The Harley Street Skin Clinic
& Co Founder of Monroe London Men’s skincare
Image: Gareth Boden
In my previous life as a photographer, I was dashing around all over the place with very little time for grooming or even eating properly. In those days I would rely on a fast metabolism, the ignorance of youth, and fairly scant regard to diet, sun protection or consumption of the copious amounts of caffeine that fuelled my day to day.
I’m afraid that as old father time has marched on, it has become harder to live that lifestyle, and while I have no regrets, well perhaps one or two, I do wish I had taken a little more care of what I had. I have realised that looking after yourself from an early age is the best defence against the ageing process, and the damage that the sun and pollution can unleash on your appearance.
Fear not gentlemen, I am here to tell you that however hard you have played, and however long the candle has been burnt at the right and wrong ends, it is never too late to make a difference, you can turn back the clock, just a little bit anyway.
Try just a few of the following and see the difference.
Never spray cologne or after-shave on your face
In the words of Mr Caine ‘Not a lot of people know this’. Most fragrance is mixed with alcohol in some form or another, once this hits daylight and is activated by the suns UVA / UVB rays it will actually stain the skin. Over time this promotes age spots and discolouration. Try giving yourself a light mist over your clothes, the scent will last just as long, but remember there is nothing worse than your aftershave entering the room before you do. Less is more here guys.
Cold showers are good for more than one thing
Try turning the temperature down in the shower, hot showers damage the skin and cause it to loose its elasticity. Cold showers will help to tighten up skin cells and can boost circulation and cell recovery.
Invest in a good flannel
Sounds like a simple step, but using a flannel or face cloth to wash your face will remove more dirt and dead cells than just splashing a bit of water around.
Only shave in one direction
Try to make each stroke of the razor in the direction that the hair grows. This will result in a much smoother shave with less irritation, redness and cuts. It is much kinder to the skin to give a generous covering of a shave balm after shaving, rather than slapping aftershave on. The best ones have anti bacterial properties, calming ingredients and if it’s the really good stuff it will also have an SPF in there too.
It’s true what they say ‘Always use sun screen’
There is just no getting away from it. There are two things that cause more damage and premature ageing in all skin types than anything else. The Sun and pollution. Forget the popular misconception that you won’t get a tan if you wear sunscreen, it will actually mean that you can spend more time in the sun, enjoying it, safe in the knowledge that you won’t look like the sole of your favourite Churches after a brisk walk across hot coals.
Drink loads of water
Your skin is constantly regenerating itself in fact the cell turnover means that in around 30 – 90 days depending on your age, you will have a brand new top layer of skin. Great news. Now look after it. Hydration is key to good skin health.
Your skin actually recovers quicker at night as the body uses this time to perform vital maintenance. A good sleep pattern will help with a number of things; Mood, concentration, skin heath, appetite and performance. Try using a night serum before bed to accelerate the cell turnover and do all the hard work while you sleep.
Remember to smile. It will exercise the muscles in your face keeping them in good shape. More importantly everyone looks more attractive when they smile.