"Often I hear men say, 'I don't need the luxury, I just need my soap'. I agree. I don't see our quality, fresh-made products as a luxury at all, this is the baseline. This is the way all products should be made all. the. time. It's right for the person, it's right for the environment. It's just the right thing."
It’s true, men have skin. Their skin is just as subject to the pollutants and toxins in the air, damage from UV rays, moisture depletion, and potentially harmful chemical ingredients found in personal care products as women are. Unlike women, who are targeted everyday by advertisers to look younger and more beautiful, and easily attracted to a wealth of products to help them achieve that, men tend to keep it simple; detergent soaps in the shower, cheap shampoo, and highly fragranced shaving creams, colognes, and deodorants they don’t even realize might be compromising their health and wellness. Often I hear men say, "I don't need the luxury, I just need my soap". I agree. I don't see our quality, fresh-made products as a luxury at all, this is the baseline. This is the way all products should be made all. the. time. It's right for the person, it's right for the environment. It's just the right thing.
Because women in this country still spend 70-80% of consumer dollars, it’s important for wives, girlfriends, mother’s, and sisters to make sure the guys we love know what’s available and where to find the best skincare to maintain health and wellness. If we can take the time to educate ourselves on the dangers of putting off a healthy skincare routine and using products with unsafe ingredients, we have a better chance of long, productive lives in our skin!
What things should guys be doing everyday to take care of their skin? Ladies, this is going to sound familiar, but when is the last time you saw your guys use toner? Men should be using a safe cleanser, toner, and moisturizer EVERYDAY.
Clean, Tone, and Moisturize!
Cleansers with charcoal, clay, botanical extracts, humectants, and skin-nourishing oils can help to keep the skin free of toxins and bacteria without stripping the natural moisture. Including skin-loving essential oils over fragrance oils offer benefits without the risks that chemical fragrances well-known to be carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors. Fragrances containing phthlates have a lot of links to long-term health and reproductive issues in men.
Toners help to freshen and brighten the skin, giving a youthful glow. They also help to restore the pH of skin and tighten pores. Witch hazel, astringent shiitake mushroom extract and willow bark extract can have the benefits of reducing fine lines and wrinkles, spots from sun and age, and enriching the skin with antioxidants while improving the skin barrier. They can be used even on sensitive skin.
Lotions help to keep us moisturized while protecting the skin from environmental toxins. A good moisturizer helps retain the moisture that's already in your skin. It also helps to replenish the moisture you lose on a daily basis, whether that's from showering and washing your body or from sitting in the sun. In fact, men need to use moisturizers for all the same reasons women do. But on top of that, men shave, and shaving is a form of exfoliation. Moisturizing after exfoliation can help soothe the skin as well as help to restore its protective barrier. We should always try to avoid moisturizers and other water-based products, like shampoo and shower gel, that contain parabens. Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been linked to increased estrogen production, which can be dangerous to men’s reproductive health. Increased estrogen levels can lead to other issues for men, as well, like increased likelihood of urinary tract infections and increased abdominal fat (which has it’s whole own category of risk!).
The Art of Shaving!
Besides all of the things women do that men should, too, they also have specialty skin care needs that require special products. Because men shave their faces or grow facial hair, they require creams, butters, grooming products, and soaps especially for these purposes. Almost anything that lathers has the potential to contain sulfates, which is a big cause for irritating skin conditions and allergies. Chemicals can be seen by the body as toxic, and when we continue to tax the body with toxins it has a hard time getting rid of, we tax our immune system and leave ourselves susceptible to illness and disease. Using natural soaps or sulfate-free cleansers are gentle on skin and help us avoid unnecessary irritation.
Other places men (and women) often find chemical ingredients are in oral care, anti-bacterial soap products, underarm deodorants, body spray, and shampoo. The same types of chemicals that are bad for bodies also tend to be bad for our environments. Our fishing lakes, hunting grounds, drinking water, and food sources can easily be contaminated with the products we discard down our drains. It’s better for everyone and better for the earth if we all (women AND men!) take an interest in personal care that feels good and does good.
Your Homework! Go home and look at the ingredients on the products our men are using. Check for words that end in “paraben”, “sulfate”, “fragrance”, and “triclosan” to name a few. Become aware of the alternatives and give a try to safer, cleaner, higher quality options.