I’m turning 34 in a couple of months, but one of the things I pride myself on is not looking – or acting – my age. I’m 33, but often get mistaken for being in my early to mid-20s. (It’d be more believable if I didn’t tote the dad figure with me all the time.) It’s a combination of a lot of things, really, including great genes and skin stretched tight by my fat. Self-deprecatory jokes aside, I thought I’d take a break from the usual Christian music content and post something about me for a change. The URL is, after all, GannsDeen.com, which is my name.
Most men don’t really care about how their skin. Admittedly, I lose a lot of “man points” with a regimen like this, but let’s be honest and practical: good skin care is just good sense. It’s investing in yourself! Great skin gives you confidence. It also affects the way others deal with you. And frankly, I don’t want to look like a prune at 60; taking good care of my skin at this age prevents skin damage in the future.
So how does one look younger? This is what I do.
Cleanse. Men need a good facial cleanser. By “good,” it should be gentle enough for daily use. I can’t stress how important it is to use a cleanser that is different from body soap; that kind of soap will really dry out your skin. If your facial cleanser has natural exfoliants made of ground nuts or some similar ingredient, please don’t use it daily, because it may cause tiny abrasions in your skin that will damage it in the long run. (I used to use a facial cleanser with ground walnut. Let me just say: ouch.) I use L’Oreal Men Expert’s Pure & Matte Anti-Sebum Cleansing Foam. It has gentle exfoliating beads that are not abrasive at all, and it leaves my face feeling nice and fresh. You can use other facial cleansers, of course, but that’s what I use.
Tone. The purpose of toning is to bring the pH of your skin back to its original state, since cleansers will strip your face of a lot of the natural oils in the process of cleaning it. If you can use a facial cleanser with a hydrating agent, or a top-quality moisturizer afterward, then you’ll be fine, but I like toning because it prepares my skin for moisturizing. The trick to a good toner is ensuring that alcohol is NOT its primary ingredient, so check the ingredient list and make sure that alcohol is NOT the first ingredient mentioned in the list. Alcohol will dry your skin out further, which is damaging in the long run since your facial cleanser already removed some of that vital natural oil. Unfortunately, that cancels out virtually 90% of all the “toners” on the market; from Eskinol to Glutamax to Belo’s, all those toners are pretty much alcohol in a bottle, despite all claims to the contrary. The primary purpose of a toner is to “tone,” meaning it prepares the skin for moisturizing, not to strip away stubborn dirt off your face.
The Herb and Relief Sebum-free Toner from The Face Shop is a light, almost alcohol-free toner that I swear by; it has mint extract for that fresh feeling, and tea tree extracts to prevent acne breakout. Another excellent toner is Celeteque’s Alcohol-free Toner, which is water-based and mild, and best of all, available at prices that won’t break the bank. I use both.
Moisturize and Protect. “A good moisturizer doesn’t come cheap.” Wrong. A good moisturizer can come cheap, in this case, the Celeteque Facial Moisturizer, which is water-based, oil-free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. Another not-so-expensive moisturizer is L’Oreal Men Expert’s Pure & Matte Anti-Regreasing Moisturizing Gel, which has anti-sebum complex to prevent oil buildup throughout the day. It’s best to stick to one, though, and I use the Celeteque more than the L’Oreal because it feels cleaner.
As a middle-aged man, I also realize that it’s important to protect one’s face from sun damage, so a moisturizer with SPF would be terrific. In my case, I use a separate product for sun protection: The Face Shop’s Neo Classic Homme BB Cream. My wife been using BB cream for years; it serves as a foundation for her makeup. I initially thought, yech!, I’ll look like I’m wearing makeup. But The Face Shop’s BB Cream for men is of a more natural tone; it doesn’t show, I promise. Its SPF20 serves as great protection from the sun; plus, it contains Tibetan Roseroot, Red Ginseng, and Raspberry extract that stimulates skin micro-circulation to revitalize tired skin, so lately, my skin’s been glowing. People always ask me why I look like I’m glowing. The answer: Face Shop BB Cream for men.
Mask. Every so often, it would be good to add extra moisture to your face. A face mask on you for about 15 to 30 minutes can re-energize your skin and puts in much-needed moisture. The best face masks I’ve tried come from Etude House and The Face Shop. In particular, the Neo Classic Homme Ener-Surge Mask Sheet is arguably the best I’ve used; its algae extract and red energy complex saturates skin with moisture and vital energy; I use that once every three days. I also use The Face Shop’s Pearl Mask Sheet (clarifies the skin) and Etude House’s Daily Mask Skin Essence (two variants: Red Ginseng+Collagen for younger-looking skin, and Yeast+Vitamin C for skin repair). Kim Hyun Joong, my wife’s ultimate crush and the endorser of Tony Moly The Face Shop, says he masks every day. His skin is ridiculously awesome.
Hair. I used to think differently colored hair was ridiculous, but guess what? When you’re as fair as I am, my black hair makes me look even whiter, which I don’t like. Last year, I dyed my hair a dark brown at Tony & Jackey’s, and life hasn’t been the same. I love having colored hair; it evens out my skin tone, making me look less pasty and white, therefore making me look healthier and younger. If you want to color your hair, just make sure it’s done by a professional, ayt? My hair color lasts six months approximately, from old hair to total new hair, so if you don’t want the two-tone look, you may end coloring around once every four to six months. Personally, I’m prematurely balding, so I may hold onto this for about two more years, after which I think the hair loss on the back of my head may end up being so severe I may have to shave it all off. If you’ve got a thick mane, then go to town!
Teeth. You need great teeth to look younger. Good oral hygiene can never be replaced. Brush your teeth thrice daily with a good toothbrush and toothpaste. I use a simple Colgate toothbrush and pair that with Colgate Total twice a day; in the mornings before work, I use CloseUp White Now, which has a unique blue foam that through light reflection makes your teeth look brighter and whiter. Optical illusion, cool!
Healthy Lifestyle. This part, I’m still working on. LOL I drink lots of water and eat fiber, but my weight loss program still needs a lot of work.
Sounds like a lot, huh? Well, I’ve still got a good 40 to 60 years on this earth, and I intend to make ’em count by looking good. Daily stress can and will take its toll, so it’s best to prepare for it the best way we can. Come on, guys, if you haven’t started, invest in yourself first.