Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but there are actually an increasing number of men using their lunch hours for secret rendezvouses. You can hear their stomachs growling after claims to have just downed head-sized Qdoba burritos. They wear that little telltale glow, the slightest smile that says, “I’ve got a secret.” I can confirm it’s true: More and more men really are running off to get professional skincare services.
(What did you think I meant?)
Last year, statistical research showed that the number of cosmetic procedures for men increased over 121% from 1997. Among the most sought-after services were Botox, laser hair removal and skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.
I’m definitely seeing more men at our practice. They’re not who you think they are. They come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, and all ranges of machismo. They come for Botox. They come for laser hair removal. They come for clinical concerns and aesthetic ones. But admittedly, many are just discovering there’s more to skincare than a zealous scrub with bar soap.
Soap and water are not all a man needs for fresh skin. For starters, there’s a big difference between armpit soap and face soap. Your average pit soap contains tough ingredients to sanitize away stink and oil. It will strip your face of good oils and leave your skin dry. There are some great cleansers created specifically for men’s skin, which is generally tougher and oilier than women’s skin due to higher amounts of collagen. Some of these products contain ingredients to prep the skin for shaving and reduce ingrown hairs.
Speaking of problem hairs, women are huge fans of laser hair removal not just for themselves but because it sends men’s back hair the way of the Dodo bird. Laser hair removal is an extremely simple, effective, and quick procedure, one that barely warrants the label “procedure.” It can be used to send the pesky hair on men’s ears packing, too. (All the better for nibbling on, say significant others.)
But let’s not be cave people here: Skincare for men isn’t just about avoiding ingrown hairs and back fur. It’s also about dealing with the signs of aging, from uneven pigment to sunspots to wrinkles. Unlike women, men can’t lean on makeup for masking these signs. Phototherapy is a great “makeup for men” but with long-lasting results that won’t wash away at night.
In a society that tends to value a few wrinkles on a man’s face, it may come as a surprise to learn that lots of men are seeking Botox. Well, I assure you Botox and fillers are strategically injected and don’t just bomb away every wrinkle in their vicinity. Men can choose how many, how much—leaving behind a certain degree of wizened ruggedness they might like to keep. If we didn’t have precision power with these procedures, how could they ever wear that rendezvous-smirk you see after they’ve run out for, you know, “lunch”?