skin from being damaged by UV, pollution and countless other savage substances that come into contact with your precious pores throughout the day. Be sure to get your hands on a luxurious facial cleanser to wash away any impurities and stop any blemishes or imperfections from developing.
But if you’re going to keep your skin looking great, you’re also going to need to keep your skin well hydrated. This means that investing in a high quality moisturiser is a must. Apply daily to keep your complexion clear and your skin befitting of only the truest gentleman.
ManCave recommends: While those with normal skin types won’t have to be as fussy about their skin care product selection, it is better to go down the fragrance free route to avoid any possible irritation. A lightweight formula allows for maximum hydration, whilst not feeling overly oily or greasy, and with the added benefit of UV and UVA protection, it’s sure to help keep those lucky few gents with normal skin looking their best.
Apply twice a day by gently massaging into clean, dry skin, making sure that you leave at least 30 minutes between application in the evening and going to bed to ensure that you don’t lose any of it to your pillow. Face Cleanser is an excellent product to keep your skin clean and clear of any imperfections. To use simply apply a small amount to wet hands and work into a lather before gently working into your skin in small, circular motions and rinsing thoroughly.
Oily skin - Advice for the oily skinned gentleman
The scourge of many a gentleman, oily skin can produce enlarged pores, a dull or shiny complexion, and a veritable multitude of blemishes such as blackheads and pimples.
To find out if your complexion is one of an oily constitution, simply clean and rinse your face and then wait an hour to allow your skin to return to its natural state, but make sure not to touch your face during this time. Once dry, dab at the areas around your nose and T-zone (your forehead, nose and chin) with a tissue or cotton pad. If you find that oils and (all natural) grease marks the pad then you have oily skin.
But whilst identifying oily skin is the simplest of tasks for the modern gentleman, treating it is much less so.
Many gentlemen instinctively turn to exfoliating products and the more powerful cleansers on the market in an attempt to alleviate any excessive oil. But although this may seem like the answer to your pinguid predicament, the use of these types of products will actually only worsen the problem. As oil production is stimulated by irritation, using a strong facial cleanser or particularly intensive exfoliant will only make your skin oiler and more prone to blemishes.
Whilst no product can cure oily skin completely, you can keep it under control by opting for more gentle cleansing products . Although your facial cleansing needs will vary from season to season, a good piece of general advice is to use products which avoid the use of artificial perfumes, synthetic chemicals and mineral oils and are rich in natural acids such as glycolic acid, citric acid and lactic acid.
ManCave recommends: All day oil control lotion should be the first port of call for the gentlemen wishing to treat his oily skin. This oil free lotion does exactly what it says on the tin (or rather, bottle) whilst still leaving your pores well hydrated and can be used as often as needed, although you’ll probably only need to apply once a day.
To use, simply apply a small amount of product onto any areas where oil build up is excessive, such as your forehead, nose and cheeks and allow to dry. For the best results, those more oilier gentlemen should consider supplementing this first step with some of Glycol Facial Cleanser. Used twice a day, this multi-functional facial cleanser will wash away any dead skin cells and pore-clogging oils which may be lingering around your chops, leaving your fresher, smoother and firmer. To use, simply work a small amount (no larger than a 10p piece, chaps!) into a creamy lather and apply to damp skin in a circular motion making sure to immediately rinse to avoid any irritation.
Dry skin - Keeping dry skin nourished
Red patches, flaking, sagginess in some areas. These are just some of the signs of dry skin, and some of the reasons that this skin type is particularly unbefitting of the modern gentleman.
Whilst dry skin is commonly the result of some lower quality grooming products which strip the skin of moisture, dry skin can also be caused by more natural means such as cold weather, low humidity and brisk winds. So with winter fast approaching, every true gentleman should prepare his skin for the brisk British winter and learn how keep his skin from drying out.
Key to keeping your skin soft and flake free is ensuring that your skin remains moisturised. Whilst this may seem somewhat obvious to even the most naïve of gentlemen, this means more than simply slathering your face in moisturising creams. Although these should be key weapons in your skin care arsenal, it is equally important to ensure that you incorporate your bathing routine into your skin care routine. By turning down the temperature of your shower or bath, and applying any moisturising products immediately after your bath or shower, your skin will feel the benefits of your skin care efforts much quicker.
It’s also important to remember that any skin care regimen aimed at combating dry skin should be incorporating the use of both a high quality moisturiser andexfoliating cream. Whilst moisturising products will help to replenish any moisture lost from your skin to the surrounding environment, it’s key to keep your face free of flakes as well by using a gentle exfoliant .
ManCave recommends: An exfoliating cream is a great way to keep your face clear of any flaking skin cells. With most products use of natural ingredients such as pumice and rosemary leaf oil, the gentle facial scrub will help get your face back on form by unclogging your pores and invigorating your complexion. To use, gently apply to your face once or twice a week for about 30-60 seconds before rinsing off with warm water.
Sensitive skin - Taking care of sensitive skin
Sensitivity is a trait often required of the modern gentleman. Giving up your seat on the tube, holding a heavy door open and listening to your friends problems are all indicators that your demeanor is befitting of the perfect gentleman.
But sensitivity is a trait which is not quite so desirable when it comes to skin types.
Redness, itching, burning and dryness: not only are the symptoms associated with sensitive skin uncomfortable, but they can also look quite unsightly if left untreated. Impacting massively on the modern gentleman’s confidence and comportment.
Although there are a number of products which can help to soothe sensitive skin, it is more commonly caused by a pre-existing skin condition which you need to have checked out by a medical professional before you put any skin care product on it.
However, once you get the all clear the best course of action is to use products which contain only natural ingredients and avoid using any artificial fragrances. The use of a gentle cleanser and moisturiser are the strongest allies of those more sensitive skinned gents.
ManCave recommends: Dr Harris’s Milk and cucumber and Roses is an excellent product to start with when it comes to arranging your skin care routine around particularly sensitive pores. This light milky lotion can be used either as a deep cleanser or facial moisturiser with equally impressive results. To use, simply apply a little to your face and either rinse gently with warm water (if being used as a cleanser) or leave on and apply a second dose in the evening to feel the benefits of softer, healthier looking skin that is irritation free.
Combination skin - Keeping your combination skin clear
By far the most common skin type among men, combination skin is, you guessed it, where you have a combination of two or more different skin types on your face.
Typically, the gentleman with a naturally combined complexion will find himself with a particularly oily T-zone, complemented with patches of dry or normal skin on other areas of his face. This can produce visibly larger pores, blackheads and an overly shiny complexion in those more oily areas, and occasional dry patches on those other, drier areas of the face, although it is possible to have a combination of dry and normal skin, oily and normal skin, a more sensitive facial composition or any other number of type combinations.
Whilst this skin type is no more difficult to treat than the others which have already been discussed in our gentleman’s guide, it does require a touch more awareness to manage.
Whereas with other skin types there tends to be one course of treatment to restore your pores to pristine condition, combination skin demands that a more localised approach be adopted. Put simply, you need to tailor your daily skin care routine to the combination of skin types which present themselves on your face.
There are, however, a number of products which can help to maintain all aspects of your manly visage. The use of a high quality anti-aging cream, for example, will help to keep every type of skin feeling soft and supple.
Your routine - Keeping your pores pristine
Although you will need to tailor your skin care regimen according to your specific dermal requirements, there are certain steps and products that you should be incorporating into your skin care routine, regardless of your particular type of pores.
- No matter your skin cleansing routine, you should start by rinsing your face with warm water, ensuring that your hands have been cleaned thoroughly beforehand, so as to avoid any dirt or grime being spread to your face.
- Follow this with an appropriate facial cleanser to help shift excess dirt or oil which may have built up overnight.
- Use a high quality exfoliating product no more than twice a week for a deeper clean.
- After cleansing, apply a luxurious toner to ensure that your pores remain tight and pristine.
- Finally, finish off your skin care regimen with some magnificent moisturiser to ensure that your dermis remains well nourished throughout the day.
Depending on your skin type, you may also want to repeat your regimen in the evening as well to keep your dermis the desire of many a gentleman.
Follow these steps and your pores are sure to remain pristine, no matter your skin type.