By Alix Fuller
Cosmetics: Why is taking good care of the skin so important? And, is it really that important for men?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: The main reason to take care of skin is to preserve it’s function. The skin is a protective barrier that acts to block radiation, inhibit water loss, prevent infection, regulate temperature, and it plays an important role in the immune system. And, it’s a visible organ that reflects our overall health- many people care for their skin for the sake of appearance. Good skin care is as important for men as it is for women for the sake of skin function at least.
C: Can you suggest a good, basic skin care routine that a man would actually perform?
Dr. LK: The absolute basic skin care regimen for a man is to wash skin at least once a day and apply sun block every morning. If he tends to have dry skin, he should use a moisturizer.
C: What is the most important aspect of skin care?
Dr. LK: Sun protection applied every day, year round.
C: You mentioned earlier that good skin care is as important for men as it is for women. Have you found that men are becoming more interested in taking care of their skin?
Dr. LK: Yes, they are, because they’re realizing that their overall health is reflected in their skin and they want to look that way. Also, many men believe that a vital, healthy appearance gives them an edge in their professional lives.
C: Men who are too shy or embarrassed to buy their own skin care products sometimes use their wives’ or girlfriends’- is this a good idea?
Dr. LK: Each individual has different needs and, as such, I recommend that patients use products specific to their own skin care needs. However, if a man borrowing his partners products results in him taking better care of his skin (wearing sun protection which he normally wouldn’t do, for instance), then it’s a good thing!
C: What are the biggest mistakes men make when shaving, and how can they be fixed?
Dr. LK: The biggest mistake is shaving against the direction of hair growth. Why? Because it can be irritating and often leads to secondary infection. For men experiencing this, I suggest shaving in the direction of hair growth and using a good, appropriate post-shave treatment. If skin is dry, choose a cream product fortified with sun screen, oily skin would do better with a gel moisturizer also formulated with sunscreen. Skin that’s prone to ingrown hairs or infections will do best if you an antibacterial wash before and after shaving.