How to Protect Your Skin - PostAs guys get older… one of our most common regrets:

Not taking care of our body’s ultimate protection… our skin (it was the #1 biggest regret on this post).

…But why will future you be so angry if you don’t take care of your skin?

It’s not just because having a healthy skin will make you look great (think about having wrinkly, leathery, worn-down skin)… but it’s also because your skin serves three really important health functions: 1, 2, 3

  • It’s your first line of defense (against the harmful elements (like bacteria, impacts, chemicals, and the weather)).
  • It regulates temperature (it maintains heat (acts as insulation to prevent heat loss) and/or reduces heat (sweat helps decrease the body temperature)).
  • It detects sensation/feeling (to help the body react to different situations (like when pain is inflicted or there’s a change in temperature)).

And unfortunately:

Your skin is much easier to protect and maintain, than it is to repair and restore. To put this simply: if you want your skin to look good, you need to take care of it now.

So… to help you keep your skin looking young, I put together 10 simple, easy-to-follow tips. If you do them consistently, you’ll be on your way to having healthier, more vibrant, and younger looking skin.

10 Fundamental Steps to Keep Your Skin Looking Young

Before we dive into the 10 steps, it’s important to note that there are two basic components to keeping your skin looking young:

  1. Protection. There are a lot of different things that can damage your skin… and skin is once it gets damaged, it’s difficult to get it back to its optimal condition. In other words: it’s much easier to protect skin than it is repair it.
  2. Maintenance. Inevitably, as you get older, your skin will start to age… but by taking certain steps (for example: #2 + #4), you can maintain your skin and slow down the process of aging.

…And as you’ll see below, each step targets one of these two base components:

Step #1: Know and Target Your Body’s Unique Skin Type

How to Protect Your Skin - Know And Target Your Body’s Unique Skin Type

The first and most important step to keeping your skin looking young is determining what type of skin you have.

By knowing this, you’ll know how your skin will react (to things like chemicals, allergens, the sun) and will know you choose the best skin care products for specific to your skin type (certain products are more effective (and necessary) for certain skin types). 1

Here are the 4 most common skin types:

#1: Normal Skin

Has an even tone, feels smooth and soft, isn’t overly dry, and doesn’t have visible oil residue.  To take care of normal skin, a standard skin care regimen is perfect.

#2: Dry Skin

Feels flaky, rough, and is often itchy. To take care of dry skin, use a normal skin care regiment + a dry-skin moisturizer.

#3: Oily Skin

Produces excess oil, which often results in acne, open pores, and blackheads. To take care of oily skin, use a normal skin care regimen + regularly wash off excess oil with a gentle cleanser (non-gentle cleansers will counteract the benefits of oily skin (like fewer wrinkles and slower aging). 1

#4: Sensitive Skin

Is easily irritated and inflamed by products and weather (it gets blotchy, itchy or stings). To take care of sensitive skin, use a normal skin care regimen, made with mild skin products.

For most guys, it’s pretty obvious which type they are… but if you’re unsure, you can consult your dermatologist.

Step #2: Choose an Uncomplicated, Yet Complete Skin Care System

How to Protect Your Skin - Choose The Right Skin Care ProductsYou’ll see that a lot of the steps in this article reference back to your skin care system…

…and that’s because it’s one of the most important steps on this list. It does everything from keeping your skin moisturized, to keeping it clean, to helping you combat pollution (#9 below)… (and a ton of stuff in between).

Here’s what you want to look for:

  • Face wash (here’s the one I use)Just like soap cleans your body, a good face wash cleans your face of dirt, grime, and excess oil. Start and end your day with this.
  • Moisturizer (here’s the one I use). Keeps your face hydrated (and not dry). Ideally, you have a morning moisturizer, with added sunscreen (see the importance of this in step #6)… and a bedtime moisturizer to help your skin rejuvenate while you sleep.
  • Exfoliating scrub (here’s the one I use). Removes dead skin cells (promoting new skin growth) and gives your face a deeper clean. Use this max 2x per week (see #4 for more info about the importance of exfoliating).

Now:

Rather than buy a handful of different products (and try to piece together a skin care system) I highly suggest you buy one skin care system that’s got everything you need in it. With a complete, all-in-one system you’re using products that are designed to work well together and complement each other.

And ps: the above three are the base of what you need. A lot of guys like to use something for their eyes… and others like to add in an anti-aging cream.

Step #3: Don’t Destroy Your Skin By Using Products with Harmful Chemicals

How to Protect Your Skin - Keep Track Of Your Skins Condition Changes

While I’m a big fan of Tiege Hanley, you can use any skin care system you want… but this is super important:

You need to be sure you’re not using any products that contain harmful chemicals. Here are a few chemicals to watch out for (many of which have already been banned in Europe):

  1. BHA/BHT. Mostly used in skin whitening products, the National Toxicology Program has determined that both are carcinogenic (it usually causes stomach and liver cancer). 1
  2. Sodium Borate/Boric Acid. Found commonly in anti-rash creams. Regular exposure has been known to reduce sperm count and eventually permanent infertility. 1
  3. Coal Tar. Surprisingly found in some hair dyes and anti-dandruff shampoos. Several studies have determined that it can cause cancer after a prolonged exposure. 1, 2

Now:

Any reputable skin care company (like Tiege) won’t have these harmful chemicals in their products… but since you’re applying skin care products directly to your skin, I highly recommend you thoroughly read through the ‘ingredients’ section.

And ps: beware products that promise “instant” or exceptionally fast results… many of these products contain the harmful chemicals you want to avoid.

Step #4: Unleash Your Best Skin With Microdermabrasion

how to protect your skin - pmd

Guys… if you want younger, healthier looking skin, this is your new secret weapon:

Microdermabrasion.

Studies show that it: leads to smoother, more evenly toned, and overall better looking skin 1… has a positive effect on the improvement of acne 1… and can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars, and other signs of aging 1.

Crazy, right? Here’s how it works:

  1. A spinning disc, with aluminum oxide crystals, gently exfoliates dead and dull cells that sit on the surface of your skin (which stimulates new skin cell growth).
  2. Simultaneously, a vacuum device removes the exfoliated cells, while stimulating blood flow and circulation (which jump starts the body’s healing process, and leaves skin more firm and radiant).

And while the benefits that the studies (above) show are great… here’s the best part of microdermabrasion:

After the barrier of dead skin is removed, your skin is able to fully absorb the all-important skin care products (which maximizes their efficacy).

Oh and ps: microdermabrasion works on all types and colors of skin… and causes no scarring. 1

Step #5: Drink Plenty of Water

How to Protect Your Skin - Drink Plenty Of Water

We all know: drinking water is incredibly important for your body’s long-term health. 1

It lubricates your joints, protects and nourishes your brain, regulates your body’s temperate, helps with digestion… and it may even help make your skin look healthier and younger1

Now:

I say ‘may’ because the more time I spent researching this, the more difficult it was to find a census on this. But I read a simple quote in this article (from the University of Wisconsin Health) that perfectly sums up why I think you should be drinking water for your skin’s health:

Drinking at least 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Everyone will not agree that water consumption will improve skin… but it certainly can’t hurt. Many people often report that by increasing their water intake, their skin has a more radiant glow. Those who suffer from acne have reported the same results.”

And when you consider that: a) your skin is an organ, and all organs need water to properly function, and b) Your skin is made of 64% water, 1… this makes sense, right?

Bottom line: You should be drinking water for your health anyway… and chances are, it will have a positive effect on your skin’s health.

Step #6: Wear Sunscreen… Always

How to Protect Your Skin - Wear Sunscreen… Always

Sun is probably long-term skin health’s biggest foe:

Not only can long-term exposure to the sun lead to cosmetic damage (like wrinkles and age spots) 1… but it can also significantly increase your risk for deadly diseases like skin cancer. 1, 2

To illustrate just how dangerous the sun is, consider this:

According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, if you get 5 or more serious sunburns, between the ages of 15 to 20, you’re 80% more likely to get melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer). 1

Luckily, there’s an easy way to greatly reduce the damaging effect of the sun:

Wear sunscreen… daily. Research shows that wearing it has one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of skin cancer. 1

In fact: in a 2011 study, the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that regularly wearing reduced the risk of melanoma by 50%-73% 1. To protect yourself properly, The American Associations of Dermatologists recommends that you wear a sunscreen with at least 15-30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor… SPF 15 blocks up to 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks up to 97%). 1, 2

PS: you should wear sunscreen every day you go outside. Even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of the sun’s UV can penetrate your skin. 1

Step #7: Get Sun… the Right Way

How to Protect Your Skin - Manage Exposure To The Sun

So you see the damaging the sun is… should you avoid it altogether?

No… and in fact: research shows that getting sunlight is vital for good health. 1, 2 Sunlight promotes the production of Vitamin D (which makes your bones stronger)… helps your brain produce serotonin (which makes you happy)… and helps prevent certain types of cancer (like colon, ovarian, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate, and pancreatic cancer). 12, 3

So, since you need sunlight… here are a few tips to get sunlight, while still protecting your skin:

  1. Always wear sunscreen (see #6 above).
  2. Avoid direct sunlight from 10 am to 3 pm. The sun’s ultraviolet rays (which cause sunburn) are strongest at this time (walk in the shade when possible during these hours). 1, 2
  3. Wear protective clothing. If you’re going to be out in the sun for long periods of time (especially during the middle of the day), wear clothing items like long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and pants.
  4. Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.

In short: the sun, and how much you should get/how you get it, is all about balance.

Step #8: Manage Your Stress

How to Protect Your Skin - Manage Your Stress

We all know: managing stress isn’t always easy.

…But when you leave stress unchecked, it can literally wreck your health. Some of the common effects of stress on your body:

  1. Headache
  2. Anxiety
  3. Change in sex drive
  4. Depression 1, 2, 3

…And not surprisingly, stress can also wreck your skin:

  1. It hinders your body’s ability to skin problems to heal (like acne, blemishes, etc.). 1
  2. It causes your body to produce more cortisol (which makes your skin more oily and prone to acne). 1, 2
  3. Leads to skin aging (through the formation of wrinkles, and increased pigmentation). 1, 2

Dealing with stress/anxiety can be tough (and really, how to combat it fully is an article in itself)… but start by exercising regularly (I recommend doing this through a manly hobbyand by using our grounding techniques.

Step #9: Defend Your Skin from Pollution

how to protect your skin - pollution

Unfortunately, recent studies have found that people consistently exposed to pollution have:

  1. Uneven skin tone
  2. Older looking skin
  3. Higher risk of skin cancer (especially on the parts of your body that are most exposed like hands, face, and neck). 1, 2, 3

…And even more unfortunate:

Unlike the sun, it’s (obviously) harder to avoid pollution (especially in the urban areas). Pollution can be in both the air (like in smog, dust, and car emissions) and water (like in chlorine in drinking water). 

So how do you protect yourself? Start here:

  • Create a barrier. Before you leave your house, protect your skin. An easy way to do this is by applying a something with antioxidants in it (like thisto your skin (antioxidants help combat the damaging effects of free radicals (more here)).
  • Keep yourself clean. Particulate matter attaches to your skin during the day, but isn’t immediately harmful. 1 When you wash your face/body, with a face cleanser/soap, you get rid of these harmful particulates, and preserve your skin’s long-term health.

…And as you might have guessed:

Both of the two ways to protect your skin from pollution can be quickly taken care by using a proper skin care routine (step #2 above).

Step #10: Keep Track of Your Skin’s Condition/Changes

how to protect your skin - check

Here’s something a lot of guys don’t realize:

Your skin type can change over time. 1

…And this makes sense, right? Things tend to break down as we get older, and our skin is one of them. You might go from having normal skin, to having more oily skin or sensitive skin.

But why does this even matter?

As you age, and as your skin type/condition changes, you might have to tweak your skin care routine to keep it looking closer to the way you want. For example: your skin might become more oily, so you add a gentle cleanser… or your skin might be taking more and more damage from the sun, so you might start wearing more protective clothing.

…And as an added benefit: by keeping an eye on the condition of your skin, you’ll be able to better detect early signs of deadly skin diseases, like skin cancer.

In Conclusion

We all want to have healthy, young looking skin.

And although these tips won’t instantly make your skin look great… if you do them consistently, chances are you’ll see a significant improvement in your skin. So follow these 10 easy steps to protect and maintain your young, healthy looking skin.