Gone are the days when skincare was only something that women cared about, as men of all ages are now being told to develop and embrace their very own skincare routine.
Men’s skincare doesn’t differ much to what women have been doing for centuries, but there are some imperative parts of the regime that you’ll want to cover if you decide it’s time to start taking care of one of your most important assets.
What does men’s skin care entail and what can you do as part of your everyday routine?
A basic men’s skincare routine should include cleansing and moisturizing the skin as well as exfoliation and facial hair care now and then as well.
There are specific products man for men’s skin but it’s important to shop for your skin type, whether that be oily, dry or combination.
Skincare doesn’t just have to be something that concerns women, and nor should it be. Having a solid skincare routine can make a huge difference in your everyday presentation but also ensure you’re preventing premature aging.
Just a few minutes a day will be worth a lifetime of good skin and a matter of looking a whole lot younger than you actually are.
This is the ultimate men’s guide to skincare with everything you need to develop your routine and find products that are going to suit your skin type to a T.
Whether you’re an absolute novice in skincare or have been dabbling in different products over the years, this will help you put a plan into place and develop a complexion that you’ll be proud of well into old age.
The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Skin
It might seem at times that men and women come from different planets and if you’re comparing their skin specifically, this is kind of true.
The key difference between men and women’s skin is the presence of facial hair which means there’s a whole range of products and procedures that we have to worry about that the average woman doesn’t.
Our skin differs in another way as well, as that’s the structural makeup. According to skincare brand Dermalogica, the presence of androgen, or testosterone, makes men’s skin thicker.
This additional thickness of around 25 percent means their skin is tougher and the texture is rougher as well.
The way that men product sebum, which is the oil that comes from the pores, is also different. For men, sebum is produced in far greater amounts and it means they can be more prone to acne but also suffer from acne that just never seems to go away.
Men do have one advantage though, and that’s their collagen density. Collagen is responsible for the firmness and plumpness of skin and men are said to have a higher density level.
This means a man and woman of the same age will have skin that’s 15 years apart in terms of age, with men fairing better.
However, because most men neglect to take care of their skin and perform basic care like sun protection, this benefit of younger-looking skin has been wasted.
With all of this in mind and a clear understanding of the scientific facts, what other reason do men need to take care of their skin?
These days, the market for men’s skincare is huge and there are some great products out there that keep it simple and enjoyable to do.
With just a little time spent each morning and evening, you’ll see major results, and it’ll be specifically targeted to the unique needs of men.
A Basic Routine for Soft Skin
A solid routine for everyday skincare is something that every man should have. It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin and the more effort you put in now, the better the dividends will pay off for you in the future.
Follow these steps for an everyday skin routine that’ll leave your skin soft and protected, and add anything else you might find necessary.
The foundation of any good skin routine is a cleanser, and this part of the process is about washing the day off, just like you do with your body when you step into the shower.
However, a good facial cleanser or wash shouldn’t leave your face completely squeaky clean otherwise it can lead to other problems.
You don’t want to strip away the good oils from your face otherwise it’ll lose its natural moisture but you do want to get rid of the dirt and grime that’s been built up.
Although moisturizing is a single step in our routine, there are actually a couple of parts to it. If you’re a total newbie you might want to start basic with a good, everyday facial moisturizer.
Be sure to choose one that offers SPF protection, though. To take it a step further, you can add things like a serum that offers a richer and deeper moisturization or a night cream or eye cream to give overnight moisture.
Exfoliation doesn’t need to be done every day, in fact, it’s better not to, so aim for this at least once a week and maybe twice. An exfoliator will take off any dead skin cells and give your pores a deeper clean.
Not only does it clean but it means the other skincare products you use will be more effective, so it’s a great two for one deal. After an exfoliation, this would be an ideal time to apply your face serum or night cream for optimal results.
Facial Hair and Other Bumps and Irritations
Men need to take extra care with their face thanks to other parts of their daily routine like shaving, and the existence of other bumps and irritations.
Regular shaving can lead to things like ingrown hairs, pimples, and razor burn, as well as the need for conditioning and cleaning of your beard, so you’ll need additional products to treat it.
A basic benzoyl peroxide wash or salicylic acid will be great for evening out the skin, removing ingrown hairs, and treating folliculitis, which are all common effects of shaving.
Salicylic acid is better used before shaving as an exfoliant if you have sensitive skin, whereas benzoyl peroxide is harsher but better at getting rid of the bacteria that lead to pimples and other bumps.
Making the switch to an electric razor can be beneficial in treating ingrown hairs as well, especially for men who have sensitive skin that only gets worse after shaving.
The addition of an aftershave, cooling gel or beard balm will calm things down after your haircare treatment and keep the open follicles protected throughout the day.
What Products Should Men Use on Their Face?
Skincare has always been a pretty heavily saturated market and the confusion that it causes not knowing where to even begin means men have usually avoided it altogether.
As well as being overpopulated, skincare was always kind of seen as ‘women’s business’ and so the market for men’s products was small.
There are some products that every man should have in their possession to take care of their skin.
These products cover every need including protection from the sun and premature aging, keys to a better complexion, reduction in acne, and just about everything else.
Check them out to see if your skin could benefit from a few of these products:
A daily facial cleanser removes the buildup of dirt, sunscreen, pollution, oils, and other debris from the skin. They do a gentle exfoliation and unclog pores, giving them a soft clean.
There are different types of cleanser including foaming gels, micellar waters, face wash, and oils, all designed for certain skin types. Cleansing should be done twice a day, but if you only want to do it once then at the end of the day is best.
Regardless of your job or what you do each day, you should always have UV protection as part of your skincare routine.
Most forms of SPF protection also offer moisturization but not always, so check the label. SPF 50+ is a good minimum to aim for and can be applied throughout the day if you plan on being in the sun.
A daily moisturizer helps to keep the skin plump, prevent dryness, and might also offer SPF protection.
Apply a moisturizer after your morning shave and another at night, preferably one made for night time like a serum or cream.
A mask is done periodically to provide extra care for your skin.
Masks have different purposes including hydrating, removing impurities, and reducing pore size. Whenever you feel it’s necessary, you can apply a mask for extra treatment at home.
A good skin toner is applied after a cleanser and its role is to get rid of excess dirt and oil that are still trapped in your pores, as well as balancing pH levels.
Toner can be used twice a day if needed but for people with sensitive or dry skin, this use should be limited to a few times a week.
Many products provide exfoliation, which is an important part of any skincare routine. An exfoliant will remove dead skin from your face, unclog pores, and allow other products to be better absorbed by the skin.
There are different types of exfoliants including physical exfoliants that use abrasive granules, chemical exfoliants like the popular alpha-hydroxy acid, and enzymatic exfoliants for sensitive skin.
Facial hair care
Hair care is a special part of a skincare routine that men have to worry about, and depending on your facial hair situation you’ll probably have something specific.
There are beard balms and conditioners for moisture, beard shampoos for cleaning, and aftershaves and other shaving products for protection and soothing.
Choosing Specific Products for Your Skin Type
Our skin is a complex body part and the largest organ we have, and for each of us, it’s as unique as we are.
Understanding your specific skin type is the key to knowing which products will work for you and what other aspects of a skincare routine might be needed.
Some people might have dry skin and others oily, and there are plenty of other types in between.
One reason why not just men but all people, avoid skincare and beauty products is a lack of understanding about their individual skin type and what they need for it.
Therefore, it’s important to take the time to learn about your skin type and the products it needs so your overall complexion is improved and any underlying problems it has are fixed.
Dry skin can normally be determined by a tight feeling, and there might even be patches of scaly skin.
It’s common to have dry skin in winter or colder climates but other lifestyle factors including excess alcohol and caffeine, heating and air conditioning, low water intake, and hormones can all lead to less moisture on the skin.
Dry skin requires more frequent exfoliation to remove the dead skin and treatments with serums and moisturizers containing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and emollients.
Oily skin is easy to diagnose as you’ll usually feel and see the excess oil. The problem with oily skin is that pores are more prone to clogging and inflammation so you need the right products to target it.
Choosing a gentle enzymatic exfoliation can prevent this without irritating the skin, and a daily moisturizer is required to prevent your skin from overproducing its own oil.
Also known as ‘normal skin’, combination skin can include parts that are oily and dry.
Basic skincare including a daily moisturizer with limited exfoliation will be helpful, and choosing gel or serum-based moisturizers will yield the results.
If you’re a man who’s attempted to implement a skincare routine before, only to find you broke out in a rash or had some weird side effects, you might have sensitive skin.
Your goal will be to find gentle products without fragrances or too many harsh ingredients, giving your skin a milder treatment that will still offer great results.
How to Test What Type of Skin You Have
Before any man can implement a basic skincare routine, they need to know what skin type they have.
Thankfully, testing this out is easy to do and it’ll mean you only choose products that are going to bring out the best results. Try this simple test at home to see which direction to go in for men’s skincare products.
- Use a piece of blotting paper to dab on different areas of your face including forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks.
- Examine the paper after you’ve dabbed it to see how much oil is on it.
- A small amount or zero oil on the paper means you have dry skin.
- Oil picked up on the nose and forehead means combination skin.
- A saturated piece of blotting paper means oily skin.
Over time, skin changes, so part of its daily care will mean checking in with your skin to see how it’s doing.
You might need to change products or add something into your routine, so it takes long term commitment to have a good skincare routine.
Developing a good skincare routine is something every man needs to prioritize.
If you’re totally new to the world of skincare and beauty routines you probably feel a little lost, so we’ve answered some common questions that newcomers have about men’s skincare that could be beneficial.
What Causes Wrinkles in Men?
There are a few causes of wrinkles in men that can be prevented with the right care and others that can’t be avoided.
UV damage from the sun, smoking cigarettes, weight fluctuations, and hormones can all attribute to wrinkles which can lead to premature aging so it’s important to address them in your skincare routine.
When Should Men Start Using Anti-Aging Products?
Anti-aging products aren’t just for older men, and they will have better results than if they started earlier in life.
Products containing ingredients like antioxidants can be used from around 21 years old, but the key is still to find those that work with your skin type so that you don’t add further dryness to your complexion.
Can Men Use Women’s Skincare Products?
Although men and women have different structural makeup when it comes to skin, that doesn’t mean they can’t share skincare products.
Even products marketed to women can still be beneficial for men, provided you are only using those that suit your skin type, but it’s usually better to stick to the specific products made for you.