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It’s an easy step towards healthy skin that will also make you feel better. Here’s how it works
Jason de Souza
Exposure to the sun, Friday brunches, late nights, the good life. The reasons you moved to Dubai and sadly, just a few of the things that reduce a man’s face value. Add in cigarettes, work deadlines, 24/7 air-conditioning, poor diet and you’re sabotaging your skin — and with it, your self confidence.
Skin problems can have a huge impact on men’s behaviour and composure, according to a recent Braun study of over 7,000 men across Europe and Asia. More than half of those polled (52 per cent) said they’d feel self-conscious going on a date with dry, sensitive or slightly reddened skin, with half saying it would affect them if they were heading for a job interview, while about a third (32 per cent) said they were mindful of the way their skin looked even on a game night out with their mates.
An easy solution is moisturiser, which goes a long way to fixing many of the issues associated with problem skin. “Men should, and many do, understand the importance moisturising has on skin health and how much better their skin feels when wearing moisturiser,” says Emma Hobson of the International Dermal Institute. “Anyone with skin should moisturise,” she told The New Daily.
Czech & Speake
That applies equally for people like us who live in countries where summer lasts six months. Extreme heat causes the body to lose water rapidly, leaving us with dry — often flaky — skin, according to dermatologists at Aster Health Care.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days when the term metrosexual was used to describe men who took care of themselves. Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents in the Braun survey said they reach for the moisturiser when skin is dry and irritated and a third drink more water, but experts say it isn’t enough to wait until the symptoms present themselves before taking action. Not everyone can channel the Clint Eastwood look quite as effortlessly, so there are several points to keep in mind.
Moisturiser works by trapping water in your skin, which for organisms whose chemical makeup is 70 per cent water, goes a long way to reducing the appearance of lines, while making skin look younger and brighter. What you’re looking for is a product that hydrates and then seals the water in.
Neal Schultz, a New York-based dermatologist and founder of BeautyRX Skincare, says there are three categories of moisturising ingredients. Humectants attract additional water, emollients, which seal the cracks between cells, and occlusives, which lock moisture in as an absolute stop. Talking to the Greatist.com, he recommends a moisturiser that contains humectants like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.
US-made V76 by Vaughan Daily Balance Facial Moisturiser does the trick effortlessly — the hyaluronic acid strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier and locking in the moisture, while soothing and refreshing with ginger and willow extract. Slap it on just after you’ve shaved and again before bed for peak performance.
But if your skin makes you look like something out of an alien movie — that is, it’s flaky and irritated — you’re probably better off choosing something with emollient-rich products, or oils such as argan oil, vitamin B3, shea butter and ceramides. Vaseline’s Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion has been clinically proven to heal dry skin in less than a week, before settling on a maintenance serum. If you’ve got super-sensitive skin though, try the zesty, woody Mr Natty’s Save Ya Own Skin, which is packed with shea butter, olive oil and a smidgen of anti-inflammatory beeswax.
Not everything has to come at a price though. On the recent BBC 1 documentary The Truth About Looking Good, a group of 25 people were split into three groups by University of Sheffield researchers. Each applied a different product to one side of their face twice a day for three weeks. While moisturising benefited all three groups, the results were consistent across all price points categories. One of the best performing was Nivea Soft, which though merely Dh12, fared better than the Dh142 Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré.
The important thing, researchers say, is to choose a lotion that works for you — and stick to it. As they sang in The Little Mermaid, everything’s better when it’s wetter.
Haeckels, V76 by Vaughn, Mr Natty and Czech & Speake grooming products are available on DebonairOnline.com
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