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Men’s Grooming
Dear men, this is the (oily) skincare routine to cop
min read
Dear men, this is the (oily) skincare routine to cop

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Dear men, this is the (oily) skincare routine to cop

It’s either extremely dry and flaky or perpetually secreting oodles of sebum. We’re talking about men’s skin, which is a definite rank-holder on the list of the most dramatic things to ever exist. While men do need to care for their skin, it is best if the approach does not mimic that of women. So, before adapting to the skincare life, understating the fundamentals of how men’s skin functions is key.

Besides the obvious difference in facial hair growth, men’s skin tends to be oilier more often than not, and the frequency of breakouts can range from occasional to recurrent based on lifestyle, hormones and genetics. We speak to Mumbai-based celebrity dermatologist Dr Madhuri Agarwal, who gives us a primer on the whys, whats and hows of men’s skin and skincare tips that are easy and practical even for the most laid back guy out there.

How is the skin of men different … from women?

It may sound controversial, but the foundational basis of men’s skin differs from that of women. “Men’s skin is 20 per cent thicker, 70 per cent oilier and 40 per cent sweatier than women’s skin, according to a study,” shares Dr Agarwal. “It [men’s skin] is not only thicker, more seborrheic and tougher as compared to women, but the environmental exposure, stress levels and testosterone hormones (impacting their skin) are also in variance and distinct from women’s skin,” furthers the skin expert.  

Getting into the nitty gritty of why men are likely to have oily skin, Dr Agarwal highlights the higher level of testosterone and higher number of sebaceous (oil) glands that are more active than women. “Additionally, men also have larger pores naturally, which adds to the oiliness,” says the dermatologist. Typically, men have garnered a bad rep for not sticking to (even) a basic skincare routine, leading to clogged pores and congestion, further deteriorating the skin's oiliness and greasiness. Those with acne-prone skin can have difficulty maintaining their skin if they aren’t religiously adhering to a skincare routine.  

Is oily skin a boon in disguise?
While Dr Agarwal agrees that a high count of oil glands and large, open pores, in addition to environmental pollutants, does lead to congestion and the formation of dead skin cells, there are some pros of this skin type as well. “The skin is thicker; the underlying collagen and fat in the skin is more dense. And thus, it is better protected from environmental damage due to the natural oil’s presence. This also means that the signs of ageing are not seen early, and the skin looks young and wrinkle-free for a longer period of time,” affirms Dr Agarwal.

The best skincare tips to pin

Dr Agarwal suggests using a cleansing face wash such as the Clinique For Men Facewash —not a bar soap—twice a day to keep the skin clean and clarified. “Use a chemical exfoliator containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid once a week and apply a gel-based moisturiser twice a day or at least once during bedtime, recommends the skin doctor. She also emphasises the application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 and PA+++ daily at least once every morning, even indoors. The Nivea Men Dark Spot Reduction Moisturizer Creme is one the best products for oily skin, given that it combines the nourishment of a moisturiser with a sun protection formula to avoid layering products if that’s your pet-peeve. Dr Agarwal encourages you to opt for a weekly clay mask ritual, should you have oily skin and avoid aggressively extracting oil as it can lead to a compromised skin barrier.

If men are actively looking to include actives in their skincare routine, “salicylic and benzoyl peroxide, ceramides, niacinamide, vitamin C, retinol and peptides are investment-worthy ingredients,” says Dr Agarwal. “It is the same as with women, except higher percentages of actives perform better due to thicker, oilier skin of men,” concludes the skin expert.  

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