When I was a young boy, I had a lot of problems with atopic eczema. I was given a lot of ‘help’ from dermatologists who confidently told me “use this cortisone cream, it will help you!”. I used the cream, and it did help - as long as I used it consistently. But as soon as I stopped using the recommended creams the eczema would come back.
When puberty hit I began to experience breakouts on my jawline and around my mouth. I started to use creams with a lot of claims like ‘matte finish’ or ‘without oils’ - but I now realize they contained skin irritants, like fragrances (it doesn’t matter if they are ‘natural’ essential oils or synthetic fragrance, both are very irritating for the skin), high alcohol concentrations or too much plant extract.
I began to research
I was 18 when I started to read more about skincare and how different ingredients can affect the skin. My routine completely changed as a result of this.
I began using a mild oil based cleanser - without stripping surfactants, a hydrating serum and a occlusive layer of cream! That’s changed my skin a lot. And then I tried the best thing for my skin: exfoliants! NOT PHYSICAL ONES! I started with chemical based exfoliants (AHA/BHA).
Acid exfoliants and loving my imperfections
BHA helped me a lot after I shaved my beard, because it’s a mild exfoliant and it can be calming for the skin (You have to use an SPF, if you are using exfoliants, doesn’t matter if it’s a physical or chemical exfoliant)! AHAs like lactic acid are very hydrating and can even out the skin tone.
I started out with a lot of problems but after a little research and trial and error I’m now very happy with my skin.
The most important thing - I learned to live with my imperfections, it’s fine to sometimes get pimples or have irritated skin. If you have a clean routine, without irritants and your skin flares up? It’s because you are a human being.
Stop trying to be what you imagine as ‘perfect’ - everybody has perfect skin, you just have to accept more than a ‘flawless’ complexion.
Why skincare is important for men?
So, why am I so interested in sharing my skin story? Because there are a lot of men that struggle with their skin - but they don’t do anything to improve it because it’s seemingly a less masculine thing to do - but that’s not true at all! Everyone has skin and everyone should take care of it.
Skincare doesn’t have a gender or age, everybody needs to clean, moisturize, and even every now and then do a mask (because, why not?). There’s nothing shameful about investing time in finding good products for your skin! You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Oh and one more thing...
DON‘T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN, PEOPLE! :)
Follow Leon and his journey on Instagram @xskincare!