Is your masculinity complex making you look older?

Is your masculinity complex making you look older?

Story in partnership with MOSH.

We all have that mate. You know the one that scoffs whenever anyone talks about anything they're doing to look after themselves that isn't lifting weights.

The one that if you ever told them you had a skincare regime they'd probably make some wisecrack about your make up running.

He's also likely the same mate with more lines on his face than a topographic map. The one who spent his twenties living like Keith Richards and now, at 34, looks like Keith Richards. That's why his most up to date Tinder profile picture is from 2015.

Yeah... Why are you listening to that guy?

The reality is: Your skin is just like every other organ in your body. It is only as healthy as you are. If you look after your skin, it will look fresher for longer. If you neglect it however, you'll end up looking like a Ol' Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

So why do so many men have such a stigma about looking after their skin?

Brisbane based GP Dr Scott Horsburgh works with men's online health platform MOSH and helps many blokes with their skincare needs, providing them with a discreet, convenient and easily accessible service.

He is a passionate advocate of breaking the stigma around skincare for men but says it tends to occur for two main reasons.

Firstly, he says, they tend to think that it is too complicated. With so many products on the market, they don't know what actually works. And secondly, unsurprisingly, it is because they think skincare products are just for women.

However, things are slowly beginning to change, he says. An increased awareness of skin cancers is causing more men to think more rigorously about their skin and how to care for it.

There is also a cultural shift occurring amongst men. They want to look better for longer, he says, be it for social media, mature aged dating, or even just to look more virile so they can gain a promotion at work.

Luckily, there is no shortage of ways to look after your skin and reverse the signs of aging. Here are 9 ways you can take better care of your skin:

1. Wear sunscreen

"This my first advice to everyone who ever comes to see me about any skin concern," Dr Horsburgh said.

"If you can only do one thing, the number one thing that will keep people looking younger for longer is daily application of sunscreen."

Exposure to the sun's UV rays is the number one cause of premature ageing skin in Australia. In fact, studies show that excess sun exposure results in reduced collagen and elasticity in the skin.

Applying sunscreen can help protect the skin by absorbing, blocking or scattering UV radiation, and ultimately slowing down signs of ageing.

2. Drink less alcohol and more water

We all know smashing a few too many tinnies is a bad idea and not just because of the next morning. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to host of health problems. However, it is also bad for your skin.

Consuming too much alcohol over long periods can cause your skin to dehydrate and lose collagen prematurely. Limiting your alcohol intake can improve skin moisture and reduce puffiness and inflammation.

"The skin is good at keeping moisture in but we also lose it throughout the day. So keeping well hydrated stops your skin from drying out more quickly," Dr Horsburgh said.

3. Quit Smoking

"Cigarette are full of toxic chemicals and it certainly makes people look older than they are," Dr Horsburgh explained.

Nicotine narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow, which prevents the cells from getting adequate oxygen and nutrients.

The chemicals in tobacco smoke also decrease the production of collagen, while the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial movements of smoking have been shown to contribute to wrinkles.

4. Moisturise regularly

Gettinginto the habit of moisturising twice daily can do a lot to prevent wrinkles from forming, the doc says.

Moisturisers containing active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, CoEnzyme Q-10 and Vitamin C promote uniform skin tone, help hydrate the skin, prevent photo-ageing, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

5. Remember your ABCs

Dr Horsburgh always tells his patients that is they want to look after their skin, they need their vitamins A, B and C.

"Vitamin A cream - or Topical Retinoids - helps to reduce wrinkles," he explained.

"It helps with skin discolouration - like freckles - and smooths out the skin, giving it a better texture. It also helps turn over the skin a bit quicker, which is good for skin vitality and skin health," he continued.

"Vitamin B, is another really good vitamin that we know reduces a number of skin cancers people get. It also helps with pigmentation and pour sizes as well as skin elasticity.

"And then Vitamin C helps to mop up free radicals, which are oxygen molecules - often released by sun damage in the skin - that are essentially damaging your DNA."

6. Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy, vitamin rich diet is also going to help you to look better, for longer. Not only will it stop you from blowing up like a balloon, it is very good for your skin.

For example Salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation. Avocado also contain essential fats and Vitamin E to protect and nourish the skin. Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, while green tea is rich in antioxidants.

"We know that having a healthy diet and less sugar helps with the microbiome in your skin," the good doc said.

7. Using hyaluronic acid and niacinamide

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the skin's connective tissues. It's main purpose is to keep the skin moisturised and lubricated. Using a serum or cream fortified with hyaluronic acid, or taking a supplement containing it, can help reduce wrinkles and regain overall firmness.

Niacinamide on the other hand is a form of vitamin B3. Applying it as a serum or moisturiser softens fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production and improving elasticity. It also works to reduce water loss in dry skin and improve skin hydration, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

8. Getting a good night's sleep

If you're constantly burning the midnight oil, you're going to have worse skin.

"Sleep is important because its the time when your body does a lot its healing and repair," Dr Horsburgh explained.

"Your skin is no different to any other part of your body. The majority of its repair is going to be done while you're sleeping not while you're active and out running around in the sun."

9. Seek some good advice

Finally, if you're feeling self conscious about your skin or you want to take better care of yourself, seek good advice. Whether it's visiting your GP or logging onto MOSH, where you can talk to one of their professional doctors at a time that is convenient.

You can even discreetly begin treatment right away. The most important thing, Dr Horsburgh says, is that you don't keep putting it off.

"One of the things we know about men in general is that across the board they're quite hesitant to go see their GPs, that's why unfortunately they don't live as long as women, because they delay treatment on a range of conditions," he said.

"(But when it comes to skincare) we've only got one shot at this. So we might as well look as good as we can for as long as we can."

Story in partnership with MOSH.

This story Is your masculinity complex making you look older? first appeared on The Canberra Times.