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After years of doing nothing about flaky skin and blackheads, men are finally starting to inch their way to the cosmetic counter. Here's a quick guide for men on how to start a skincare routine.

Your skin care routine depends upon your type of skin. How do you determine your skin type? Simple. One  morning, right after waking up, blot your face with a tissue and check. If you see oily blotches all over, your skin's oily. If no oil blotches are seen, your skin is either dry or normal. If your skin doesn't feel taut or dry and stretched after washing, you have normal skin. 

If your skin is oily, you should ensure you wash your face often with a mildly astringent face wash. If you have normal skin, you can use any product you  choose, as long as it is not for oily skin. 

If you  have oily skin, or dry skin, you should be careful about what you choose to shave with. If your skin is dry avoid aftershave toners and astringents and use moisturisers instead. If your skin is oily, go for a lathering shaving cream or aerosol foam. Do use an aftershave, it will combat the oiliness. 

Shaving can make your skin feel dry and itchy so make sure you use a moisturising shave gel to soften your stubble and make it easier to shave off.

Your skin care routine should be simple and effective, and this does include the three essentials of skin care, which is cleansing, toning and moisturising. Choose your mode of keeping your skin clean, whether it is with a face wash or a soap. 

Ideally, you should wash your face or cleanse your face twice a day. Toning usually is part of the post shave process, with the application of aftershave or toner. If your skin is dry, you must moisturise your face after cleansing. Do use a sunscreen during the day, it blocks out both tanning sunrays and pollution. For our tropical climate, ensure that the sunscreen you use has a minimum SPF of 30 and is oil-free. 

In the evening, before retiring, do clean your face again either with a simple foaming face wash or if you feel the need, with a cleanser, which removes all the dirt and grime that settles on the skin. Moisturise your skin before retiring. 

Once a week, do exfoliate your skin with either a scrub or a face pack depending upon your skin type. A man's skin does get exfoliated to a certain extent daily thanks to shaving, but a skin scrub can tackle those ugly blackheads and open pores. If your skin tends to become dry and flaky in winter, make sure you use a light daytime moisturiser as well as one during the night. If you cant be bothered with a day and a night moisturiser, choose one that suits your skin and stick to it.

Your skin can only benefit with some care. An occasional pampering clean up or a facial will do wonders to keep your skin clear and glowing with health.

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