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As men reach their 40s, 50s and beyond, the visual and physical signs of aging have officially set in. At this point, there is a significant decrease in collagen and elastin fibers, skin has lost moisture content, deeper set wrinkles become apparent, and male clients may be battling discoloration issues.
Men at this age have also experienced more years of sun exposure, likely without any protective barrier between their skin and damaging UV rays. As a skin care professional, be on the lookout for suspicious marks. Keep in mind, according to the American Cancer Society there will be an estimated 45,060 new cases of melanoma of the skin among men in 2013, which is nearly 13,500 more cases than women.2 If you spot something irregular, refer the client to a dermatologist right away.
For treating the signs of aging, a progressive peel will help increase hydration and collagen production, refine pores, correct discoloration and refresh the skin overall. Start with a deep cleanse using an L-lactic acid-based cleanser, followed by a second cleanse with salicylic pads. The combination of an enzyme application followed by a peel treatment using a rice wine, pyruvic and phytic acid solution will rejuvenate the skin and provide good exfoliation. Finish with a cocktail of antioxidants and retinol to rebuild the skin, as well as a sun protection formula.
For routine home care, after the skin has fully healed, a cleanser, granular exfoliator, skin-firming peptide formula, eye cream and mineral-based sunscreen will help clients rejuvenate and maintain healthy skin.
Because men’s skin is thicker, it tends to age better than that of their female counterparts. This is also an age group that will primarily benefit from good cleansing and protection practices. Equip clients with a good cleanser, toner and sunscreen for daily home care.
As men reach their mid-to-late 30s, the visual signs of aging may begin to set in. Fine lines and wrinkles start to develop, and some discoloration can occur as skin thins slightly and collagen production begins to decline. Years of exposure to environmental elements may begin to show their effects.
It’s also worth noting that adult acne can be an issue for some men. In fact, approximately 25% of men battle adult acne.3 In the treatment room, minimize the signs of aging and also treat acne by using mild solutions that cause cell turnover, such as papain enzymes or sake-based acids that repair and build the skin. You might also introduce other modalities, such as microdermabrasion and LED, to help reverse damage, stimulate collagen production and smooth fine lines.
For men, the 20s can be a transitional period for skin or it may be when their skin is at its healthiest. Many factors will come into play here. Hormone levels are still evening out and lifestyle habits also impact the skin’s appearance. Male clients in their 20s may still be in need of an acne regimen. For those with healthy skin, consider focusing more on damage prevention and maintaining skin health. This is an important time to talk to men about protecting and cleansing their skin, especially since many in this age group spend a lot of time outdoors and exercising.
Some other issues men commonly deal with in their 20s include pseudofolliculitis (ingrown hairs and razor bumps) and moisture loss. Giving them the tools early on will help maintain hydration and prevent a lifetime of uncomfortable post-shaving conditions.
Again, cleansing is essential. Doing so before a shave will clear away oil and debris and soften the hair, making for an easier shave. Gels—more so than foams and soaps—also help retain hydration and allow the razor to glide more easily, reducing over-shaving. You might also provide male clients with a skin-building toner to help reduce razor burn, breakouts and ingrown hairs.
When working with adolescent male clients, there is an opportunity to set the foundation for proper skin care. Doing so will help them stave off premature aging and other skin issues that may appear as they age. Of course, one primary common concern among this group is acne. Focus on educating them about proper cleansing techniques and how to protect their skin from the damaging effects of environmental elements.
Select a facial cleanser that uses salicylic or lactic acid to exfoliate, hydrate and provide antibacterial support. Other beneficial ingredients include blue agave for its moisturizing and antibacterial support, and minerals, such as zeolite, a natural mineral from volcanic ash that traps and cleans up toxins, and boosts skin’s immunity.
Remind them to quickly cleanse after workouts, gym class or practice, and arm them with cleansing pads containing salicylic acid. This will help continue the exfoliation and cleansing process, take care of any excess oil and remove dirt from the skin.
In the treatment room, perform a deep cleanse, followed by an active papain enzyme application, to help soften comedones, allowing for easier extraction, and promoting healthy skin. A clay mask with bentonite or kaolin will help draw out toxins and prevent pores from clogging. Be sure to rebuild the skin with a cocktail of peptides, stone extracts—such as rhodochrosite—and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and nourish the skin.
Duration: 30 minutes
Contraindications: Do not perform if client is taking multiple medications, including tretinoin or isotretinoin; is under physician’s care; has a sunburn or upcoming outdoor activities planned within 2–4 weeks; has aspirin allergies or sensitivities; or has any open wounds.
Supplies and equipment needed:
4 x 4 gauze squares
2 glass beakers
Firm square brush
Heated warm compress
Lactic acid and tequila cleansing wash
Salicylic cleansing pads
Salicylic and salicylate toner with sake, minerals and specialty teas
Rice wine, pyruvic and phytic acid solution
Retinol skin-corrective serum
Mineral (zinc) and antioxidant day cream
Step 1: Ask the client to complete a consultation form. Before the treatment, discuss any issues of concern regarding the form. Next, walk the client to the treatment room and ask him to lay face up on the treatment bed.
Step 2: Moisten skin with a water-dampened 4 x 4 gauze to remove surface oils. Apply lactic acid and tequila cleanser to the skin, and begin to work it in with circular massage movements. As the cleanser becomes matte, moisten hands and massage it into a lather. Continue to work the product into the skin to deeply cleanse for 3–5 minutes. Optional: You may also use steam with this step.
Step 3: Remove cleanser with warm, wet gauze and rinse several times to thoroughly remove cleanser.
Step 4: Apply one salicylic cleansing pad across skin with firm pressure to pick up any excess oil, while working deeper into the pores.
Step 5: Place one teaspoon of the papaya enzyme in a glass beaker. Using a firm brush, apply evenly to the face and neck. Place eye pads over the eyes and steam for 10 minutes, or occlude skin with a thin gauze layer and heated wet compress. Remove enzyme with a wet 4 x 4 gauze and perform several rinses. Blot the skin dry with a tissue or dry gauze.
Step 6: Saturate two inches of gauze with salicylic and salicylate toner, and smooth into skin with firm pressure. After performing this step, inspect the gauze for a yellow residue, which indicates that lipids have lifted from pores.
Step 7: Place eye pads on the client and provide him with a hand-held fan, in case of intense heat. Men are often more sensitive than women when it comes to stinging sensations. Remind the client when you hand them the fan to use it if the stinging becomes too intense. Be sure to wear disposable gloves for this step.
Step 8: Pour the rice wine, pyruvic and phytic acid peel solution into a glass beaker. Dip a firm square brush into the solution and carefully apply one layer evenly to the face and neck. Wait about 5–7 minutes while the solution fully absorbs into the skin.
Step 9: Apply the retinol skin-corrective serum and let it remain on the skin.
Step 10: Finish by applying a mineral and antioxidant day cream to shield the skin from environmental elements.
Step 11: Instruct the client to do nothing to the skin for 24–48 hours, other than mild rinses in the shower and applying a mineral-based sunscreen daily. He should avoid hot steam and any heat exposure. The skin will be somewhat tight, but not uncomfortable, and flaking will begin on day three or four once cleansing resumes. Have the client return in seven days for a relaxing barbershop express clean up, which includes a cleanse and enzyme application, followed by a nourishing topical and warm towel, and finished with an SPF application.
There is a significant shift occurring in the men’s skin care industry. Men are rapidly becoming savvy skin care consumers, trading in their all-purpose moisturizer or cleanser for more specific solutions to their individual skin challenges.
According to market researchers at the NPD Group, skin care will be the most dynamic segment in men’s grooming.1 In 2012, this segment of sales increased 6%, reaching $45.5 million, proving men’s skin care is on the upward trend.1
With an increasing number of men embracing good skin care practices, professionals will benefit from knowing how to work with men’s skin, particularly the different nuances of their respective age groups. (See Working With Generations of Men.)
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach that works for the various age groups across the board, there are some common challenges men combat throughout the generations. With the proper tools and treatments (See Treatment How-to: Rejuvenating Peel for Men), skin care professionals can help male clients tackle these issues. Keep in mind, a large part of the process will also involve educating them about how to care for their skin at home.
Do men really have different skin than women? There are many similarities and, of course, many of the products and treatments used on female clients still work very effectively on men’s skin, but there are also some key differences.