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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Natural Skin Care Tips for Men

"Healthy skin keeps him on the job" ...
"Healthy skin keeps him on the job" - NARA - 514790 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Copyright © 2009-2013 Janet Davis

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and one of the hardest working. Not only does it provide a waterproof, protective container for the organs inside the body, it has several functions that are utterly vital to human life - skin regulates body temperature to prevent fever or hypothermia, it screens out a number of unhealthy pathogens in the environment, and it repairs itself relatively quickly from potentially compromising injuries.

In light of all that skin does for the body, the case for proper skin care seems to be a strong one, but frequently skin is the one organ people seem to think they can let take a beating. Hard work, a little too much sunlight, bad diet and other factors can cause quite a bit of damage to the skin, much of which is actually very preventable. Men in particular seem prone to developing roughed up skin, but there are fortunately many ways that men can take better care of this incredibly important organ.

The Basics

Healthy, natural skin care begins with control - specifically controlling what the skin is exposed to. Like any other organ, the skin is part of the body and needs nutrients to survive. In particular, water and vitamins C and E seem to be the most desirable nutrients to focus on. Healthy skin requires water to properly perform the sweating function so regular intake of water is once again a key to a healthy body.

Vitamins C and E help reduce the impact of sun exposure, which means they play a critical role in reducing the incidence of skin cancer. As for minerals, the most important is Selenium (found in whole grain foods and eggs), which again helps the body ward off the development of skin cancer. For some, healthier skin can indeed be had for the addition of a glass of water, a piece of fruit, and two slices of whole grain toast every day.

Health
Health (Photo credit: Guus Krol)
Apart from diet, exposure control requires thinking about the environment your skin will be a part of. Sunlight can be healthy, both for emotional well-being and for vitamin D exposure. However, UV radiation can and does cause skin cancer, and every sunburn you receive magnifies the risk. In addition, sunburns are painful and debilitating any way, so avoidance is entirely prudent. An all natural, high SPF and UV blocking sunscreen lotion does not take long to apply and can play a key part in regulating the skin's exposure to the sun. A hat can provide shade to the face and prevent overexposure to the nose and cheeks, while a light, long-sleeved shirt significantly reduces the amount of exposed skin. Again, the key is taking small steps that will lead to big rewards.

The Shave

While men aren't alone in having to shave troublesome body hair, they do have a marked propensity for having to do so on the most frequently exposed part of the body, the face. Shaving takes a toll on the skin as it literally involves dragging sharp blades over the surface of this sensitive organ. Couple this with the fact that many men seem to believe that proper shaving care is hot water before and after the scrape and you have a recipe for chronic skin problems.

In the case of shaving, a little extra effort can leave facial skin healthy and vibrant rather than dried out and irritable. First, don't use ordinary soap. Bar soap is great for getting the hands clean or a quick scrub in the shower, but it has a tendency to deplete natural oils the skin needs to stay healthy. This can lead to either excessively dry skin or excessively oily skin as the body tries to overproduce in compensation. Instead, use a naturally lubricating shaving lotion - there are many natural and organic shaving creams out there, such as those made from sunflower oils.

Health
Health (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Additionally, give the cream time to work. As it sits on the face, it softens the skin and the hairs, making the shave easier on the body. Some users find that a shaving hairbrush whips up much more lather, so you may consider using this as well. After-shaves and balms help soothe the skin and the best ones should include a moisturizing element as well. This extra time should only add a minute or two at most to the shaving routine but in cumulative effect should have a major benefit on the skin's health and appearance.

The Extras

Up until now our focus has been on how to change an existing routine to help take care of skin, but there are other considerations as well. One of these is considering what treatments can be added for good skin care. It's all well and good to replace soap with gentle cleansers and trying to eat healthier, but sometimes even these good efforts don't take care of everything.

Organic and all natural moisturizers are one addition, as are nutrient gels. The skin is often the last part of the nutrition cycle; so adding a little vitamin E based moisturizer certainly can't hurt. Additionally, clay based facial masks can help with nasty bags under the eyes caused by long nights or poor nutrition.

Natural skin care doesn't require long retreats to exotic spas. As with most healthy lifestyles, healthy natural skin care just involves taking positive steps and making small but helpful changes to the routine we already have in place. It's not about a radical new exfoliant, but replacing harsh aftershave with natural, healthy balms. And as with most healthy habits, the best results come from the long-term effort, so stick with it and get the healthy skin you deserve.


About the Author:
Janet Davis and her husband are health and nutrition entrepreneurs and founders of Mark And Janet, a website with uncompromising, premium products for your health conscious family. For more on going green -- Visit us at http://www.MarkandJanet.com/ or check out our blog at http://www.MarkandJanetBlog.com/


Read More Articles by Janet Davis
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