If you type the word “skincare” into Google, you will be flooded with websites, blogs, news articles, and advertisements with millions of products and advice targeting women of all ages. You may also quickly notice that very few (if any!) of these articles provide advice that aim to educate men on how they should be taking care of their skin.
Women have long used skincare habits and products as a way to boost confidence before the day or to decompress before bed, and are educated on how-to early on––yet the benefits of skincare apply to ALL genders. If fellas aren’t already following suit–they should, and ASAP!
Developing a routine can seem daunting if you don’t know what to do or use, so fear not: we’re here to help!
WHAT’S TO CONSIDER:
Firstly, it’s important to note that, because of hormonal differences as well as their shaving habits, men's facial care differs slightly from women’s skincare routines—but the essentials remain similar.
Secondly, it’s important that everyone, including men, get to know their skin type.
- Normal skin isn’t prone to breakouts, doesn’t react to product use with redness and itch, and isn’t dehydrated or oily
- Dry skin is flaky, itchy or rough (important to note the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin)
- Sensitive skin may sting or redden after product use and reacts better to fragrance-free products
- Oily skin is prone to breakouts and is quick to feel greasy
- Combination is dry in some areas and oily in others
Ethnicity may also affect your skin type and skin care needs. For example, African-American men tend to have more ingrown hairs due to the natural curl of the hair, which can cause irritation and blemishes. According to Dr. William Kwan, a board-certified dermatologist and ethnic skincare expert in San Francisco, California, Asian and Hispanic men are more prone to irregular skin pigmentation. “They should be careful of sun exposure and perhaps add a skin-brightening product to their regimen”, he adds.
STEP 1: CLEANSE
A mild foaming cleanser both in the evening (to wash off sweat and debris accumulated throughout the day) and in the morning/before shaving will help reduce surface oil. Make sure to use lukewarm water. And dear men, please, for the love of skincare: bar soaps often contain harsh ingredients that can be drying to the skin. Ditch the soap!
STEP 2: REPAIR
Whether someone wears makeup or not, skin takes a beating over time (think UV rays, air pollution, industrial chemicals, and other oxidative stresses). Therefore, anyone will benefit from a treatment serum that is designed to combat these negative side effects.
Apply after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Here are a few of our favorites:
IS CLINICAL PRO HEALTH SERUM $205.40
YONKA PARIS HYDRA + $68
SKINCEUTICALS BLEMISH + AGE DEFENSE $112
We can’t forget that shaving is one of the most common causes of skin irritation, which explains why many men suffer from breakouts and ingrown hairs caused by razor burn (as opposed to breakouts caused by fluctuating hormones, like many women experience).
A salicylic acid lotion or cleanser will help treat most bumps and help to chemically exfoliate the skin. If sensitive skin and irritation are frequent when shaving, an electric razor is a good option to consider.
One more time for the people in the back: Moisturize. Daily. Even oily skin needs to be hydrated! In fact, many men with oily skin neglect moisturizing as they believe it will make things worse, when it actually helps to rebalance your skin’s natural oil production.
Moisturizing regularly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and will make your skin look brighter. For the best results, apply moisturizer to your face and body immediately after bathing, showering or shaving while the skin is still damp.
VIVIER SKIN DAILY AGE-DEFYING MOISTURIZER $82
YONKA PARIS CREAM 15 $62
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST...SPF
UV rays do not discriminate between gender or ethnicity: it ages everyone! The best bet for protecting any skin type and keeping a youthful glow is to wear an SPF 30 everyday, whether you step outside or not.
IMAGE SKIN CARE PREVENTION+ DAILY HYDRATING MOISTURIZER SPF 30+ $76
ELTAMD UV CLEAR BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 46 $64
So, what happens when men ditch the drying drugstore bar soaps, their 3-in-1 washes and commit to their beauty routines?
Kwan advises that “men-specific products are nice, but many skin care products are unisex and typically are suitable for men and women”. Therefore, there is no need for men to shy away from the best products even if they aren’t specifically labeled “for men”.
A simple skincare regimen can become a huge part of what you do for your well-being, no matter the gender. And, just like with anything we do and expect results, skin care requires consistency–so there’s no better time to start than today.
See you next week, and until then: show this to a man in your life!