By: Dr. Corey Hartman, Skin Wellness Dermatology
Do I think most men want to take care of their skin?
Of course I do. I think some men are just a little embarrassed to show they care while others are afraid we’re going to give them too much to do.
But this is why I believe simplicity is the most important aspect of a good men’s skincare regimen! I think most guys just don’t know how easy it can be and what the possibilities really are.
And just for the record, there’s nothing wrong with caring about your skin no matter who you are.
What do men tend to forget when it comes to skincare? They forget to ask for guidance.
It’s a good idea to visit the dermatologist when you’re trying to put a good skincare routine in place. This way, you have a professional helping you rather than trying to figure it out on your own. Plus, you’re going to get a better result if you get on some medical grade products.
If you try products you don’t like, you’re going to get discouraged and think that all the products are going to give you the same result or the same effect. And that’s not true. We have a lot of options.
If your skin can’t tolerate the products that are a little more aggressive, we can find stuff your skin can handle. All it takes is asking for a bit of guidance from someone who knows exactly how to help you get the results you want.
Here’s what a basic men’s skincare regimen looks like:
Though a lot of the components of a good, basic skincare regime are the same as they are for women, traditionally and historically, men just don’t have that same focus, nor that same time, to dedicate to skincare. That’s why, for men, I try to streamline it a little bit more. I know if I ask them to do too much, it’s going to be a hindrance to complying with the regimen so I try to combine as many steps into one as possible.
That being said, there are four products that I recommend men incorporate into their skincare regimen. But the cool thing is – we can combine these products into two simple steps. Or even one step if that’s what works best.
Male or female, you must apply sunscreen every day.
Since men tend to have oiler, thicker skin, we don’t like heavy products – at all. We want something that’s light and easy to spread, and physical blockers are going to be the sunscreen of choice.
There are now some good broad spectrum sunscreens available that also pack antioxidants with a little bit of moisturizer.
That way, you get all three products in one and can apply in the morning. Easy enough, right?
The only thing we’re missing from a regimen at this point would be something to help exfoliate.
As men, we have skin that tends to exfoliate more debris because of the hair growth, so we want a good fortified retinol – something that’s going to give us effective exfoliation without a lot of irritation. That would be the one step I would add at night.
Again, simplicity. Two steps. Streamlined.
Now, if you’re not a night kind of person, I would build a regimen where you can apply everything one time a day.
Either way, we just need to find what works for you.
Let’s not ignore hair loss because, yes, it happens to most
The sad reality is that most men start to lose their hair at some point. Another sad reality is that by the time most men realize it, they’ve lost about 50 percent.
As we age, because of the hormones that are circulating through our body, like testosterone that helps us build muscle and grow hair on our beard, the ratio of those hormones start to change. Then there are derivatives of some of those hormones that can have a negative effect on the hair on our head.
Sometimes even that conversion of that stronger version of testosterone can make those hair follicles on the scalp start to miniaturize. Once that happens, the hair gets so small that it just kind of gives up and falls out.
A look at the best hair loss treatments for men
As soon as you identify a problem, it’s important to start a hair loss treatment because you want to hold onto the hair you have before it’s too late.
And there are two main treatments for hair loss. One is a topical ingredient called minoxidil that’s in Rogaine so it’s over the counter and easy to use. You can go to the drugstore and get it, but that only has one ingredient.
If you compound these treatments, you can get more ingredients into the liquid that we apply and get more of an effect for the same amount of work.
That’s why it’s worth having a conversation about hair loss with your dermatologist because we can do a customized prescription that you can use topically that can help. Plus a lot of those products that are available topically are also available as oral medications.
The topical absorption isn’t the same for everyone, so some men chose to be more aggressive with the treatment and take these ingredients as a pill.
Beyond that, if you want to go get even more aggressive, you can do the PRP, or platelet rich plasma, treatment.
If you’re already in a good regiment and have been doing it for 6-12 months, and you’re not seeing results, or maybe you just want to jump start things, then PRP is a great natural option.
This is a treatment where we draw your own blood, spin it down to get the platelet rich plasma, and then inject it into the scalp. It’s like planting good seeds; then you water and nourish them with some medications.
I love PRP because it works, it’s relatively painless, and there’s really no downtime. It’s just a few needle sticks into the scalp after you’re totally numbed. Plus it’s not like you’re injecting anything that’s foreign. People really seem to appreciate that part of it.
It’s three treatments spaced six weeks apart so it’s not something you have to do all of the time. Most people start to see results after that second treatment; then three months after the final treatment, you’ll see maximum improvement.
Men, it’s okay for us to talk about your skin and hair
I’m a man, so I understand the hesitation. As men, we might feel that it’s weird to actually care about our skin and hair, but in today’s world, it’s really not. We have proven products and ingredients that can help you maintain good skin and keep it as healthy as possible as you get older.
There’s no reason why any man shouldn’t take advantage of that, and really, all it takes is starting the conversation.
Learn more about men’s skin care from Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL
At Skin Wellness Dermatology of Alabama, we offer cutting-edge skin care and dermatology services to our patients in the Greater Birmingham area, including Hoover and Homewood. At our offices in Birmingham & Chelsea, AL, our certified dermatologists are here to listen to your concerns and offer the individualized, high level of patient care you seek. We believe in making care accessible and affordable, and we will go out of our way to accommodate your visit. Give us a call today at 205-871-7332.