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a men’s guide to skincare

the day has finally come where you face the fact that men need skincare too. whether you’re at the receiving end of your girlfriend’s nagging, or that coworker of yours whose eyes keep straying to your pimples while having a conversation, the last proverbial straw broke your back.

however, being bombarded by the sheer number of men’s skincare products has gotten you stumped. which products does what to your skin? which ones do you choose? read on to find out.

getting your foundations right: what is your skin type?

a quick and straightforward experiment to determine your skin type: cleanse your face using a facial cleanser (and not body/hand/bar soap). wait for 30 minutes before observing your face. which parts are oily? this can be an excellent indicator of what skin type you are: oily, dry, normal, combination or sensitive. here’s a quick rundown of each:

skin typecharacteristicsmore likely to …things to watch out for when choosing products
oilytypically have an oily sheen and the overall feeling of a layer of grease over your face, especially your t-zone (the area of your forehead, nose and chin).– have enlarged and clogged pores – have acne blemishes and breakouts– lightweight products that provide adequate hydration without overloading your skin – regular exfoliation can keep clogged pores and its resulting blemishes to a minimum (note that excess exfoliation may trigger your skin to produce more oils instead)
drythe complete opposite of oily skin, dry skin types may notice a tight, stretched sensation over some parts of your face. some parts may even peel, crack or flake.– feel irritated and itchy
– have visible ageing lines
– thicker items with a cream-base is recommended to lock in moisture within the skin
normalpeople with normal skin usually have small pores, smooth skin texture, and is less likely to have blemishes or breakouts.– enjoy the effects of being naturally born with normal, radiant skin (and be the envy of others)– maintain the skin’s natural state so do not buy overly heavy products and keep it gentle and airy
combinationas the name suggests, it is a combination of two or more skin types. typically, it will be the oily and dry skin types where the t-zone will be greasy while other areas such as the cheeks might feel dry. it might also be a mix of other skin types.– have a mixture of the respective skin types’ troubles– look out for lightweight items that are marketed for all skin types to maintain the moisture balance
sensitivesimilar to combination skin type, sensitive skin can also present itself in tandem with other skin types. generally, sensitive skin is caused by certain stressors such as products, environment or even bodily factors. you may feel an itchy, burning or dry sensation.– takes some trial and error to figure out what is stressing out your skin– products that help to maintain the balance of moisture, the natural barrier to your skin is recommended

basic men’s skincare routine: 5 essential steps

behold the holy grail of skincare – cleanser/exfoliator, toner, serum, moisturiser, and finally sunscreen. at the bare minimum, you should have a cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. be it men or women, these steps are the same.

in general, except for cleansing, avoid the eye and undereye area as most of these formulas tend to be too heavy for the thinner skin around the eyes. if you want, you can add an eye cream to tackle that area.

for guys with facial hair, take care to never shave dry skin. always use a shaving lotion, gel, cream to help the blade glide smoothly over your damp skin. afterwards, use an aftershave product to help you soothe the irritated skin.

1. cleanser – purge your skin of all the impurities to prep your skin to absorb the rest of the products more efficiently

squeeze a 20-cents amount of product, lather and work your hands in small circles over your face and neck area for around 30 seconds. if you have a beard, use more time to pay attention to rubbing along and against the hair growth. wash away the product with warm water and dab (not rub!) your face just shy of dry.

additionally, you can incorporate an exfoliator (if you’re feeling fancy) as a once-a-week product to use to deep clean your skin and scrub off the top layer of your skin cells to promote cell turnover.

2. toner – cleanses your skin of any remaining impurities left behind and primes your skin for the rest of the products’ absorption

toners can help guys deal with stubborn ingrown hairs, acne and signs of ageing.

you’ll see die-hard fans using a cotton pad to dab the toner all over. however, there are others that stand by application by hand. use a 50-cents amount, gather your hands together and dab the product all over your face and neck, blending it in.

3. serum – potent active ingredient formulas designed to cater to your skin troubles

serums has the highest concentration of active ingredients in your skincare routine so you’ll actually want to target your skin concerns rather than match it with your skin type.

it usually comes in a dropper bottle with a pipette applicator. drop two to three drops into your palms and use swiping motions to apply outwards from the centre line of your face.

4. moisturiser – to hydrate and lock in moisture

it comes in two types – cream-based or gem-based. since the weather in singapore can make a cream moisturiser feel sticky and heavy on your skin, you can choose to have two moisturisers, a gel one to wear during the day and the cream-based one to hydrate your skin overnight. the former has a heavier, thicker feel to it while the latter is more lightweight. if you can find a gel moisturiser with at least spf 35 and above, you can combine the last two steps of the routine!

apply a 20-cents amount, rub between your hands and cover your face and neck in quick circular motions till your skin absorbed the product.

5. sunscreen – protect your skin from the harmful uv rays (even when you’re indoors!)

in sunny singapore, this may be one of the most important preventive care you can give to your skin. no matter whether you’re indoors or outdoors, those uv rays will get to you!

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