If you think skincare routines are just for women, we need to talk.
Yes, it is true that your skin is structured a little differently to women's. Fortunately for you, this means that your skin actually ages slower than ours.
However, this should not be taken for granted. Bad lifestyle habits and the lack of a decent skincare regimen will, overtime result in skin damage that speeds up the aging process.
If looking after your skin has always felt like a daunting task, it doesn't have to be.
Just a basic, 3 step routine and being mindful of a few key elements in your lifestyle can have beneficial effects on your skin long-term.
The right skincare products improve the overall health of your skin and combat issues like dryness, breakouts, shaving irritations, and wrinkles.
Plus, self care raises your self esteem!
Table of contents
How Your Skin Works
Before we get into it, we need a very quick lesson in skin. Because, just a basic understanding of the structure and function of your skin makes it surprisingly easier to care for it!
Three main layers of the skin
Epidermis - the outermost layer protects the deeper structures from infection and harm from the external environment. It prevents your skin from becoming dehydrated by regulating moisture loss.
Dermis - the 'scaffolding' layer houses important structures and connective tissues, such as the lymphatic system, blood vessels, hair follicles, glands and nerves. Collagen and elastin fibres form a strong network, often referred to as the 'scaffolding' that holds your skin up giving it a supple, youthful appearance.
Hypodermis - the fatty layer is the deepest layer of the skin made up of connective tissue and fat cells called lipocytes. This layer stores energy and fat that helps to insulate the body from heat and cold.
The acid mantle
Another vital key to healthy skin is the acid mantle. An invisible film on the surface of the skin that maintains a pH balance of 5.5. This is the magic number needed to keep out fungal infections and harmful bacteria that fast-tracks skin conditions such as;
The skin barrier
The skin barrier —also referred to as the skin's moisture barrier, is the outermost layer of the epidermis. It's responsible for protecting your body from the elements and preventing dehydration.
Made up of dead skin cells (corneocytes) embedded in a wall of lipids (lipid bilayers) this structure can be likened to a brick wall.
Maintaining a strong skin barrier through things like a balanced diet, good skincare and lifestyle habits will result in healthy skin.
However, neglecting your skin will leave it vulnerable to environmental hazards that lead to oxidative stress and dehydration.
Oxidative stress, a process caused by free radicals directly damages the skin's DNA which results in accelerated aging. This damage appears in several forms: premature wrinkles, sagging, pigmentation marks, uneven skin tone, and dull skin.
Environmental aggressors and lifestyle choices that trigger free radicals;
Oxidative stress has also been linked to diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
3 Simple Ways To Start Taking Care Of Your Skin
Over time the combination of bad lifestyle habits, the natural aging process and lack of a regular skincare routine means that your skin takes a beating.
But, the good news is that our bodies were built to heal. Below are three steps to start improving your skin today.
1. Drink More Water
Dehydration not only leads to skin damage, but also brain fog, fatigue, and low energy
How water improves skin;
Increases blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients to skin cells
Detoxifies the skin by flushing toxins and waste out of the cells.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that men drink at least 101 ounces of water per day, which is roughly 2.9 litres.
Waiting till your thirsty means your body's already dehydrated. Instead, drink small amounts of water throughout your day to stay thoroughly hydrated.
Hydrated skin is healthy skin!
2. Eat Well
Skin nutrition is a powerful way to defend your body against disease and aging.
Antioxidant-rich foods protect the body from oxidative stress by stabilizing free radicals making them less reactive.
I'm not saying you have to live like a monk, but cutting down on processed, fried and junk food can greatly benefit your body. A balanced diet of protein and whole foods —especially after the age of 40, can have an anti-aging effect on your skin.
Carrots, apricots, and other colourful fruits and vegetables
Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish
Beans, peas and lentils
Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
Nuts vegetables, nuts and seeds
3. Skincare Routine
A regular skincare regimen is key to maintaining healthy skin. A basic, morning and evening skincare routine can repair damage and improve the overall health of your skin.