Good health is very important. If you take poor care of your body in early life, your chickens will come home to roost when you grow older. Luckily, most people nowadays are quite health conscious.
The most popular forms of health maintenance are diet and exercise – both are considered important by men and women.
Certain other forms of health maintenance are seen as masculine or feminine, and as such aren’t as ubiquitous. This is certainly the case for skin care, which is highly feminised.
The properties of skin which skincare nurtures are more traditionally associated with feminine attractiveness that with masculine attractiveness: softness, delicacy and sensuality, etc.
This is reflected in, and partially originates from, the way skincare products have been marketed historically. But while men and women do have different skin needs, physiologically speaking, the difference is slight.
The question then is how to encourage men to treat skincare as seriously as women. In our opinion, one of the main messaging misfires of male skincare products is their ambivalence about being beauty products.
This point becomes clearer when we compare male skincare to similar body-hygiene / grooming products. Let’s take shaving and hair gel, for instance.
Hair gel is unapologetically connected with grooming – with appearance. Shaving, on the other hand, is associated with discipline and certain manly ideas of presentation:
It’s less a grooming activity than a kind of ritual. Male skin care sits uncomfortably in between, and as such, it can be difficult to promote. Perhaps it’s just a matter of waiting for the Overton Window to shift.
In a decade’s time, a remiss attitude to skincare may appear ghastly – like a Victorian attitude to bathing.
Eye care is an even tougher nut to crack. Because many eye care products aren’t available with no RX (no prescription) the general perception exists that everything related to eye care is highly medical and not the sort of thing one undertakes oneself as part of a general self-care routine.
This is compounded by people’s squeamishness regarding anything to do with putting things in their eyes – for which they can hardly be blamed. The eye is one of the most delicate – and thus most pain-sensitive – parts of the human body.
But this is also why eyes must be looked after. The fact is, there are many ways to take eye care into your own hands.
You can order contact lenses online, buy non-prescription drops to keep them infection-free, and engage in eye exercise. If you do decide to buy contact lenses online, you may find a much broader range than you’d find in most shops.
In general, people’s medical literacy seems to be on the rise, although this does seem to be offset by corresponding levels narcissism, paranoia and, particularly, dietary pedantry.
Really though, this is a small price to pay for a healthier nation. And in so far as our taxes are spent on medical care, the overly cautious are saving us all extra pocket money.