We’ve gotten a few emails from some seniors who have visited our site (thank you for coming!), so we’d like to share some skin care tips for older guys and elderly men. Younger people tend to get inundated with skin care tips, and that’s sort of funny, because… well, they’re young! Their skin is often great, and often with very little effort on their part!
With that in mind, here are some tips for us older gentleman who want to keep our epidermises nice and healthy. We’ll start with a shaving tip, and then move on to some general tips that get overlooked:
Use the Right Aftershave, and Consider a Balm
Aftershaves waned in popularity for a while, but they’ve made quite the comeback in recent years, and we get a lot of emails asking about them. That’s fantastic, because they can be a fantastic way to end a shave, and many of them smell GREAT.
They can really do a number on your skin, though, and that’s especially true if you use one with a lot of alcohol. Alcohol can really dry out your skin, and if you’ve got dry skin to begin with, that can result in itchiness, scratchiness, and general irritation.
If your skin has gotten sensitive in recent years, you may want to use less aftershave, or even switch it up a bit, and instead of using an aftershave splash, use an aftershave balm. Many balms have natural, moisturizing ingredients, and many feel and smell great.
If you can, try using witch hazel after shaving. Witch Hazel is an extract that shrinks pores and calms inflammation to prevent razor burn, and you can find it in a lot of different formulations.
Thayer’s Aftershave with Witch Hazel is a good one, as is Bevel Aftershave Balm with Tea Tree Oil. Bevel is great, because tea tree oil is minty and cool, just like a traditional aftershave splash can be.
If You’re Going to Use an Electric Shaver, Opt for a Foil Shaver
Many men who are currently in the prime of their life started shaving just when electric shavers came on the market, and they’re fiercely loyal to them. In fact, most of the visitors to our site who are 50 and above are looking for content on electric shavers, and we have a buying guide specifically devoted to finding the right electric shaver for senior gentlemen.
So here’s our tip on electric shavers for older gentlemen: most of the time, it’s best to skip the rotary shaver and go with a foil shaver.
What’s the difference between rotary shavers and foil shavers, you might ask?
Rotary shavers have little discs on their head, and foil shavers have a flat, smooth surface on their head. We have an article discussing the difference between foil and rotary shavers which may be helpful.
As for which is better—well, that’s a matter of opinion, but generally speaking,
- older gentleman with a little bit of wrinkles and/or loose skin can use a rotary shaver, whereas
- older gentleman with a lot of wrinkles and/or loose skin tend to do better with a foil shaver.
The reason for that is because rotary shavers are used in a circular or random pattern over the skin, whereas foil shavers travel in a straight line over the skin—and if you’ve got wrinkles or loose skin and need to tighten them up when shaving, it’s easier and more effective to shave over that loose skin in a straight line.
Wear Sunscreen, Even If You Don’t Want To
Yeah, yeah… you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true. Sun screen is important, and for men over 40 years of age, sunscreen should be an every-day thing. The UV light from the sun is what causes dark spots, broken capillaries, and large pores, and those are really common for older men. Plus, UV light damages collagen, making your skin looser and more prone to wrinkles—all of which makes it harder to shave.
Many of us believe that sunscreen is greasy, and smelly, and sticky, but many sunscreens have come a long way in recent years, and there are a lot of them that actually feel pretty nice—they’re cooling and soft. We don’t have any to recommend—which, after all we’ve written, may come as a surprise!—but they’re out there.
Consider Retinol (After Learning What It Is)
We’re going to be honest: before we built an entire website devoted to beards and shaving, we didn’t really know what retinols were. And that’s a shame, because they’re easy to get and easy to use.
Retinols are over-the-counter formulations—usually gels or creams—that include Vitamin A, one of the most important vitamins for skin health. Among other things, retinols encourage collagen growth, which is the substance that keeps skin supple and tight. Applying it can help reduce wrinkles and inflammation and keep skin springy and youthful, and while it’s obviously not the fountain of youth, a lot of men and women say a lot of wonderful things about them.
Retinols can be very powerful, so if you’re interested in using them, ring up the old doctor or medical health professional and see what he or she says.
Drink Plenty of Water, Which You Already Know You Should Do
Just like the rest of your body, water is essential for the health of your skin. It keeps it hydrated and makes it more elastic. Plus, it lets your cells go through the processes they need to reproduce and keep your skin new and fresh.
Staying hydrated is one of the easiest things you can do to take care of your skin, so why not? Also, if you drink alcohol, water is even more important—alcohol takes your moisture at a surprising rate, and a little water can go a long way.
Use a Moisturizer; Yes, a Moisturizer
This one can be a hard sell, because guys—regardless of their age!—are almost reliably resistant to using moisturizers.
That’s a shame, though, because they can provide a lot of benefits. Moisturizers—be they creams or lotions—have oils in them that can trap water in the skin, and keep it from drying out. They can also nutrients and minerals into the skin and hair itself, and that creates an environment where shaving is a lot safer (and pleasant!).
Moderate Your Diet (Grumble…)
Nobody likes this one either, but it can be very powerful, so we’ll mention it: when you eat right, your skin can benefit greatly.
Dermatologists have begun finding links between high-glycemic diets, like ones high in processed sugars, and poor skin health. Too much sugar can harden collagen, cause acne, and create skin irritation—and that’s true for older men who have never encountered these issues before. So if there are items in your diet that may not be so great, and you’re having issues with your skin, you may want to cut them out and see if they’re causing your problems.
On the flip side, there are certain nutrients you need to eat in order to keep your skin healthy. Antioxidants in your diet are especially good for your skin, and vitamins like C and E can help protect your skin cells and keep you looking healthy. Both of those items are plentiful in many fruits and vegetables, so don’t pass on that next salad that comes your way, and maybe skip regular desert for a fruit plate or something like that.
Exfoliate, Which is a Fancy Word for “Wash Your Face”
When you get older, the skin doesn’t rejuvenate as much as when you were younger, and dead skin and dry skin can build up on the surface. This doesn’t just look bad—and feel bad—but it can lead to acne, irritation, and all sorts of other problems.
So wash your face and rub it with a washcloth or exfoliating pad when you can. Exfoliation can help remove that skin to keep the top layer fresh and lively. This will make your skin smoother and healthier looking and reduce redness and skin problems.
There You Have It! A Few Powerful Tips to Help Your Skin
We hope that helps. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line, and we’ll be glad to do what we can.
In the meantime, be good, have fun, and be well!
Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.