A man shaves his face in a mirror, behind an array of various skincare products that help protect against skin damage from the sun.

What is Your Skin Care Regimen?

It was February 26, 2020. I sat in a raised director’s chair at the ancient Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York. I was waiting for my makeup to be done by an energetic salon professional from Southern California. First, let me explain. I was preparing to work in the coming Guillermo Del Toro film called Nightmare Alley. This particular scene with Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara was set in 1941 and since I was going to be near the lead actors, I had to look authentic. My hair was slicked back with hardened petroleum products and I wore a debonair (groovy) pencil mustache. I was quite a sight.

A skincare misunderstanding

My makeup artist then hit me with the question, “What is your skincare regimen?” I misheard him and thought he had asked me, “What is your skincare regiment?" I gave him a look in the mirror that had to have been precious. My mind raced to thoughts of a military unit that helped GIs with their hygiene. I sort of blurted out that I was not in the military and then he gave me that same sort of precious look.

Swapping skincare tips

As he worked on my face, we cleared up our misunderstanding and had a good laugh. Hair and makeup (HMU) folks have all kinds of interesting lotions, potions, and gadgets to make you look better than you really are, and being around Bradley required me to have all the help I could get. I talked about sunscreen and melanoma and moisturizers. We discussed the importance of getting into a good skincare routine that eventually would become a habit and then a lifestyle. His experience was that ladies thought about this a lot more than men did.

My skincare regimen

For me, here is my “regimen” now:

  • I take a shower in the morning every day and make sure to wash my face with a mild cleanser. I try to avoid heavily scented soaps.
  • I take care of any grooming (shaving, etc.).
  • I then apply a moisturizing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50. Many sunscreen products have moisturizing lotion in them. These products have come a long way since the days of tropical oil or chalky, pasty goop.
  • I rarely use any type of aftershave or cologne (my friends and family thank me for this) as this could affect sunscreen effectiveness.
  • I reapply sunscreen after swimming, sweating, exercising and give a touch up after being outside for extended periods.

A skincare regimen for men

Here is a link to some possible sunscreen products that claim to be designed for men. I do not have any recommendations for any of them and only provide this as something to think about as part of your “regimen.” Frankly, I don’t care how skincare products are packaged or named. I only care if they are effective, reasonably priced, easy to apply, and convenient. But, if some products are packaged in ways that get more men to use them, then have at it. What I most care about is that we protect our skin.

Skincare wisdom from unexpected places

Thinking back on those three days working on Nightmare Alley, I can say that one of the highlights was having the opportunity to get feedback and advice from a skincare professional. I don’t get facial salon treatments in my everyday life and do not have the benefit of these kinds of conversations. Like I always say, you never know where your next bit of wisdom will come from.

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