We all know the stereotype: Men typically care about and for their skin about as much as big-wave surfers care about backyard ponds.
I think that sentiment is changing, as more and more guys are seeing the value in having healthy skin. For a long time, I fell into the same category. I thought about my skin somewhere between never and almost-never.
But then something happened.
I reached my 40s, and my face and neck changed from looking smooth and young to looking like an old canvas that was painted with deep and disturbing lines—signs of aging skin. This shouldn’t have been too surprising. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and I worked my college summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor. So I gorged on the sun like it was an all-you-can-heat buffet.
Now, I live at 7,500 feet in Park City, Utah, and get outside as often as possible—meaning I still have the potential to being exposed to a lot of UV light.
Having healthy skin isn’t just vital to protect it from the common form of cancer, but it’s also because skin really is a proxy for your overall wellness. If your skin is healthy, there’s a good chance that your insides are too. And if your skin is dull and marked and lined up with more wrinkles than a suit that’s been stuffed in a backpack, then it can be a sign that maybe you’re not as healthy as you’d like to be.
Here’s how I approach my healthy-skin plan:
Protection: I always wear sunscreen.
Nutrition: I also recommend a diet rich in natural carotenoids as a way to protect your skin from within. In addition to lots of green leafy vegetables and carrot juice, which are rich sources of carotenoids.
Exfoliation and Application: After I shower and exfoliate with exfoliating mitts, I always replace the oils that I washed off with a high-quality skin-care product. My go-to is USANA Celavive Replenishing Night Cream which I apply while still wet in the shower then I put on my thick cotton robe and let it absorb completely. Since I live in the High Plains desert in Utah, the extra moisturizing, especially during the cold, dry winters is essential for me.
Selection of Protection
You’ve heard it a million times: Skin cancer originating from UV exposure is one of the most common causes of cancer. That’s why I make sure to protect my skin every time I’m outside. And while sunlight does provide Vitamin D, which many are deficient in, I prefer to get my vitamin D nutritionally and through supplements.
So when I go outside, I use sunblock on exposed areas of skin, and make a point to do the other things that provide protection, like wear long sleeves and pants if it’s not too hot, wear sunglasses, and stay in the shade.
What’s Going On?
Ok, so maybe now you’ve decided to use a little more “product” to help improve your skin health. The only problem? It feels like the skin-care aisle is as crowded as a Black Friday superstore. So many choices, so much marketing lingo, so many ingredients that promise to make your skin glow and shine and radiate with youth.
Now, there’s no doubt that so many things can cause your skin to change day by day or season by season—cool air can make you dry out and lead to chapped and cracked, or maybe diet and environmental factors can turn your skin into a revolving door of dryness, or splotches, or other things you want to address.
Finding what works for you takes some time, experimentation, and consistency. So rather than spending a small fortune on many products, I suggest starting simply.
Just add one product at a time, whether it’s a moisturizer or another product. That will help you avoid any adverse skin reactions and also help you pinpoint what product could be the culprit if you do. That would be much harder to do if you were to start gooping on four, five, or six different things in a quest to deluxe-car-wash your skin to perfection.
As is the case with most health habits, taking them on slowly and patiently is what wins the ultimate race.