If you’re reading this you most likely already know what your basic skin type is. Imagine your skin type as a clean canvas – and add to it some thin lines and some thick lines. See where we’re going? Besides acne, the other top concern for men is ageing. There are loads of products out there promising to turn the clock back: but what really works?
Perhaps the more important question is – what works for your skin? Surely you don’t want to treat your imperfections but spite your whole face in the process. This brings us to the first and foremost question…
HOW DOES AGEING WORK?
Ageing encompasses a variety of conditions that present themselves with the passing of time. These can include wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes, laugh lines, sagging skin, or a general pallor across the face. Most of these symptoms are caused by a growing inability of the skin to retain moisture and collagen, thus taking away the ingredients that make skin supple. When this happens, what should be propping the skin up gradually disappears – causing the skin to sag and fold permanently.
On the external end, there are also sun damage and environmental damage from pollution. Sun damage is caused by UVA rays that penetrate under the skin surface, creating wrinkles that are deep-set. Pollution (and also, bad eating habits and stress) increases the amount of free radicals in our body, which can affect its ability to regenerate and thus speed up the ageing process.
SOLUTIONS FOR AGEING
Ageing can make some men look more attractive (think vintage wine, silver foxes, or George Clooney), but if you’re looking older than your age, or feeling younger than you look, it may already be too late to correct it. The rule for anti-ageing regimen? Start early. Anti-ageing isn’t about reversing time; it’s about prevention.
Most anti-ageing products help in two ways: protecting and detoxifying the skin, and speeding up self-renewal. Ceramides keep your skin cells together and form a barrier to external damage. If they are compromised, your skin becomes vulnerable to ageing. For people with early signs of ageing such as fine lines, products containing ceramides or ingredients that promote ceramide production such as niacinamide (vitamin B3) will help improve the appearance of the skin. However, these products only work on the surface. To target deep-set ageing, you need something more aggressive.
While we can’t reverse ageing, we sure can try preventing its early onset. Source: Time.com
Self-renewal is a natural process your skin goes through. On the surface, as you have learned, skin cells die and form layers of dead skin. Deeper inside, your body naturally produces collagen to repair the skin, keeping it firm. If you wish to address wrinkles or a general pallor or sagging of the skin, you will need AHA/BHA acid to slough off the dead cells, and also use products containing retinol (vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to promote collagen production.
Antioxidants are your weapons against environmental damage, helping to eliminate free radicals so your skin can focus on renewal. Vitamin E (tocopherol), a powerful antioxidant, is known to work well with vitamin C to prevent collagen depletion. Natural options like trans-resveratrol, soy isoflavones, pomegranate extract, green tea and white tea, while not thoroughly researched, have been known for their antioxidant properties.
Some disclaimers – never use retinol in the day time, as research has shown that it is carcinogenic for the skin when exposed to sunlight; vitamin C degrades very easily, so look for one that is stabilized; pricier doesn’t mean better, so make sure you’re looking at the ingredients and how far up they are on the list, instead of the sticker price.
Last but not least, don’t be averse to using products marketed to women – a disproportionately high amount of research into the female beauty industry means better quality products for all. What’s more, there is no real difference between male and female skin, just like there is no real difference between skins of various races.
Men do, however, have an added need for shaving. If you’re doing it daily, consider richer moisturizers especially for the U-zone, since shaving can significantly dry out the skin. Look out for products that contain gliding and skin-soothing ingredients, such as propylene/butylene glycol, chamomile, licorice root extract, oleanolic acid or allantoin.
To sum it all up, many ingredients out there in the market can help you battle time. Some products push one ingredient as the best, but the truth is your skin can use all the help it can get. Go for products that have a combination of many different anti-ageing agents, especially those with ingredients known to work well together.
Our picks for anti-ageing products
Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles, Murad, USD65
For those with a bigger budget, this fragrance-free moisturizer is high in retinol and antioxidants – making it a great weapon against ageing skin. The applicator will help you target specific lines, and its mineral content will leave your skin with a subtle glow.
Cellular Power Charge Night, La Prairie, USD475
Boom – it costs a helluva lot of money. But guess what, it works. It consistently appears at the top of anti-ageing rankings and it has the ingredients to back it up. Peptides, retinol, oxygen accelerator: all these plus their proprietary cellular blend make La Prairie a favorite amongst celebrities.
Night Surfacing Elixir, Olay Regenerist, USD30
Being a time-tested brand, Olay creates another great product. With a good amount of glycolic acid in a low pH solution, as well as antioxidants and glycerin, this serum will gently renew your skin. While marketed as a moisturizer, guys with drier skin will need to apply something else on top.
Renewing AHA Cream, DHC, USD42.50
10% AHA in a pH3.8 makes this cream a good exfoliant that’s not too abrasive for dry skin, and some olive oil provides antioxidant benefits. Once or twice a week does it – simple! This is particularly recommended for guys who suffer from sun-damaged skin.
PC4Men Nighttime Repair, Paula’s Choice, USD27
The trusted industry watchdog’s own offering for men boasts slip agents and anti-irritants that will make shaving a smoother experience, and also contains a potent cocktail of anti-ageing ingredients like retinol, shea butter and green tea extract.