Attention men: don't be sensitive!

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Skin sensitivity affects most men. Whether you have a naturally sensitive skin or shaving is getting the better of you, help is on the way.

Smooth shaving

A crucial but often neglected step that aids in combating sensitivity is exfoliation: the removal of dry skin plays a role in preventing shaving bumps and nicks.

“Mature and drier skins should exfoliate at least once or twice a week, depending on the sensitivity of the skin, as dry skins are more prone to sensitivity and dehydration,” says Stephanie-Anne Dickenson, Optiphi training specialist. Use a granular exfoliator such as the Sorbet Man 2-in-1 Face Wash and Scrub, 150ml, R80 or an enzymatic formula if your skin is very sensitive.

Sorbet Man 2-in-1 Face Wash and Scrub, 150ml, R80
Sorbet Man 2-in-1 Face Wash and Scrub, 150ml, R80
Image: Supplied

Barrier brigade

Whether you’re using a pair of clippers or prefer a more traditional shave, it’s important to restore the skin’s barrier and amp up the hydration to prevent irritation: Before, during, and after shaving.  Use products such as Dermalogica Ultra Calming Calm Water Gel, R899 and Dermalogica Ultra Calming Barrier Defense Booster, R1 235 as part of your daily skincare routine to reinforce the skin’s barrier and not leave it vulnerable.

Dermalogica Ultra Calming Calm Water Gel, R899 and Dermalogica Ultra Calming Barrier Defense Booster, R1 235
Dermalogica Ultra Calming Calm Water Gel, R899 and Dermalogica Ultra Calming Barrier Defense Booster, R1 235
Image: Supplied

Balm up

You might not feel it directly after your shave, but the skin is in need of some comfort at this point to soothe the surface.  Splash your face with cold water to cool the shaving area and apply an aftershave balm that is hydrating, alcohol-free, and doesn’t have any aggravating ingredients. Try Vichy Homme Sensi Baume Soothing After-shave Balm, 75ml, R295, which contains mineralising thermal water and calcium to soothe the skin as it strengthens the skin barrier or Justine Skin Management for Men Soothing Moisture Balm, R129 with soothing Aloe Vera and chamomile.

Bump control

Men with curly hair will always experience a skin barrier breach in the form of inflamed shaving bumps or rash that can become infected Take long breaks between shaves and apply barrier-restoring creams that combat redness and repair the damaged epidermis or serums that can target ingrown hairs with ingredients such as tea tree, lavender and salicylic acid. Fino Man Bump Control, 100ml, R70 *available at Clicks and Dischem

Fino Man Bump Control, 100ml, R70
Fino Man Bump Control, 100ml, R70
Image: Supplied

3 sensitivity saviors

1. This jelly-like mask feels cool on the skin and delivers a soothing dose of hyaluronic acid to hydrate and a dipeptide to calm down the skin. Skinceuticals Phyto-Corrective Masque Intensive Calming Botanical Masque, 60ml, R1 15

2. Instantly calm skin with this silky, alcohol-free lotion that glides easily over the skin, and alleviate any skin irritation after shaving with aloe vera. Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera Moisturising Aftershave Lotion, 100ml, R600 *available exclusively at Crabtree & Evelyn stores

3. Dealing with sensitivity doesn’t have to stop after shaving. Treat the skin every day with a relieving, lightweight serum before moisturising to speed up recovery before your next shave. Team Dr Joseph Extra Sensitive Calming Serum, 30ml, R1 120

This article first appeared in print in the Sowetan S Mag June 2018 edition.

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