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The Best Skin Care Products for Older Men
As a man who will not see 50 again (except in the rear-view), I know very well how much work and attention it takes to keep up appearances. I don't have the hair I once had, and I certainly don't have the knees, but there are some things I can do to make sure I look and feel as good as possible. One of these things is to take care of my skin.
It seems that too many of us just let it all go after a certain age, which I think is a real shame. I think that men actually tend to look better as they age—but only if they show that they actually care about their health and their looks. We can look lean, mean, and powerful if we try. There's no substitute for experience, so I think we should let it show in the best possible way.
Aging Skin: What We Can Change and What We Can't
I try to keep balanced and healthy by thinking of aging as a two-part process: one part is required, and one part is optional. The required elements are those things that Father Time has deemed non-negotiable—skin that's no longer full and rosy, bones and joints that creak and sometimes ache a bit, and hair going gray or just plain going. I'm totally fine with all of that, just as I think most older men have come to terms with the natural aging process as well (although there are always a few souls who try to fool the world by going out in 30-something drag. I have always felt that the only ones they're fooling is themselves).
The real challenge in aging, I would argue, is accepting the process without surrendering to it. We can identify the optional parts and take steps. Aging pushes us and challenges us; we can fight back by eating thoughtfully, lifting heavy weights, and dressing sharp. And, as this article argues, by making sure that our skin, the number-one target of old age's attack, is thoroughly cared for.
Why I Prefer Jack Black Skin Care
There are so many skincare products out there it is literally overwhelming—but relatively few are designed especially for men. Even fewer seem to understand what older men's skin needs. I like Jack Black products because they "get me," from the scent to the consistency to the results. My go-to is Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer, which I do believe has kept years off my face and made the lines I do have look good. I have come around to being, as men like me don't usually say, totally geeked about the stuff.
A young man is a theory, an old man is a fact.
— E. W. Howe
What Happens to Men's Skin as We Age?
The aging process for men's skin is both relentless and inevitable. The human body is a marvelous machine, but no machine runs forever, and nowhere is this more obvious to the eye than our skin. Older men like me can take extra-good care of it, but there are some things about aging that simply cannot be changed. As men age, our skin:
- tends to develop lesions and benign tumors,
- becomes rougher and drier,
- loses elastin and collagen; the result is wrinkles and "slack" skin,
- becomes more translucent due to thinning of the epidermis,
- becomes more fragile, due to a flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis come together,
- bruises more easily,
- and becomes damaged due to sun exposure.
In addition to this list of horrors, our skin also loses the layer of fat that made us appear cherubic when we were young. While this process is perhaps the number-one issue for women as they age, for men it can be a plus. Aging can give us a wise, tough, "weathered" look that I think is appealing. It's at least something we can work with!
Ingredients and Products That Can Help Older Men's Skin
My skin, like all older men's skin, has taken a beating over the years. It has been sun-burnt, wind-whipped, and razor-scraped for half a century, and there's no hiding that. So instead of hiding my skin's weathered presence, I try to highlight it. For this, there are several great skin products that give older skin a look that looks, if not young, then just plain good.
According to the Mayo Clinic -- I would never trust the word of a company trying to sell me something -- here are the best ingredients to look for in skin care for older men:
- Retinoids: These are vitamin A compounds, such as retinol and retinoic acid.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. In this capacity, it can protect the skin from free radicals—unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles.
- Hydroxy Acids: Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) include glycolic, citric and lactic acid. Look for products that contain these ingredients—they have some of the most robust research supporting their effectiveness.
- Coenzyme Q10: This ingredient may help reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes and protect the skin from sun damage.
- Peptides: Peptides are naturally occurring molecules that stimulate collagen production, and may improve skin texture and wrinkling.
- Tea Extracts: Green, black and oolong tea contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help skin stay elastic and resilient.
- Niacinamide: This is a potent antioxidant related to vitamin B-3 (niacin). It helps reduce water loss in the skin and may improve skin elasticity.
When you choose a skin care product, I try to find ones that have at least some of these ingredients.
Let's Go, Men!
It takes some work and attention, but older men like us can look good if we try. It all begins with skin that looks good without looking like new.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Edward valeau on November 21, 2019:
All these comments seem to apply to aging white men, What about men of color. IS THERE A BIAS HERE