Men's skin – Eye Weekly, December 20, 2010
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Men's skin – Eye Weekly, December 20, 2010

THE DAPPER GENT – SAVE YOUR SKIN 

By Christopher Parker

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer anymore 

We’ve all heard the adage that women look straight to a man’s shoes when assessing his desirability. While there may be some truth to that, it does ignore one of our major selling points. Our faces communicate more about how we are than any stylish article of clothing ever could, so it’s paramount to take proper care of them.

If you’re a younger person, now is the time to start developing a simple routine to prevent the damage that will come back to haunt you in 10 or 20 years. And for those a bit older, it’s not too late to start now before incurring any more. According to Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue, “the most important piece of advice is to use sunscreen daily throughout the year. UV damage from the sun is not only dangerous but also accelerates the development of fine lines and wrinkles.” In fact, many of the visible changes often thought to be a natural part of aging— yellowish discolouration, mottled spots, small dilated blood vessels close to the surface of the skin and so on—are actually symptoms of sun damage.

Keep in mind, this advice is every bit as crucial in the winter as it is in the summer—you’re still being exposed to UV rays even if it’s cold out. If you combine your sunscreen with a moisturizer, you can help fight the dry skin brought on by frigid conditions and UV damage in one easy step. Dr. Kellettrecommends an SPF value of 30, of which options abound at the local drug store, including one from Olay’s Complete product line ($18.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart). The packaging might feel a bit feminine to some, but that’s what medicine cabinets are for.

Don’t think, however, that a product-based solution will cover everything up. You still need to take proper care of yourself. Basics, like getting enough sleep, exercise, staying properly hydrated and giving up smoking (read more about “smoker’s face” here… ugh) will pay in dividends. Dr. Kellett also advocates a diet-based approach: “Diet plays a role in skin health and appearance as the skin, the body’s largest organ, reflects overall nutritional status and well being. Men should look for foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals—like fruits and vegetables—as these contain the building blocks necessary for cell growth and turnover. Dark green leafy vegetables contain the antioxidants necessary for combating the free radicals that contribute to aging.”

End note: all vanity aside, UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer, which is far more serious than a few wrinkles. Men are infamous for avoiding a trip to the doctor’s office until things get out of hand, but if you see any disconcerning changes to your skin, schedule an appointment ASAP.

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