Men’s Skin Care, Demystified, Part 1

By Oscar

If you want evidence of a gender gap, look no farther than the medicine chest. While many American women think nothing of plopping down hundreds of dollars a year on cleansers, moisturizers and protective skin creams, dermatologists say their male counterparts head off for the golf course or a marathon lawn-mowing session with not even the lightest sunscreen.

“On average, men do not pay attention to their skin,” said Dr. Nicholas Perricone, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. “A small percentage will use moisturizer. Or they’ll use sunscreen only after they’ve had a problem with a cancerous or precancerous growth. I’ll give them a lecture and then they’ll start.”

However, many men took notice of the sun and their skin this summer when former presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. John McCain, had surgery to remove malignant melanomas at his left temple and on his left upper arm.

“I see so many more people since that story hit just coming to have me check them out,” said Dr. Ted Daly, a New York dermatologist and director of pediatric dermatology at Nassau County Medical Center on Long Island. “There’s an increased surveillance.”

But doctors say that men tend to view their skin differently than women. A woman might visit a dermatologist to start an anti-aging regimen or work on pigmentation. A man is more likely to seek advice on adult acne, hair loss, scarring, or new or changing growths.

“It’s, ‘I’ve got this thing on my skin and I want you to look at it,”’ said Dr. Phillip Williford, an associate professor of dermatology and dermatological surgery at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

And male skin is slightly different than a woman’s, giving it a better “aging profile,” said Perricone, author of “The Wrinkle Cure” (Rodale, $22.95). It tends to be thicker and has more sebaceous gland activity, so it’s oilier, he said.

Men tend to eat more protein than women, and that “makes up the building blocks of repair” in skin cells, he said. But men should still take care when washing and protecting their skin.

Soap, Sunscreen and More

Williford recommends daily cleansing with a gentle soap, such as Lever 2000, Dove or a Neutrogena product. Men with excessively dry skin might try a non-soap cleanser, such as Cetaphil.

He would recommend a moisturizer and he often convinces men to use one by alerting them to fragrance-free items that don’t sound too much like cosmetics.

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categoriaMen's Health commentoComments Off dataMay 21st, 2012


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