Proper skin care is not something that you only teach your daughter or the female in your life, but is something I feel boys need to learn, as well.
Of course, I’m biased having four sons and all.
Yet, we know it’s true. Where are the ads on TV or in magazines marketing exfoliators, moisturizers, serums and sunscreen to men? (With the exception of acne products like Proactiv, of course.) When have you ever seen teen boys incorporated in skin care commercials? You simply don’t. So how does a young man know how to treat blemishes, or how to exfoliate his face or know the right products for his skin type?
Moms: It begins with you.
When my oldest son, Gavin, was about 13, I began to explain the importance of washing his face both day and night. “No, Gavin, putting your face under the water in the shower doesn’t count,” I told him. I sat him down and explained the difference between cleansing his face and exfoliating his face, as well as how often he should be doing each (cleansing everyday, exfoliating 1-2x per week.) Directing him to wet his face first, I demonstrated for him how much product to use – because let’s face it, kids POUR stuff out of the bottle. I showed him that you pump out about a pea-sized amount of product onto your finger tips, then tap them to your other hand and massage onto your skin in a circular motion. I then told him that he needed to rinse his face with cooler water (because I could totally visualize a screaming teenager saying “MOM! I just burned my face!” and no thanks.)
The beginning was trial and error. As with any teenager, he was half listening to me, so the first few times he used products in the shower he would use way too much. Or he would conveniently forget to wash his face at all and later complain that his face was an oil slick. Or he’d glob on the moisturizer.
I also explained to him how important it was to wear a moisturizer, day and night, as well as sunscreen. We’re working on the sunscreen part still because he is in the typical “My skin will be just fine because I never go outside” phase. He’s good most of the time about applying moisturizer at least once a day.
What’s he’s best at is taking care of and treating the occasional blemish that erupts. He knows not to pick at his skin and I taught him how to gently extract whiteheads (washing his hands first then using a tissue and light pressure – and only once it is really ready – otherwise, hands off!) He knows that aloe and/or an ice pack will help decrease the inflammation. And he also has his favorite acne products: Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment and CoralActives Penetrating Acne Serum Gel.
Last week, Gavin (who is about to be 15 now) pointed out to his brother Connor (12) the blemish on Connor’s nose, saying, “Look who’s in puberty!” I expected the hazing to go further than that, but it didn’t, and to my surprise (and pleasure) Gavin began talking to Connor about taking care of his skin and how to handle blemishes. It was definitely a proud moment for me as a mom and skin care fanatic. Connor, Gavin and I then had a great 20 minutes bonding and talking about about skin care. Connor asked a lot of questions and many times Gavin was quick to answer before me. When Connor asked me what pores were, I basically had to dish about the large pores on my nose and show him what happens when you don’t start taking care of your skin from a young age.
I feel good watching my boys invest in their skin and I like knowing that Gavin and Connor will also be share their knowledge when the time comes for Brody and Duncan to start taking care of theirs, too.
Have you taught your son(s) the importance of proper skin care?
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Shannon began A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog in 2005 to morph her love of beauty and in educating women on what truly works and what does not. In 2013 she launched a bath and body line as an extention of the beauty blog. One thing she always has on her at all times? Lip balm.