While your days may now be temporarily filled with a high dose of at-home workouts, reading books, endless meal prep and more, help kick cabin fever to the curb with some highly necessary self-care. Sure, social gatherings are now relegated to Throwback Thursday posts, but why not make the most of our current situation (and the extra time) with seriously slick, yet simple skin care tips suggested by the industry’s top pros themselves. You’ll glide right back into your pre-virus routines looking like a million bucks.
Boost the Indoor Air
“Environment can truly affect skin, so think about optimizing your living spaces in order to set the stage and best serve your skincare goals,” says Jennifer Hollander, board-certified family nurse practitioner of AuraSpa Healing Center in Beverly Hills. “Florence Nightingale, the founding mother of nursing, theorized that the environment paradigm is the most important aspect for health and healing to occur,” she says. “Given indoor air can get stagnant, it’s a good idea to open windows for ventilation which can also help promote deeper, more restful sleep.”
Dr. Ava Shamban, board-certified dermatologist and founder of SkinFive by AvaMD preventative skin care clinics in Los Angeles, agrees. “It’s not often we have forced down time, so look at this an opportunity to ramp up self-care and that starts with being mindful of indoor air quality,” she says.
Dr. Ava points out that remaining inside can zap the moisture in skin due to dry air and heating/air conditioning units. “We are in a transitional season right now too, so it’s helpful to use a humidifier,” she says. “You can even add a few drops of lavender oil at night and peppermint or lemon oil during the day for added aromatherapy benefits.” While you’re at it, why not punch up the mood even more with a candle, given scents can help with relaxation? Lola Tilleyaeva created the lush fragrance and candle collection, The Harmonist for exactly this reason.
And, don’t forget about the water in your home. Hollander suggests considering a water filtration system. “You ingest and cleanse yourself with this water, and that can affect both your skin and hair tremendously depending on the quality,” she says. “An effective filter can be a big game changer by promoting softer skin and hair.”
Exfoliate and Cleanse
You’ve prepped your surroundings. Now it’s time to prep your face and body. “Men can really elevate their skincare without having to incorporate more than a few simple steps,” says Dr. Kay Durairaj, facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Kay suggests a glycolic acid-based cleanser. Her KD Skincare Glycolic Acid Cleanser helps to remove dead skin that can create dullness and clog pores. “And, follow this up with a hydrating serum designed to keep the skin moisturized,” she adds. “My KD Skincare Deep Blue Hydration Serum is hyaluronic acid based and replenishes skin with water based hydration that even oily skin will benefit from.” Dr. Ava is a proponent of using disposable exfoliating pads a few days a week such as Flawless Pads by Instytutum for soothing hydration combined with resurfacing, thanks to a multi-acid complex and hyaluronic acid. And, her AvaMD Gly/Sal 5-2 Pads are for those with more acne-prone skin. “Many men don’t want the fuss of too much product or too many steps; these pads are the ideal option and very effective too,” she says.
“Men should be particularly careful to heal rather than attack the skin to avoid rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and other skin dysfunctions,” says Dr. Barbara Sturm, founder of Molecular Cosmetics. “Irritating skincare ingredients, treatments and quick ‘fixes’ like acid peels are highly inflammatory, can damage skin barrier function and should be avoided.” Sturm explains that male skin is 25% thicker due to testosterone, and that testosterone level declines 1% per year after the age of 30. Men also have more collagen density, a rougher texture and more natural moisture to their skin. “My facial scrub is a key part of a man’s skincare routine. Keep it in the shower and use it at least twice a week to gently exfoliate and prepare the skin to receive the active ingredients from your skin care regime.”
Don’t forget about your limbs. The Seaweed Exfoliating Body Wash by Spa Technologies is unisex and works as both a shower gel and exfoliant. “This is a 2-in-1 product that cleanses skin and stimulates circulation leaving skin with a healthy glow,” says founder Dan Fryda.
Treat and Hydrate
“Men must acknowledge that their skin needs just as much attention as women’s in order to reverse damage and rejuvenate,” says New York based, double board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Macrene Alexiades, founder of Macrene Actives. “Use this time to get into a solid routine that will yield short term and long-term results, while providing a path forward once the work week gets back into action.” Alexiades suggests keeping hot water off the face. “Practice splashing the face with lukewarm water instead, and follow this immediately with the Macrene Actives High Performance Serum, my one step skin care solution delivering 50 active, fragrance-free ingredients.” Alexiades created this power player to address all the facets of skin aging: decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reducing redness, brightening brown discolorations, reducing puffiness, and firming and toning the skin.
Patricia Pao, Founder and CEO of the Restorsea skin care collection, believes most men only want to use one product, so she created PRO All Day Every Day 3X Lotion. Pao discovered the transformational properties of her proprietary ingredient, Aquabeautine XL® while touring a salmon hatchery in Western Norway. “This enzyme is released by baby salmon to help them get out of their shells and when you apply it to human skin, it digests dead skin cells while leaving living cells untouched,” she says. Pao asserts that twice daily use “reduces the appearances of redness, fine lines, dark spots and wrinkles and provides softer, more even-toned skin,” and may be used on all skin types, including the most sensitive. One stop shopping for guys who want to keep their regimes at a minimum.
Sheet masks are another easy, disposable treatment that infuse skin with added hydration. “Flawless Mask by Instytutum plumps skin with its hydrolyzed collagen and efficacious transdermal delivery technology (stronger penetration of the ingredients into the skin),” says Dr. Ava. So, peel off that sheet mask, wrap it around your face, kick back while being surrounded by healing scents, and imagine yourself on the warm sands of a tropical beach.
Facial Hair and Post-Shaving Protocols
Even if you’re at the point where you’ve forgotten what a razor looks like, and your facial hair could only be described as gnarly, there’s still hope. Night Repair Serum by Spa Technologies is ideal for beard grooming. “This product features shea and coconut butters which help moisturize skin under the beard and prevent flaking, while adding a healthy sheen to your facial hair,” says Fryda.
And, Hollander suggests aromatic, skin-soothing facial oils such as Dr. Ben Talei’s AuraSilk Natural Healing Oil. “This can be followed by a warm bath for the ultimate relaxation experience,” she says. A caveat: women love AuraSilk too, so if you live with members of the opposite sex, be prepared for this treasure to suddenly disappear.
Finally, Sturm calls her Hyaluronic Serum the “white t-shirt” of a man’s skincare routine. “Both women and men love this hydrating serum. My male customers swear by it as an aftershave; it eliminates razor bumps while healing the skin matrix,” she says.