There’s no reason for men to have ashy, bad-looking skin. Skincare isn’t all that intimidating or just for women. A good face wash, moisturiser and sunscreen are all it takes to repair, protect and pamper your skin. So look after it!
There are at least four basic principles of skincare you should live by, says specialist dermatologist Prof Carol Hlela.
Wash: Clean it with soap and water at least once daily.
Hydrate: A good moisturiser goes a long way to hydrate the skin.
Protect: Make sure that you protect your skin from the sun (especially in summer) with sunscreen.
Seek assistance: Get medical (dermatological) help whenever you have complications with your skin.
Often men think taking care of their skin is an exclusive feminine exercise. But many dermatological complications can be caused by negligence to the basic elements of skincare and careless grooming.
Watch out for sunburn
Hlela says where skincare is concerned, it is important and easier to protect your skin from complications by preventing the possibility of getting it damaged than fixing the actual damage. Most men do not practice caution where sunburn is concerned, and this can lead to skin darkening which might cause skin cancer if caution is not practised.
According to a report by Caradee Wright, a senior researcher at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), exposure of outdoor workers to high levels of invisible rays that come from the sun, poses significant health risks, including skin cancer and eye diseases.
In South Africa, little is known about how workers are potentially overexposed to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and what the associated impact might be on their health. Therefore the use of sun protection from UVR is important.
As men we have come to normalise some skin complications that are centred around our “grooming process,” like developing pimples on the scalp or the chin just after shaving. According to Hlela pimples or bumps on the beard area are a sign of a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae.
“Men are expected to generally shave hairs in that area, but some methods promote the development of this condition,” she says.
Hlela advises men to avoid the grooming technique of using sharp razor blades because it promotes the development of this skin condition.
Hygienic haircuts only
She adds that African black males tend to “develop pimples or bumps at the back of the scalp, right up to the upper centre of the scalp. It is normally attributed to the use of certain shaving materials, but this idea is not entirely true and correct. Acne Keloidalis Nuchae or AKN is a prevalent condition that presents itself generally in men.”
She says you may have done everything correctly and still get this condition. AKN does not have medically proven causes, so it may be difficult to find the treatment. But because it is located in the scalp, it is important to practise common grooming caution, like not cutting your hair in too deep.
Hlela believes “men are not doing right in terms of looking after their skin.” And it all begins with the four elements of skincare.