Ask any woman you know and she will tell you about the phenomenon of being in a car with her husband, father, brother, or other male driving, when it has become clear they were lost. Her first instinct was to roll down the window or pull into the nearest gas station and ask someone for directions. But whichever man was driving the car insisted he knew the way or could figure it out on his own and refused to stop and ask anyone for directions.
No one can explain this seemingly irrational behavior. You can call it vanity, sheer stubbornness, or maybe even cluelessness. Whatever it is, it does seem to be a uniquely male trait. So if you look at a person’s face as the outer roadmap to his or her inner health and well being, then its probably no surprise that this behavior or trait can often be reflected in the state of a man’s skin.
Most men tend to look at skin care or body care as the exclusive domain of women –at least until signs of aging or distress start to rear their ugly head. Waiting until there’s an obvious problem before acknowledging it, let alone taking proper action to address it, may be standard operating procedure when one is driving a car but when it comes to one’s health it can be downright reckless!
While it’s true that men face a different set of skin care challenges than women do, we all need to hydrate, moisturize, exfoliate, and protect our skin from the elements, and pay attention to the impact of our lifestyle choices on our skin and outer appearance.
If you want to give your dad some love this Father’s Day, show him how much you care by sharing these simple tips for maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance from the inside out.
1.Maintain a good daily grooming regimen. Follow the four pillars of good skin care: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize. Pay close attention to how you shave as this is the source of most male skin trouble. For a smooth, close shave, always use hot water, a lubricating shave cream or plant-based oil, a razor with 3 blades and a swivel head, and finish up with a gentle, anti-inflammatory essential oil based moisturizer.
2.Stop smoking. Aside from all the obvious reasons for not smoking, nothing adds wrinkles to your face faster than constant exposure to cigarette smoke. Smoking causes blood vessels in the top layers of the skin to constrict, which reduces oxygen levels in the blood and reduces collagen in the skin.
3.Stay hydrated. Drinking fluids is one of the keys to retaining moisture and maintaining the elasticity of your skin. It’s easy to get dehydrated without knowing it –especially in the heat of summer. Be sure to consume plenty of distilled or purified water, and herbal teas. Avoid carbonated beverages with added sweeteners and go easy on the salt, alcohol and caffeine, all of which can affect your appearance.
4.Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Found in flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocados, these play a critical role in skin health (not to mention your hair and nails) by helping your body form healthy cell membranes that can hold more water inside the cells. The more water held in your cells, the better hydrated your skin is.
5.Increase your intake of antioxidants through food and supplements. Eat more tomatoes or tomato sauce for the Lycopene; eggs for Lutein (which is found in the yolk), and blueberries for other valuable phyto-nutrients. Supplement with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), which neutralizes free radicals in the body and promotes healthy cell function, and Beta Carotene whose regular consumption can help protect skin from sun damage.
6.Improve circulation and blood flow to the skin. Get a massage, facial, or do 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. Use a loofah or a gentle natural fiber brush to brush your skin while showering. Sprinkle a couple of drops of Rosemary or Eucalyptus essential oils (EOs) onto the bottom of your tub or shower stall before turning on the hot water, then inhale deeply as you shower.
7.Manage your stress and get a good night’s sleep. Stress is one of the major causes of illness and one of the first places it shows is in our appearance. If left unchecked it can lead to a boomerang effect of insomnia and the inability to properly metabolize nutrients. All of these things take a toll on the skin and lead to dark circles under the eyes, dry skin or worse.
You only have one skin so take good care of it!