Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) June 13, 2012

If you think skin care is just for women, think again.

Men are the fastest growing consumers of cosmeceutical products, a market thats valued at $ 12.4 billion and expected to grow to more than $ 16 billion by 2014.

In the past, men shunned skin care products, labeling them as feminine and frilly. But todays man recognizes that skin care is essential. Fueling this trend is the metrosexual manthe one who cares about his looks, his clothes and his physique. Male baby boomers also play a part in this trend. These men are staying in the workplace longer and competing against their younger counterparts. They dont want to look old or past their prime.

Although men understand the importance of skin care, we must remember they have different attitudes from women. Understanding those attitudes can help us design programs that meet their needs. The following is a series of suggestions Ive developed over 24 years in private practice.

Stealth Rejuvenation

To start, men dont want anyone to know theyre pampering themselves. So if you want to sell products to them, be sure the packaging is neutral (blacks, grays and whites are popular). The packaging also must look masculine, subdued and medical. It cannot look like cosmetics for a woman. Furthermore, the products must be invisible after application, and they cannot have any scent.

Second, men dont want anyone to know theyve had work done. So they typically choose medical aesthetics procedures with no downtime.

Third, men want what I call stealth rejuvenation. They will not comply with complicated skin care regimens that require multiple steps. One or two products will have to do it all. This is an important point. With men, everything must be kept simple and quick. But they do need to follow some basics. I advise them to cleanse the skin twice daily: before shaving in the morning and before going to bed at night. Cleansing the skin before shaving removes impurities and softens the beard. Cleansing at night helps remove dirt and keep the pores open. This prevents blackheads and infections.

Cleansers that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are excellent choices. They help exfoliate the dead top layers of the epidermis, allowing newer, less keratinized skin to emerge. AHAs are derived from natural foodstuffs, mostly fruits, hence the term fruit acids. When used in a low percentage, these acids help break down the intercellular glue that bonds cells to the skin’s surface. Removing these dead cells stimulates the skin’s natural cell regeneration process, making the complexion look brighter, younger and more vital. It also helps control oil build-up and prevent acne break-outs. Cleansing the face before shaving will help men avoid the sting that will invariably occur from applying acidic products to skin thats been superficially exfoliated.

Moisturizing the Skin

Using skin care products after shaving is crucial. I recommend light, nonacid-based moisturizers with sunscreen, instead of an aftershave. A moisturizer is essential to keep the skin supple and smooth. It will help protect it from environmental aggressors, such as the dehydrating effects of sun and wind. Furthermore, it will stop the skin from flaking, and feeling tight and uncomfortable.

If men want to use more active products, I recommend Retin-A. This product exfoliates the skin by removing the keratin top layer. It also stimulates new collagen production to re-establish the normal thickness of the skin.

However, retinoids can irritate the skin, particularly after shaving. So men should apply the product at night, after using a pH-balanced facial cleaner. This will prevent the skin from drying and stimulate sebaceous gland oil production. Because men exfoliate daily when shaving, they may not require as strong a concentration of Retin-A on the shaved areas.

Unfortunately, ingrown hairs are a side effect of shaving. They occur when hairs grow back into the pores instead of outward past the surface. The body interprets ingrown hairs as foreign and attacks them, often resulting in infection that can look like acne or folliculitis. Men with curly or coarse facial hair are most likely to experience the discomforts of ingrown hairs. Using AHA preparations can reduce the incidence of ingrown hairs by keeping pores free of infections and dead skin cells. Shaving along the growth pattern of the hair, instead of against it, will minimize this problem as well.

As always, preventing sun damage is better than trying to reverse it. Women will get a small amount of sunscreen from their make-up. But men dont have this luxury. Therefore, they need to make a concerted effort to use products that protect the skin against UVA and UVB rays.

Micronized sunblocks are ideal, since they leave no visible residue. To make it easier for men, recommend moisturizers with sunscreens and antioxidants. This not only helps stave off the damage from sun exposure, but it also meets their requirement for stealth rejuvenation.

Targeting Hyperpigmentation

Options abound for noninvasive treatments. Pulsed light therapies are good choices to treat facial hyperpigmentation. Men tend to prefer these over medium-depth and deep chemical peels because theres no down time.

In areas of bony prominences, men tend to develop dilated small veins, particularly around the nose and on the cheeks. These are mainly due to the thinning of the skin from sun exposure. Again, pulsed light therapies are excellent options. Theyre effective, and theres no down time.

Microdermabrasion, too, is useful in men. This procedure is quick and easily removes the top layers of keratin, allowing good skin regeneration. This procedure also helps keep pores closed. Although important to use over the entire face, microdermabrasion is especially helpful around the eyes and foreheadareas where men tend to show their age.

For men who want to stave off the hands of time, Botox Cosmetic is a great option. Botox is not a filler, but rather an agent that temporarily paralyzes the muscle. It can subtly relax high-muscle activity areas, slow the progression of wrinkles and give men a more relaxed and rested appearance. It also can relieve the mild underlying tension in areas between the eyebrows. When used laterally over the crows feet, Botox can weaken the orbicularis occuli muscles. This can give a subtle yet beneficial lifting of the lateral eyebrow, making the eyes look more open.

Fillers are excellent options for men, with the forehead and nasolabial folds being the prime target areas. (The lips are not a main area for men, as they are for women.) Although hyaluronic acid fillers have become quite popular, these materials create more postinjection swelling than the older collagen injectables. Be sure to tell men about this. Typically, they prefer collagen products because theres less swelling. But they must get tested to rule out allergic reactions.

Although skin care for men is a growing market, we must remember that men have unique sensitivities and attitudes. By understanding those sensitivities, we can design programs that will meet their needs. When we do so, men become loyal patients for years to come.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon Julio Garcia, MD, FACS, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has served on the board of directors of the Lipoplasty Society of North America, is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Aging. He also sits on the board of the Body Contouring Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization funding the exploration of science relevant to the contouring of the human body and applied science. He performs plastic surgery in Las Vegas.

Disclosure: The author indicates that