I remember the first time I thought I looked old. It was the morning and the kids were being their regular raucous selves. I was enjoying a few minutes of privacy in the bathroom when I looked in the mirror and saw an old man staring back at me.
I had let my beard grow out and the rusty red was replaced with patches of gray. My eyes just looked tired. There were fine lines and wrinkles earned from years of squinting because I always forget my glasses.
It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget that the years pass by in a blink. I wasn’t the effervescent 20-year-old anymore, but I wasn’t the old guy looking back at me either. It’s one thing to grow old gracefully and another to age prematurely.
Years of sun-drenched beach vacations, already hard on natural redhead skin, mixed with poor skincare and far less sleep than I needed, created the man in front of me. I decided to do something about it.
The Eyes Have It
The most striking feature was my eyes. Dark circles from far too many late nights and early mornings greeted me most days. I did some research and chose DDF Erase Eye Gel to help brighten up my lackluster under eye area.
It featured seven bioactive ingredients designed specifically for dark under eyes and the occasional puffiness. I hate bags under my eyes, thankfully, I never got them very often and thanks to DDF I never will.
The next step was my wrinkles and generally tired appearance around my eyes. If young radiant eyes were diamonds, then mine were two lumps of coal under the Christmas tree. I decided Doctor Babor 3D Hydro Gel Eye Pads would do the trick.
They had hyaluronic acid and other technology far above my pay grade, but there were made for helping the sensitive skin around the eyes. I placed them on my eyes for 10-15 minutes and they felt hydrated and looked great.
Daily Skincare Regimen
After a few weeks working on my eyes and seeing great results, I decided I should work on a daily skincare regimen. I’m not getting any younger. I keep trying to deny that, but my morning back pain reminds of it daily.
It was time to take care of myself. I started and ended my day with a face wash. Neostrata Resurface Glycolic Wash didn’t irritate my sensitive skin, it’s the curse of being a ginger, and really made my face look youthful.
Perhaps the most important aspect of my regimen was sunscreen. Some people tan, some people burn and people like me burst into flame the minute we go outside. I burn easily, but hated the oily sunscreens I found in most retail stores.
I felt covered in oil and was slowly deep frying in the sun. I discovered that real sunscreens protect and replenish your skin and don’t feel like you’re covered in popcorn butter.
I chose Replenix Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50 +because it provided extensive protection across the ultraviolet spectrum. It feels great on my skin and I hardly even know I’m wearing it. Due to my fair complexion, I need the best protection because skin cancer is a real risk.
Stigma Around Male Skincare
Men don’t traditionally think about skincare. We’ve always been taught to be rugged with calloused hands and a weathered face. My father spent 40 years working in a factory and never once thought about shielding his skin from the sun.
We live in a different time and taking care of our skin should be a priority not only to look better but because healthy skin is part of a healthy body.
Many men shrug off skincare because of a stigma that it’s somehow less manly, but that’s ridiculous. Do you think Hugh Jackman doesn’t do skincare? If Wolverine can do skincare, so can you.
My children still run around like little madmen in the morning and I still need those few precious moments of privacy in the bathroom. The difference is now I don’t see an old man looking back at me, but someone still filled with the vigor of youth.