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62: How Much Should Men Care About Their Skin Anyway?

Dec 01, 2020

Dermatologist Dr. Luke Johnson talks about the three reasons guys should care about their skin. Troy shares nine evidence-based ways to lead a good life. Scot talks about the link between the microbiome and a healthy immune system.

Episode Transcript

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Most men don't spend much time thinking about their skin. For the most part, we don't talk about it with other guys or buy skincare products. But should we think about it just a little bit? We asked dermatologist Dr. Luke Johnson on the show to tell us how much men should care about their skin.

At the minimum, men should protect themselves from skin cancer. If you live in Utah or anywhere with a lot of elevation, you're at higher risk of developing some form of skin cancer because there is a thinner layer of protection between you and the sun. Skin cancer is more prevalent in men than in women, so it's essential to look out for signs such as changing moles.

Dr. Johnson also reinforces that whether you're young or in your 90s, now is an excellent time to start protecting your skin. Many skin cancers start mild, but many people tend to ignore it for years until it becomes painful, and sometimes people die from their skin cancer – these can often be avoided if taken care of early on.

Your Skin Can Keep You Looking Young and Vigorous

Dr. Johnson says dermatologists don't age like the rest of us, and that's because they know exactly how to take care of their skin. Some research suggests that 80% of the appearance of facial aging is due to chronic sun exposure. The sunscreen you use for skin cancer protection is also going to make you look younger. Dr. Johnson recommends retinoids, which are found in products such as over the counter Differin gel, to reduce aging's appearance,

Your Skin Can Make You More Comfortable

If you decide you want to care about your skin a little more, consider using moisturizers. Dr. Johnson says many men think moisturizers and lotions are the same things. They are not. Moisturizers add moisture to your skin and prevent all the moisture from leaving your skin. Moisturizers exist in many different forms. Some are thin and come out of a bottle, thick creams that get scooped out of a jar, ointments, oils, and butters. The thicker the moisturizer is, the more effective it is at keeping moisture in your skin. Both Dr. Johnson and Troy use Vaseline. Troy admitted he puts Vaseline on his hands and wears cotton gloves to bed to combat damage from hand sanitizing and dry air.

How often should men have a skin exam?

Dr. Johnson's view is that everyone should do at least one full-body skin check. Men can get one in their 20s for risk assessment and to establish a baseline. After that, any new developments would be worth mentioning to someone, even if they do turn out to be benign.

Dr. Johnson recommends the wide-brimmed hats to protect your neck and ears, sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater applied generously and reapplied every 90 minutes or so, or long-sleeved UPF sun-protective clothing.

Nine Evidence-Based Guidelines for a Good Life

Troy shared the article "Nine Evidence-Based Guidelines for a Good Life" he found in Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Scot and Troy talked about each one and how it applied to them. Here are the nine points that the article states will lead to a better life:

  1. Exercise your body and brain every day.
  2. Gratitude
  3. See others' points of view (Scot jokingly disagrees)
  4. People, not things, make you happy.
  5. Work to earn to live. Don't live for your work.
  6. "It's not all about me." (Scot is the exception to this one)
  7. (Troy may have skipped number 7. Find it in this article.
  8. Use conscious reasoning to make the changes you want slowly.
  9. When stressed, process your worries consciously.

Just Going to Leave This Here

Scot talks about how eating more vegetables have noticeably improved how he feels, and Troy is trying his best to get psyched up for winter.

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