Let me rip the Band-Aid right off: your face could use a tune-up. I’m saying this from a place of love, not disrespect. For generations, women have understood that there are just some things you can’t do yourself and it’s time we, as men, follow their lead. Skincare is great and all (congratulations for finally busting out that moisturizer with SPF), but the truth is that to really make a difference in your face, sometimes you have to entrust yourself to a professional.
When it comes to treatments, the biggest obstacle for most men is time. We don’t want to open our busy schedules to do something that others can interpret as vain (spoiler alert: it’s not). And if there is downtime, forget it. We’ll pass on taking a day off work, thank you very much. But the beauty of many of most effective treatments today is that they’ve been designed with this in mind. These new technologies require a minimal time commitment (a lunch break will be more than enough) and the downtime is usually non-existent.
We’ve rounded up the most man-friendly treatments in this handy list, and it’s a great place to start when considering something other than a classic facial. Many of these address many issues in one go, like a Swiss Army knife of skincare, and they use the most cutting edge technology to deliver major results. Whether you just need a deep clean or want to pull out the big guns to address something like acne, hyperpigmentation, redness, or even volume loss due to aging, this list will have something for you.
It’s all about lasers these days, but not everyone is ready to go under the beam. Photofacials, which are often referred to as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) are perfect for someone who is a little wary of going full-laser. These devices use powerful pulses of light to penetrate below the skin’s surface and address a variety of issues like dark spots, sun damage, pigmentation, rosacea, and even fine lines and wrinkles.
The treatment itself is nearly painless: you feel a tiny snap as it flashes, like a rubber band hitting your skin while a camera flash goes off. Even better, it’s surprisingly fast and there is no downtime. Ask your dermatologist if they offer IPL (they most likely do) and if you are a good candidate (they’ll probably say yes).
Too much work, too much partying (too much of anything, really) can take a toll on your skin. Even if you’re not a party animal, but have some puffiness or sagging you’d like to address, a lymphatic massage can do wonders. Places like Face Gym, which just opened their first location stateside, offer what equates to a workout for your face.
Lymphatic massage is a way to target the lymph nodes in the face and neck, allowing them to release the toxins that can build up and clog our body’s natural drainage system. Coupled with facial rollers and microcurrent treatments, Face Gym’s signature facial is less spa treatment and more bootcamp (and only take thirty minutes). You leave tight, refreshed and riding high on endorphins.
Microdermabrasion with Infusion
Do you even exfoliate, bro? You could benefit from a professional exfoliation treatment like microdermabrasion. It’s a gentle and highly effective way to get rid of dead skin cells. That cell buildup can cause your face to look dull, rough and dry and even clog pores, causing breakouts.
Dr. Kenneth Howe, board-certified dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in New York City, believes that microdermabrasion by itself is great, but believes in taking it one step further to add something back into the skin after buffing away those dead skin cells. He uses a machine called the DermaSweep, which exfoliates while infusing the skin with a serum tailored to the patient’s individual needs.
“A lot of guys can be dry, in the winter or from traveling, so we’ll then infuse them with hyaluronic acid,” he says. It’s a one-two punch of high-tech skin maintenance and ideal for men since, as Dr. Howe says, “It’s easy to do, painless, and you can leave and go right to a meeting.”
The use of oxygen in facials has become ubiquitous, but now it’s all about cryotherapy. The treatment, which is essentially blasting the face with freezing cold air, claims to address everything from “cell metabolism” (a fancy word for energizing the cells), collagen production and inflammation.
The treatment manipulates the skin’s circulation, forcing the blood below the surface. Once the cold is gone, the blood rushes back, helping with oxygenation and brings a healthy glow to the surface. Not to mention, it feels damn good, especially on a hot day. Treatments like the Supernova Facial at the Joanna Vargas Day Spa in New York City and Los Angeles offer cryotherapy in addition to microcurrent and exfoliation for a major boost in your skin’s appearance.
When considering laser treatments, the many options these days can feel overwhelming. There are lasers for seemingly every problem, from acne to dark spots and even hair loss. If lasers are the next frontier of beauty, we’re living in the golden age. A new technology called Aerolase, according to Dr. Howe, is perfectly suited for beginners, or “the kind of guys who are hesitant to do a lot [because] you do one thing but you get multiple benefits. It can take care of everything in one sitting.”
Aerolase requires no pain medication or numbing and (in a single treatment!) can address everything from dark spots, rosacea, acne and broken capillaries. As Dr. Howe notes, “it [can be] a hair removal laser too, so we will dial down the strength or skip the beard all together” when treating men, but overall is the perfect catch-all treatment that takes less than 10 minutes.
It’s generally accepted (and anecdotally supported) that most men don’t pay a lot of attention to aging skin until it’s really obvious. As a collective group, we usually wait unti it’s too late to address issues after they’ve become visible, instead of taking the steps needed to prevent them. But if you’re in this group, all is not lost. Chances are some of the signs of aging you’re seeing can be addressed with temporary injectable filler, a treatment done on certain areas of the face to help restore lost volume.
To address drooping in the cheeks or deeper lines around the mouth and nose (common areas that men see facial aging), a hyaluronic acid filler can achieve immediate results. Ask your dermatologist if you’re a candidate and consider that a little goes a surprisingly long way. And unlike most of the other treatments on this list, fillers can last anywhere from a year to two years, depending on product and area injected.
Want to chat about injectable filler? Our trained aesthetic specialists are here to help! Get real aesthetic answers, right now from our trained specialists!
Developed by NASA in the 1970’s, LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology has now entered our medical and cosmetic vernacular as a gentle and effective treatment for a variety of issues (not to mention, it’s very social media-friendly). The therapy uses colored lights to penetrate the skin cells and stimulate production of different chemicals.
While there is a spectrum of different colors, two are especially common. Red helps reduce inflammation, soothe rosacea and calm the skin and blue helps kill bacteria deep down in the pores that can cause acne and irritation. LED therapy is completely painless and really just feels like you’re sitting under a sunlamp (without the heat and UV rays). Some places, like the New York Dermatology Group’s new Integral Health & Wellness Clinic, offer full beds of LED lights.
Bonus Treatment: Pedicure
OK, this isn’t a facial treatment (don’t @ me), but allow Dr. Howe to explain why it’s included on this list: “This isn’t really dermatology, but there is one thing a lot of guys neglect and it is their feet. Over the years, I’ve heard quite a number of women wishing that their partner would get a pedicure. I finally started doing it and it’s comfortable, it’s easy, and once you get to a certain age, trimming your own nails is like trying to snap a tea saucer. You need a professional down there! And you usually get a massage!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.