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Skin care fundamentals

By Billy Kolber-Stuart

Let’s face it. The first thing he usually sees is your face. And whether you’re 18 or 80, a simple skin care regimen can make sure you’re putting your best face forward.

Just a few years ago, the men’s grooming section at the supermarket or drugstore ended at aftershave. Today, the shelves are filled with moisturizers, eye creams and facial cleansers. It’s no easier at a department store, where the prices are higher prices and the promised benefits bigger.

But do they really work? And how does a guy choose which products to use? It's not rocket science. If your current skin care regimen is washing your face with whatever soap is in the shower, keep it simple: no more than two or three products. Don’t get talked into a complicated regimen you’ll abandon after a week.

Taking care of your skin starts with three basic concepts: Keep it clean, moisturized and protected from the sun.

KEEP IT CLEAN
You brush your teeth twice a day. Take another minute to wash your face. But don’t reach for the soap. Most soap-based cleansers will strip your skin’s natural protective lipids. Squeaky clean may be good for floors, but it’s not good for your face. Unless your skin is very dry, most foaming or gentle gel-based facial cleansers will be suitable for you. If you get regular or occasional acne breakouts, use an anti-bacterial cleanser.

MOISTURIZE
There are hundreds of choices, but whether you spend $4 or $400 an ounce, the most important factor is finding one that feels and smells good to you. Most men prefer lighter weight lotions and gel-creams. If you're just starting out, choose one of these.

Some men, even with oily skin, can have dehydrated skin. Look for the ingredients Hyaluronic Acid and Shea Butter. They are the gold standard of moisturizing.

SUN PROTECTION
It's your most important tool in the fight against aging. While most of us know to put it on when we head to the beach, you need to wear it every day. Just a few minutes of sun exposure daily, like walking to your car, can have an effect. And UVB rays, the ones that cause skin damage, go right through your car or office windows.

Choose a daytime moisturizer with a minimum 15 SPF. Look for UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum coverage. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, or live at high altitude, start at SPF 25. Your skin will thank you for it.

BUILDING YOUR REGIMEN
If you're starting your first skin care regimen, start with no more than two to three products: A cleanser, a daytime moisturizer with SPF and maybe a nighttime moisturizer. You'll ensure your success in keeping the regimen, if you keep it simple. Once you're in the habit of using these products twice daily, you can add targeted products for specific skin care needs.

Billy Kolber-Stuart has been in the top 10 percent of Avon Representatives nationwide for eight years. He and his team sell Avon’s ANEW brand skin care to men at avonmen.com.