A simple skincare routine for Kenyan men
If you’re a man looking for a simple skincare routine here in Kenya, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll go over a simple skincare routine that any man can do.
Most men don’t consider skincare a manly activity. We’re hardwired to get up, splash some water on our face and go out to face the world. In truth, men have a lot to deal with, so skincare can easily be relegated to the bottom of our do-not-do list.
The challenge, however, comes when you start experiencing acne, getting pimples frequently or having peeling skin on your forehead. At this point, you’re forced to care about your skin.
What I’ve found in my personal experience of going through pimple outbreaks and dry skin is that you need to purposely take care of your skin.
For a man, this doesn’t have to involve putting cucumbers on your eyes or using a face mask (unless you’re into that type of skincare. To each his own).
The routine we’ll cover is both simple and effective. It’s based on the fundamentals of skincare. You can also easily customize and tweak this routine to fit your specific needs.
Below are the steps involved in this simple skincare routine. Also, check out our article on the products for men’s face in Kenya to know which items to buy for each step of the routine.
The simple skincare routine steps
Cleansing is simply a fancy way of saying you’re washing your face. Most men use the same soap and loofah for washing the body as well as the face.
This should be avoided because facial skin is thinner than the skin on the body. Most body soaps also tend to be too harsh on the face.
This can lead to issues such as dry or itchy skin over a period of time. To prevent this, I recommend you invest in a cleanser.
To save time and ensure you don’t forget this step, I recommend you cleanse your face while taking your bath/ shower.
Clean your body first then finish off by cleaning your face with the cleanser. As mentioned before, since the skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the body, don’t use water that is too hot to wash your face.
I usually rinse off my face with cold water after a hot shower. This helps prevent your skin from drying out and experiencing irritation.
This step helps to ensure your face remains well hydrated and healthy throughout the day. Many men experience dry skin because of using very harsh soaps on the face during the cleansing step.
Dry skin can also be caused by taking long, hot showers or baths, living in cold or dry conditions, using heat sources such as central heating or wood-burning stoves that dry out the air and not drinking enough water.
Moisturizing is best done immediately after cleansing, just before your skin completely dries out. If you have very dry skin, don’t completely dry off your face once you get out of the shower/ bath. Instead, leave some moisture on your skin and use a moisturizer to lock in water into your skin.
This goes hand in hand with being gentle while drying your face. Many men use too much force when drying themselves with a towel. Instead of wiping the moisture off your skin, gently dab and let the towel absorb the excess moisture.
Have a dedicated towel for drying your face as well. This will help prevent the transfer of dead cells and other impurities from the body to the face.
3. Applying suncreen
Sun rays are notorious for causing skin damage. When ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun hits skin unprotected by sunscreen, it can cause changes in DNA at a cellular level.
This can lead to skin conditions such as sunburns, wrinkling as well as rough and uneven skin texture. Since sun damage happens in the deepest layers of the skin, it can take years for the effects to occur.
However, once they do occur, reversing and managing of these skin conditions becomes a difficult and often expensive task.
Applying sunscreen is an easy way of protecting your skin from sun damage. Sunscreen is best applied after moisturizing since it provides the first layer of defense for the skin.
As it’s practically impossible to avoid the sun here in Kenya, consider investing in hats, caps, lightweight long-sleeved shirts, trousers and sunglasses to help increase your level of skin protection.
According to scientific research, humans naturally shed off their entire outer layer of skin to make room for new skin every 2 – 4 weeks. Sometimes, not all the dead skin completely sheds off.
This can lead to blocking of the skin pores or dry and flaky patches. Blocked skin pores can result in blackheads, whiteheads and acne. Dry and flaky skin is uncomfortable and in some cases itchy as well as unsightly. This is where exfoliation comes in.
Exfoliation ensures all the dead cells are removed from the surface of the skin. The two main ways of exfoliating are through mechanical/physical means or by using a chemical.
Chemical exfoliation might sound scary and unpleasant but it’s actually the better option when exfoliating for most Kenyan men. This is because chemical exfoliation allows you to pick the intensity of the exfoliation by using certain ingredients over others.
If you have very sensitive skin that tends to react with new products, you can go for Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as Salicylic acid. BHAs dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores while being very gentle on the rest of the skin.
For dry or flaky skin, Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid can break through the surface layer of your skin and allow your moisturizer to hydrate your new skin cells more effectively.
People with oily skin and acne are best served with Retinoids such as retinol which protects the skin and promotes collagen production. Collagen is an important protein in the body that holds your skin together.
Physical exfoliation is definitely cheaper than chemical exfoliation. You can make a homemade physical exfoliant using readily available products such as honey, sugar, coffee grounds and milk. You can also simply use a loofah while in the shower.
If you’re just starting out with exfoliation, you can try different DIY physical exfoliants. For the long-term health and general wellbeing of your skin, a chemical exfoliant is the best option.
Unlike cleansing, moisturizing and applying sunscreen which should be done daily, it’s recommended to only exfoliate weekly. This is to allow your skin to recover and prevent causing irritation.
As stated earlier, everyone needs to take care of their skin. For men, you only need to cleanse, moisturize, apply sunscreen when going out into the sun (or invest in protective gear such as a hat or long-sleeved shirts) and exfoliate once a week or so.
Start treating your face more gently by using a dedicated face cleanser and towel. Moisturizing is best done immediately after cleansing and just before your skin completely dries off. You can then apply sunscreen after moisturizing.
For exfoliation, the chemical option is better than the physical/ mechanical option as it’s more gentle and less likely to damage your skin.