Wash your face, but not with soap
Let’s start with this easy but most essential act: Wash your face every night before bed. I asked 75 men how many did so and was stunned by their unnerving 3-out-of-4 “don’t do it” reply. Instead of my admonishing you, I’ll let award-winning cosmetic dermatologist (and clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine) Patricia Wexler read you the open-and-shut riot act: “This is what gets on your skin during the day: pollutants, free radicals, hydrocarbons, whatever crap snuck through the depleted ozone layer, dust and bacteria from rarely filtered office and condo central air conditioners, plus collagen-destroying UVA rays from sunlight, which reflect off of the sidewalk, or come through the window to your desk. You need to get this gunk off your face before your head touches the pillow.”
Got it? Good, but, and this is important, do not wash your face with soap. Detergent-based soaps strip natural oils and leave a film on your skin. Try a facial cleanser from Neutrogena or L’Oréal, both of which contain micellar water, which moisturizes as it cleans. Cerave’s hydrating facial cleanser will also leave skin clean but supple and is great for sensitive types.
Put on a moisturizer, morning and night
Washing, both morning and night, should always be followed by a moisturizer. Get over it. We’re talking required maintenance here, not makeup — like waxing your car, and washing your Titleist V1x golf balls. Besides, moisturizer takes as much time to apply as deodorant.
In choosing a moisturizer, know that those with vitamins A, C and E, enzyme-fighting MMPi or retinol (read the labels on the box) can also stimulate our body’s production of collagen, which we need to keep skin firmer and which naturally decreases as we age. The inclusion of ingredients such as chamomile, green tea or lavender oil will help alleviate redness in your skin.
In addition, for day, you want a moisturizer with sunscreen, which men and women should be wearing every day. (Remember: Melanoma is on the rise, is no fun and leaves scars.) You want something light rather than greasy or you won’t use it. I promise it will feel better, and may even smell better, than your aftershave. Night can be a good time to add in a thicker cream (make sure it’s still easily absorbed so it doesn’t smear on your pillow) with extra skin-saving properties.