Life’s a b*tch, and then you die. With only a finite amount of time on this planet, sometimes it feels like it’s hard to escape that ever-ticking biological clock. Women worry about being able to have kids. Men worry about losing their hair.
But both men and women worry about wrinkles. Skincare is important no matter who you are, but it’s safe to say that men are more guilty of neglecting their skin than women (how many blokes carry a tube of pawpaw cream around?).
But men should care more about their skin. It’s the body’s biggest organ, after all (yeah, yeah, we know what you’re thinking champ, keep it to yourself).
Dr Michelle Hunt, Director of Inner Sydney Dermatology and an internationally-published authority on skincare, spoke exclusively to DMARGE about what men should be doing to better care for their skin, and the biggest misconceptions Australian men have about skincare.
“Firstly, [men think] that it’s only for women,” Hunt relates.
“And secondly, that it’s all too complicated. If men want to look their best, then they should follow a good skincare regime too. All it takes is a few basic steps.”
Dr Hunt suggests that men should follow a smart, no-frills skincare regime:
- Cleanse (especially at the end of the day): “To remove dirt and pollution, which damage the skin by the production of free radicals.”
- Moisturise: “To keep the skin hydrated and maintain the skin barrier. Moisturisers containing antioxidants will also help repair damage.”
- Apply a broad-spectrum, SPF 50+ sunscreen: “This is probably the most important part of a good skincare regime, to help prevent premature ageing and skin cancers. Apply half an hour prior to going outdoors, and if outside, reapply every 2 hours. Improvements in sunscreen technology mean that there are now a number of lightweight/invisible sunscreens available.”
Unless you’re Eddie Redmayne levels of pale, most men don’t consider applying sunscreen as something you need to worry about outside of going to the beach. But Dr Hunt strongly recommends applying sun protection as part of your daily routine.
“Many of the skin changes that we associate with ageing (such as wrinkles and blotchy pigmentation) are actually caused by exposure to UV radiation i.e. sun exposure, and are therefore preventable.”
The sun might be responsible for all life on Earth, but it’s also responsible for premature aging. A photo of a truck driver went viral in 2012 that shows the damaging power of the sun on skin: the left-hand side of the then 66-year-old Chicago native’s face, unprotected from the sun, looks years older than his right-hand side, The Guardian illustrated.
Your mirror awaits.