Being a Man About Your Skin
As a young man dealing with acne, you shouldn’t assume it’s the same for you as it is for young women. The fact is, your skin is different. Aside from the obvious difference of facial hair, men typically have larger pores and more active sebaceous glands—the source of the natural oils that keep your skin moist. That’s the good part. The not-so-good part is that you have to take extra care to wash away those excess oils, in order to prevent the clogged pores that will naturally lead to acne breakouts.
After puberty, rising levels of testosterone cause your sebaceous glands to excrete extra sebum. Mixed with sweat, this complex oily substance creates a perfect breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria, which causes the redness and inflammation associated with pimples. The powerful effects of testosterone explain why acne is often more severe and long-lasting for young men than it is for young women.
Stuff You Can Do
For young men, good skin care doesn’t seem to come naturally—in fact, the opposite is too often true. If the first thing that pops into your head when you see a zit, is to pop it… resist that urge! And if moisturizing your face is the last thing you’re likely to think of, well, maybe you should learn to make it a priority.
There really are things you can do to help win the fight against acne.
- Stress by itself doesn’t cause acne—but if you’re already seeing pimples in the mirror, stress can be a trigger that pops out even more of them! It might relieve your stress to share your feelings, or read comments from real people about their own experiences with acne. Give it a try today.
- Stop using regular soap to wash your face, or other areas affected by acne. Soap dries your skin. Your glands react by producing even more oil. Use a soap-free cleanser instead.
- Sweat is acne’s best friend. Combined with your natural skin oils, sweat can trap dirt and bacteria. Wash away sweat as soon as possible using a soap-free cleanser, and avoid the temptation to roughly scrub sweat from your skin. Irritating your skin can lead to breakouts. Shower after exercising or doing strenuous work. If you tend to develop acne around your hairline, shampoo your hair frequently.
- Showering and shaving can dry out your skin, so replenish your skin’s moisture content daily with a light moisturizer, preferably containing SPF to shield you against the sun.
- Don’t pop. Don’t squeeze. This can spread the bacteria and make the acne last longer. It can also lead to scarring, possibly permanent.
Shaving With Acne
Getting a clean shave can be tricky when pimples appear. If you’re using a safety razor, the best way to start is to soften your beard with an all-over splash of lukewarm water. Apply shaving cream to hold in the moisture, while keeping any active pimples visible so you won’t nick or shave them off. (Shaving off pimples will tend to spread your acne and make it worse.) Always use a sharp blade; dull blades will bump over the hairs, causing nicks. Old blades may also have an uneven edge, leading to the same result. You may wish to experiment with an electric razor to see if it works better for you. But shave lightly and carefully either way!
Using Acne Medication
Using Benzagel® immediately after showering or washing your face might irritate your skin. It’s a better idea to wait five to 15 minutes before using your Benzagel® acne wash and acne gel.
Patience over the longer term is important, too. Give your treatment routine enough time to work. As a general rule of thumb, the time to see a noticeable difference with over the counter acne treatment is more a matter of weeks or months rather than days. Persistence pays off!