(BPT) - The majority of U.S. men believe their appearance is an important factor in their personal and professional success. As a result, men have become increasingly aware of the need to take better care of their faces - as it tells their story and the life they have lived. If this cultural shift is any indication, carefully maintaining your skin - and facial hair - is a huge part of putting your very best face forward.
For many, that means addressing common skin concerns such as blocked pores, skin dryness and looking tired - in addition to the irritation and ingrown hairs sustained during routine shaving. These are concerns accelerated by the aging process, according to a study by Dove Men+Care. In fact, about half of men recognize that as they age, their skin needs more attention and takes longer to recover. However, facial grooming expert Dr. Allan Peterkin says there is good news. 'Following some simple steps and using a skincare line that offers a variety of specific solutions for men's different skin types can make a huge difference in a man's appearance, no matter his age.' Here are Dr. Peterkin's tips on what men can do to finally care for their faces and look sharp, whether bearded or smooth:
Cleanse daily: Forty-eight percent of men admit they don't wash their faces, but it's crucial to eliminating oil and other bacteria that can build up over the course of the day. Use a daily hydrating cleanser like Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Wash, which helps to replenish lost moisture and fight skin dryness at the same time. Those with facial hair aren't exempt from the daily ritual either. It's important to wash your beard or mustache and to keep the skin beneath the hair healthy as well.
Prep your face before shaving: A warm shower, a splash of hot water, or even a moist towel prior to shaving helps to open the pores and softens stubborn stubble that, when untreated, can lead to irritation or ingrown hairs. Try soaking a hot towel in a solution made from tea tree oil - available at the local pharmacy - for an invigorating and decadent deep clean.
Choose the right products: Shaving without any lather - also known as dry shaving - is a common mistake among men who are crunched for time; meanwhile, using soap lather for shaving can leave skin dry and doesn't provide protection from razor irritation. Men can finally stop torturing their faces during their grooming routines by using an aerosol moisturizing gel - and finish with a mild post-shave balm. Look for balms that are alcohol free to eliminate discomfort or the common after-shave burn.
Use the right technique: Be sure to glide the razor over each area of the skin only once, as repeated strokes can leave the skin irritated. Shave with the grain, not against it. Rinse skin carefully in warm water after each shave and let it dry. Another tip: replace the razor every four to five shaves - half of US men have used a razor with a dull blade that's over one month old; this will not only lead to irritation, but also causes bacteria to collect.
Use your facial features to your advantage: Your facial hair - whether it's a beard, mustache or goatee - should reflect and accentuate your best features. Round faces, for example, do well with fuller beards, while longer faces are served well by a mustache. It's great to try something new, so keep your eye out for looks you like on friends, family and celebrities with similar features. Ask your barber for advice too.
Choose a moisturizer with SPF: In addition to ensuring skin looks healthy and cared for, a product with an SPF - which stands for sun-protectant factor - serves to shield delicate facial skin from damaging rays. Keep in mind that SPF is always necessary - even if when bearded. Non-greasy, absorbent formulas are best, such as the Dove Men+Care Hydrate+ Face Lotion, which offers SPF protection and keeps skin hydrated.
With a few simple steps, men can improve the overall condition of their skin and facial hair. With new products, innovations and a few tips, it's easier than ever for men to finally care for their faces.
For more information on the products recommended by Dr. Allan Peterkin, visit www.dovemencare.com.