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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Do Men Have Sensitive Skin

All Men Have Sensitive Skin

Most men, to one degree or another, have sensitive or easily irritated skin. Regardless of your skin type, racial background, or age, minor or major irritating skin conditions can be present, even those you can't feel. The skin can burn, chafe, or crack, and you may have patchy areas of dry, flaky skin related to weather conditions, skincare products you use, or sun exposure. Skin can also break out in small bumps that look like a diaper rash. Skin can itch, swell, blotch, redden, and develop allergic reactions to cosmetics, animals, dust, or pollen.

Just imagine a man using several different skincare and hair care products a day, with each one, on average, containing about twenty different ingredients. That means his skin is exposed to about 200 different cosmetic ingredients on any given day. The fact that any of us have skin left is a testimony to the skin's resiliency and the talent of cosmetics chemists. Whether we like it or not, most of us will react to something along the way, perhaps even daily.

Your skin is the protective armor that keeps the elements and other invaders from entering the body. We protect most of our anatomy with clothing, but our faces are left painfully exposed to everything. It's no wonder the skin on our faces acts up now and then. Sensitive skin is probably the most "normal" type of skin around.

Everyone, men and women, has the potential to develop sensitive skin, so people of every skin type should heed the precautions for sensitive skin. What are the precautions? There is really only one and it goes for all skin types: Treat your skin as gently as you possibly can. Whether you think of your face as oily, dry, or mature, you still need to be gentle with your skin and avoid things that cause irritation.

The operative word is gentle. Preventing skin irritation, regardless of your skin type, is the most important. Of course, some skin types can and should try to tolerate certain irritating ingredients because of the potential to help skin look better. A topical disinfectant (i.e. benzoyl peroxide) is helpful for men with acne-prone skin, while a BHA solution (a salicylic acid exfoliant) is good for men with blackheads and acne-prone skin. Likewise, an AHA (an alpha hydroxy acid product used to exfoliate) or Retin-A (to improve cell formation) is beneficial for men with sun-damaged skin. Hydroquinone is a well-researched ingredient that can lighten skin discolorations. Aside from these types of exceptions to the gentleness rule, if something is irritating it can be detrimental for all skin types. If it is bad for sensitive skin, it is probably bad for oily skin, acne-prone skin, combination skin, or dry skin. As you incorporate this belief into your skincare regime, you will slowly solve many of the skin problems you have been experiencing.

In the next update, we’ll learn that men’s skin type has nothing to do with age!

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