For many men, "skin care" is something their wives or girlfriends
do. Reaching for the shaving cream, they knock over bottles of moisturizers and
creams and wonder if all those expensive potions and their exotic ingredients
are even worth the plastic they're packaged in.
So it's not surprising that many men react to new male-oriented lines of
skin care products by assuming they're mere marketing ploys aimed at separating
self-absorbed men from their money.
"Help me ... help you. Help me, help you."
That famous line from the film Jerry Maguire may be the best advice a
doctor could give his or her patient.
"Some patients have the attitude, 'I'm putting myself in the hands of a
professional,'" says Stephen Permut, MD, chairman of family and community
medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. "They want
you to make all their decisions for them."
Permut prefers to have patients get involved in their own care and engage
Yet skin care isn't just for the growing ranks of urban
"metrosexuals." Dermatologists from across the country tell WebMD that
growing numbers of older men are seeking advice on how to stay looking younger
"No matter how well you dress, how nice your haircut is, and how healthy
you are, if you have skin that is dull and freckly and blotchy you're not going
to look your best," says Jeffrey Dover, MD, an associate clinical professor
of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.
And proper skin care isn't just about looking young; it can also prevent
deadly skin cancers. More than 1 million new cases of skin
cancer are reported each year, according to the American Academy of
Dermatology. Nearly 8,000 of those cases are fatal.
Fortunately, there are simple skin care options available for men that
require a minimal investment of time or money. In fact, men have an edge over
women in the skin care game. Still, there are a few products that can help
guys' skin look its best at any age.
Men's Edge in Skin Care
If you've ever cursed the need to shave your face each day, consider the
upside: all those hair follicles will help to keep your face wrinkle-free.
Men's facial hair acts as sort of support structure for the face, Rebecca
Tung, MD, a dermatologic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, tells WebMD. Men also
have more collagen and elastin fibers -- the connective tissue that gives skin
its strength and elasticity -- and a tighter network of fatty tissue directly
under the skin.
As a result, men's skin is on average 20% to 30% thicker than women's skin,
Tung says. And thicker skin does a better job of resisting wrinkles.