There comes a moment in our lives when our skin starts showing the first signs of aging. Well, there’s no way out, buddy: wrinkles and expression lines are just a given as we grow older. For some, they may be even charming (after all, they convey the idea of being experienced).
But, for others – many, I’d say – it does not feel great to see wrinkles as you check yourself in the mirror. “These days, taking care of your appearance has become part of men’s routine too. Most men have been searching for more and more treatments in order to improve their self-esteem as well as their appearance”, says Gladys Mattei, a dermatologist and member of both the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (BSD) and the Brazilian Society of Dermatologic Surgery (BSDS).
Men versus Women
You should know that expression lines are even harder on us men. That is because our skin has its peculiarities due to testosterone. And so it tends to be thicker, contains more hair and, ultimately, age differently.
“The quantity of collagen fibers in men’s skin is higher than women’s, no matter their age. Considering a man and a woman who are the same age and having gone through the same environmental aging influences (sun exposure, smoking, alcohol consumption and diet), the man’s skin will present more noticeable wrinkles. In men, wrinkles tend to come later than in women. But when they do come, you can bet they’ll be more evident”, Gladys points out.
She’s also told me about us men being more affected by the loss of lean mass and skin firmness associated with baggy eyes and dark circles, which usually give you a tired look. Yes, bro. That’s why we must take care of our appearance.
“Men’s skin is just like a sheet of paper which you can crumple in your hands: it will present a couple of wrinkles, though deep ones, because our skin is thicker”, explains André Braz, a dermatologist and professor of Cosmiatry at Serviço de Dermatologia da Policlínica Geral in Rio de Janeiro.
The average age
Wrinkles and expression lines usually come at the age of 25 or so. At that moment, they’re referred to as dynamic wrinkles, that is, those that depend on muscle contraction. “As a rule, the crow’s feet and the wrinkles between your brows and on your forehead. And there’s one more thing: since we have a beard, that is the region we wrinkle the least because shaving works as a sort of physical peeling that ends up avoiding the whole thing”, Braz adds.
In order to avoid the first signs, daily sunblock is a must (it should be appropriate to your skin) and, of course, sunglasses whenever necessary. “When we’re in excessively bright places, we tend to squint to protect our retina. That’s an instinctive reaction. Such movement will contribute to crow’s feet, each time more”, argues Tarcila Taborda, a dermatologist and member of BSD.
Additionally, anti-aging lotions – mainly those containing vitamin C or retinol – contribute to the prevention and treatment of the first signs. “Treatments that stimulate collagen production, like peelings, radio frequency and laser also lessen the first lines”, Tarsila tells me.
And that’s not all: always wash your face with cold water and clean it correctly. “That means using a soap for your skin type, moisting and applying an anti aging lotion at night (made with several different substances)”, says Rosanna Nocito, a dermatologist at Hospital e Maternidade São Luiz.
The professional adds that, in some cases, investing in oral and topical vitamins that contain antioxidants as long as they’ve been prescribed by a doctor. Picking laser techniques can also contribute to the reduction of wrinkles.
“Just like the application of hyaluronic acid, not with the objective of filling the wrinkles, but to revitalize your skin. The use of this product with vitamin is also highly recommended. That’s an injection that improves and retards the appearance of wrinkles”, explains Cristiane Braga Lopes Kanashiro, a dermatologist and member of the Brazilian Society of Aesthetic Medicine (BSAM) and the Brazilian Society of Anti aging Studies (BSAS).
Getting a facial once or twice a month, mainly when the skin is oily, is also a good idea. “I recommend crystal peeling to keep the skin texture healthy. Laser and pulsed light come in when we feel like improving the skin texture even more or, sometimes, to lighten it”, adds André Braz.
Now, if the wrinkles and lines are already there, a solution to it can be investing in some of the techniques recommended by the experts. The first one would be the botulinum toxin.
Mostly known as botox, this toxin works by reducing muscle contraction. “This way, we reduce the strength we apply when contracting the muscles, reducing the marks on the skin. In men, this procedure must be carried out naturally, that is, reducing but not paralysing the muscles altogether” says Paula Sanchez, a dermatologist and a member of BSD. Its application can be done every year as a way to prevent the wrinkles, usually from your 30s on.
The contraindications of botox are very few. According to Tarcila Taborda, there are cases of men who have worsened the problem by applying the botulinum toxin on droopy eyelids. “It’s highly recommended that the doctor performs a serious evaluation in order to decide what the best resource is for each case”, she ponders.
Now, athletes’ (as well as thin people) skin will present more noticeable marks, especially when they contract their muscles, due to their low-fat percentage. “In such cases, we recommend filling the areas to help with botox. We combine the two techniques”, goes Braz.
Plus, when men start showing the smile lines, or when their cheekbones are too prominent, giving him a tired and sometimes sick look, we also recommend the filling with hyaluronic acid in order to replace the lost fat, reduce the shades and fill the areas missing their original volumes.
“Beauty standards change from time to time. For men, it’s necessary to perform the facial filling differently, so that they don’t end up looking feminine. So, a little of their facial shade should remain”, the dermatologist suggests.
To Wrap up
So, I think it’s a nice idea to search for a good dermatologist (if you’re in Brazil, take a look at the ones I interviewed) to discuss the best techniques and put an end to wrinkles and expressions lines for good and for all. You won’t regret it, trust me.