Exfoliation: it’s one of those things that can send an uninformed guy running away in fear, and cause even the more resolute men a smudge of intimidation as they try to remember what the hell that word actually means, and wonder why they’re being asked about something that they probably previously thought was “for girls.” If you’re a guy and the above doesn’t describe you, give yourself a pat on the back, and consider reading on for some helpful tips. Otherwise, you should definitely keep reading, because you need to hear this.
Here’s the thing: as we’ve said more than one, there’s nothing wrong at all with a guy genuinely caring about the quality of his skin and how to properly care for it. Hell, it’s actually pretty admirable and an attractive quality. Besides that, don’t you want to have a healthy, vibrant suit of skin to spend the rest of your life in? Everyone has skin, and it needs to be cared for regardless of gender. Exfoliation is part of that care, and an important part at that, so today, Vine Vera’s here to give you a comprehensive-but-brief guide to exfoliation for men.
What is Exfoliation?
Let’s start with the basics. Before you add exfoliation to your skin care routine (or, if you don’t have one yet, before you start your skin care routine), you should probably know what the word even means. To exfoliate means to remove dead and hopelessly damaged skin cells from the surface of your skin so that the healthy, new skin underneath can be seen and function properly. There are a few ways to do it, but pretty much all of them involve rubbing something on your skin that will loosen up said dead and damaged cells, and then washing them away.
When Should You Do it?
Everyone’s body—and therefore everyone’s skin, by extension—is a little different, so you need to find your own rhythm over time, but for most people, exfoliating about once a week works best. Start with this, and increase to two or three times a week if you start to notice that your skin is especially resistant, or decrease to once every other week if you have sensitive skin and can’t handle that kind of frequency.
One important thing to remember when exfoliating as a man: when it comes to your face, do it before shaving. Not only does this avoid unnecessary irritation (if you did it after shaving, you’d be basically scraping against an already irritated and mildly inflamed skin), but regular exfoliation also drastically decreases your odds of ending up with a painful ingrown hair.
What’s the Best Way to Do it?
For your face, grain-based exfoliants—essentially any exfoliating scrub that contains a multitude of little beads or granules (sugar scrubs counts as this, as do most bottled “facial scrubs” you can get at the store) that rub against your skin to loosen the dead cells—work okay, but you’re better off with a chemical exfoliant. Get a facial exfoliating serum or other product that contains glycolic acid for an even, relatively irritation-free exfoliation.
For the rest of your body, you’ll feel slightly rougher, since the skin on most of your body isn’t as sensitive as your face. Pretty much any exfoliant you personally enjoy using will work, and sugar scrubs (just mix brown or white sugar with enough coconut or olive oil to made a medium-thickness paste) are easy to make yourself if you don’t want to navigate the sea of products at the store.
Whatever product you pick, just rub it in thoroughly, with a firm-yet-gentle level of force, for a few minutes, then wash away, and that’s it!