It's time to graduate to a grown-up skin care routine

Graduation season is upon us ––and that means new beginnings and big steps into the next phase life. For some of you that means college, and for others that means entering the workforce.  And while it will be your raw talent and skill (and sometimes a bit of luck) that will get you through school and career advancements, looking your best will help you feel confident no matter what big step is next in life for you.

With that in mind, here are some tips to put your best face forward.

For you guys in your late teens and early twenties, the testosterone coursing through your veins is both a blessing and a curse. There are six main ways this male hormone is impacting your skin, some more positive than others.

  • Testosterone is fuel for sebum (oil) production, which means skin is oilier and pores are larger, making you more susceptible to clogged skin and acne.
  • It increases skin acidity (which means the protective film on top of your skin - the acid mantle - has a higher pH and needs different treatment than a woman’s skin).
  • Male skin is both thicker and more sensitive to irritation thanks to our friend testosterone.
  • But bonus: testosterone stimulates more collagen and strengthens facial hair. One point for the hormone there.

Knowing is half the battle

Now that you’re armed with a freshly minted diploma and a crash course on the role your hormones play on your skin, it’s time to man up your daily face care regimen. After all, you’re about to be making a whole lot of first impressions in the near future so even if you don’t think you’re vain... admit it, you want to look your best. And when feel good, you exude more confidence. 

Because testosterone is creating a more oily and more sensitive environment in your skin, you want to choose products that are formulated with those needs in mind. Borrowing your girlfriend’s face wash or sudsing up with that same bar soap you’re washing your other parts with isn’t going to cut it.

Check out our skin care 101 refresher for an in-depth reminder of the five simple laws of caring for your skin: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, rebuild, protect. It’s your prerequisite course for graduating to grown up skin care. 

Think of the long game

It can be hard to think long term when you’re still in the throws of youthful invincibility, but rest assured, as you accumulate years on this planet, your skin will change. It will become slower to repair itself and as you age and testosterone levels decline, which means skin gets drier and deeper lines start to form.

Getting your skin care routine dialed in and making it a non-negotiable habit early on will reap great rewards down the road. Remember the five skin laws and never sacrifice the fifth (and most important): protect. If you walk away with only one bit of wisdom, make it this: every single day, wear an SPF with zinc as a natural UV blocker. It is arguably the most important step in keeping your skin healthy. Damage from exposure to ultraviolet rays is the cause of 90% of skin aging.

Go forth and prosper

In this season of grand achievements and fresh starts, make good skin care your final right of passage. Imagine yourself three, four, or five decades down the road. No one ever looks back on a lifetime of healthy habits with regret, now do they?