Radiant Skin, Richer Bonds: The Unexpected Impact of Men's Skincare
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and yes in everybody. As this is the new year, most people are in a planning mode, or at least a “how can I take better care of myself this year” mindset. So perhaps a better way to look at skin care is how I can take the best care of myself. One of my commitments over the next year is to take better care of my skin; and as a person who is very pale, I need to understand that it doesn’t just come down to preventing sunburn or skin cancer. As I have started my routine, the unexpected has happened…this process has helped me build a stronger relationship with my wife, I feel better about taking care of myself, and it has made me think more about how I plan my procedures (will do a future post on this last one).
The goal of this post is to help you understand the importance of skincare, make a plan, create a habit, and then stick to the plan.
Why skincare is important
- The functions of your skin are too numerous to list here, but one of the main things is that it protects you. We are exposed to our environment and that takes its toll. Imagine if you were to expose a leather coat to your environment 24/7…what would happen if you didn’t clean it, moisturize it, and protect it? Our environment consists of wind, particles, sun (UV), movement, physical stress, and many other EXTRINSIC factors. We all have different skin types, ages, genetics, nutrition, and other INTRINSIC factors. Both of these types of factors can impact your skin’s response to aging, injury, skincare, and UV radiation, and part of building a comprehensive plan is understanding where you are on the spectrum.
Make a plan
The first part of making a skincare plan is understanding the components involved and deciding what works best for you. The components of a comprehensive plan are:
- Tone: Essence, Facial Mist, or Toner
- Treat: Serum, Concentrate, or Facial Oil
Doing all of these steps is the best way to get the healthiest skin, but for many of you, it may seem daunting, which is where mindfulness can be very helpful. There are documented benefits to your mental health and physical health by doing regular skin treatments. By using a cadence that works for you, using your routine as a way to be present, rewarding yourself, and taking a few moments to do something that helps both your physical and mental well-being becomes easier to accomplish when framed in that context. I am making a commitment to do at least the top 3 (cleanse, moisturize, protect) every single day. If you have a partner, spouse, or someone else you are close with, think about how much more connection you can build by using that time to do it together, or just by feeling better doing this yourself. By being mindful of what you are doing will reach far beyond your skin and have significant health benefits.
Create the Habit
- I am a big fan of Jocko Willink. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he is a former Navy Seal, certified badass, and has created a framework for leadership that I use on a daily basis. He gets up at 0430 every morning and does a workout, and he will post a shot of his watch as a stamp of ‘I did it.’ So as we work on building the habits, I will post my routine. I encourage you to share it with a buddy, let us know what you are doing, or just know you are supported in your journey. It doesn’t mean that you need to follow the same routine; you can find something that works for you and if you need help being accountable let us know.
Stick to the plan as the new year is upon us, it is easy to make a ‘resolution,’ and almost ½ of us do; only about 10% actually complete their resolution. There are a number of reasons why this happens and we are going to help you stick to your plan by compensating for these factors.
- Goals should start at a time of/for change- If you can’t think of a reason to change your skincare habits, especially knowing everything above, then that’s amazing. Most men are made to believe that taking care of skin is not masculine but this is a prejudice that we all need to get over. I am making the goal of using this skincare routine to build a deeper connection with my wife; like most things, she is far better at it so by learning from her, spending time with her, and by looking better we will be closer. You may have different goals, such as wanting to feel confident as you explore a new career, preventing skin cancer, fewer wrinkles, or anything else. Please feel free to share your goal with us, and stating a goal is the first step in making it happen.
- Expect obstacles-it is very easy to not do something, especially when it probably feels a bit selfish for most people. For most of us who don’t do these skincare routines every day, it will be a challenge to keep it going. For my plan, the obstacles that I see are setting aside the time, not knowing what/how to do the actual skincare routine, feeling like I am not being masculine, and not having the products (or knowing where to get them). To combat this, I am setting the time to do it as the 5 minutes just before I go to bed, having my wife (who has a great routine) help me, getting over my preconceived notions of what is masculine, and finding a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF product that I can keep on my nightstand. If you think of the obstacles and need help with the solutions, please let us know…we can share it with everyone and help make it easier for all of us.
- Set goals in small chunks-this can include many metrics such as ‘I am going to spend 90 seconds every day taking care of my facial skin and after 30 days treat myself to something’ or ‘I am going to spend 10 minutes with my partner/buddy so that I feel connected’ or for my primary goal ‘I am going to spend a minimum of 5 minutes at the end of my day doing my skincare while I meditate.’
- Have an accountability system - we can be that system. @CMFsurgeons exists to help you look and feel your best. The commitment I am making is to everyday wash, moisturize, and protect the skin of my face.
This will be a journey and a lot more details will follow, but I am excited to see and feel the benefits of taking better care of my skin. We are going to help expand on your understanding of why it is important, and how to do it, and build some accountability to make sure that it happens.
One of the awkward parts was getting started, and while I had the advice of a guru of skincare, don’t get discouraged if you don’t. Three easy steps to get going, next time you go by a pharmacy or grocery store, pick up these 3 products.