The image of a classic man used to routinely be one of blue-collar description. Worn, rugged hands. A wind cracked face. Skin tanned and leathery from toiling in the shining sun. But gentlemen, in the year 2019 this stereotypical “manly” façade is horribly outdated and if you still subscribe to its requirements you are outdated as well.
Marlon Brando may have a “classic man’s” image, and he also looked about 45 by the time he was 27. In today’s world, self-care is the name of the game, the main attraction for that game is your face. Basic facial care is not only encouraged, but it is also essential. Not only will you feel better, but you will also look infinitely more attractive to whoever you are trying to attract. Clean, bright, healthy skin is a way to say to the world, “I have my stuff together”.
The question is for a beginner: where do you start? There is no reason to fear. It is an illusion that this step up in daily care needs to be time consuming and expensive. Let’s go through the simple, bare minimum steps and products to start to improve your face and your life.
Step One: Start Strong with Face Wash
When combating subpar skin, a quality face wash is your main weapon. No, a face wash is not whatever “3-in-1-Shampoo-Conditioner-Body-Wash” you currently have in the shower, nor is it that ever-shrinking bar of Irish Spring. It is something designed for the job you’re using it for cleaning your damn face. You should have two washes at a minimum.
One will be an exfoliant, there to deep scrub the muck from your pores 2-3 times a week. The other will be a facial wash that does not have an exfoliating factor that you will use the rest of the time. This may shock some who are new to the face game, but you can certainly over exfoliate. To avoid this and still say clean, pick up one of each.
Step Two: The Cold-Water Rinse
Maybe the easiest way to have an immediate impact on your skin. For most people, a steaming hot shower after a long day’s work is a must. What most don’t realize is that yes, it feels great, but it can open your pores extremely wide and dry your skin and face to painful levels at a time.
When you exit the shower or are done washing in the sink (using either of your new face washes), the simplest step can be taken: take a clean washcloth, soak with cold water, and gently rub your face and neck. Pat dry.
This will close your pores back up and help keep your skin cool and hydrated. Simple and extremely effective.
Furthermore, when shaving, preferably with a safety razor(here is a great guide on them), make sure you rinse your face with cold water afterward. And by no means do you use any alcohol based aftershaves. This will dry out your skin and reverse all of your hard work.
Step Three: Tone, baby tone!
This is going to be the step that most who are wary of introducing this level of care into their life is going to be most afraid of. “You have me using two faces washes and now you add *gasp* a third product?!” Boys, we are not here to go halfway and a stop. We’re here to play for keeps. Adding a good toner to your arsenal is some advanced level play, and the results will speak for themselves.
Toner is the set-up man in the 8th inning, getting the last bit of grime out of your pores, removing excess dirt and oil, and leaving your skin feeling incredibly bright and clean. I recommend buying one oil and alcohol-free, maybe with a nice natural lemon scent.
The difference will be felt.
Step Four: Seal the deal and Moisturize
After you’ve done all the above steps (which I might add, should only add about two additional minutes to your morning/evening shower routine), it’s time to close it out. A good moisturizer is the number one tool and is maybe the most important of every one of these additions.
If you take one thing away from this article, let this be it. It doesn’t have to say “face” on the container, despite the best efforts of marketing companies. A basic, daily moisturizer, again oil and alcohol-free will get the job done more than enough for you. Go for something with “natural” on the label, and when applying it does not have to be a ton.
We are not applying sunscreen in the desert here. There is no need to glob. Small dabs, and go zone by zone: forehead, cheeks, nose, the area under and around your eyes, your chin, and neck. Do not forget in between your eyebrows and your eyelids themselves. Let air dry, and then begin or finish your day with a shiny new feeling face.
Consistency Is Key
So you’ve gone to the drug store, picked up all the essential tools, and used them following the above instructions to the letter. “Why is my skin still subpar?!” you might yell into the mirror incredulously.
The answer is simple: it’s day one. This is a routine, not a cure. It isn’t something that you will do a few times and then throws to the wayside. That being said, you should see some positive results fairly quickly, especially if you were doing nothing before!
And the first time someone compliments you on your skin quality, the confidence boost is worth the daily grind. Consistency is important and will yield you the best possible results. This type of care should be your new norm, and you deserve it. Now get out there and put your best face forward.