Look handsome without overcomplicating your grooming routine. From fighting pimples to wrinkles and everything else in between, discover how to handle skincare like a man – without throwing in the towel.
It’s time to invest in your beauty, just as you would when shopping for a new suit.
Now, I know there are an endless number of men’s treatment products out there, and the whole process seems over complicated.
However, the truth is, it’s remarkably straightforward to get better skin. In fact, I’m going to show you how in five steps so you can get started with your regimen.
Plus, I’ll teach you some of the best is tips for men that I’ve learned over the years.
If you’ve ever wanted to achieve an attractive and glowing skin that women and others notice, here’s precisely what you need to know.
Skincare Routine for Men
When to Cleanse:
Aim to cleanse at least once per day, do so in the PM. Treat your skin to this step on a daily basis.
For skin that is super oily in the morning, cleanse in the AM.
For skin that’s dry or dehydrated, wash your face with only water in the morning. (AM) Limit cleansing to the PM.
If you’re turning up the temperature in your shower to scorching hot and using a harsh soap or face scrub, you’re doing more harm than good for your skin. This process is like unleashing a destructive army upon your face. And there’s no doubt about it, it will get you clean, yet it’s far from gentle, which is what you need.
The right cleanser, a gentle one, won’t make your skin dry or appear wrinkly. It will, however, remove any accumulated residue, dirt, and excess oils from your skin. Think of it as the proper way to prep your skin for the next treatment products.
Try RUGGED & DAPPER’s Daily Face Wash and Scrub Cleanser for Men. It’s a face wash and exfoliator that contains Vitamin C and aloe vera.
How Do You Tell If Your Cleanser Is Too Harsh For Your Skin?
It’s easy; there are a few telltale signs like skin that feels tight, squeaky, and uncomfortable. You might also notice more blackheads too. Remember, your skin’s natural PH balance is around 4.5 – 5. If your cleanser has too high of an alkaline, you’ll notice more irritation and breakouts.
Tips to Know:
Splashing cold water on your face after you cleanse is a popular myth. It won’t close your pores or help to keep the gunk out.
If you’re having issues with your face, whether it be red bumps/patches appearing or roughness, stop using your tools. Put down the washcloth, sponges, etc. and only use your hands to scrub for 2-3 weeks. You may potentially notice a difference, and within time can bring these tools back into your routine gradually. If that doesn’t work, consider switching from a physical to a chemical exfoliant. I’ll cover this in more detail below.
When to Exfoliate:
Once or twice per week. Gradually increase the number of times per week if your skin seems to tolerate it. If your skin appears irritated or dull, reduce the frequency back down.
Generally, for most men with oily skin, this will be twice a week. However, for men with dry skin, exfoliating should be done only once per week.
When you exfoliate, you remove and slough off the built-up dead skin cells and gunk from your body. By facilitating a normal skin-cell turnover rate, your skin will become less dry. Not to mention, it also assists in unclogging your pores and plays a vital role in preventing ingrown hairs when you shave.
But keep in mind, don’t try to scrub magically away blackheads and acne when exfoliating, it doesn’t work like that. Even though it can, at times, it can almost feel like it should.
And just like cleansing, consider exfoliating to be another step in preparation for your next skincare products. Exfoliating will allow them to penetrate deeper.
The Two Types of Exfoliates: Manual (Physical) and Chemical
For most men, a chemical exfoliant is going to be the best course of action. However, to avoid irritation, it must be done correctly.
Here’s what you should know about the two:
Often physical exfoliants will be harsher on the face, and you may notice they don’t remove skin cells as evenly. Plus, if you apply too much force, you can damage your moisture barrier, which promotes acne growth.
With that said, I’d like to tell you a little more about chemical exfoliates.
Now, the chemical treatments will do a few things quite brilliantly: improve your skin tone, remove closed comedones (clogged pores), and of course, battle acne.
How they work is simple: AHAs, including lactic and glycolic acid, weaken the bond between dead skin cells, so they shed right away. You’ll notice a brighter more radiant skin as a result. There’s also BHAs or salicylic acid, which penetrate deeply to splinter sebum thanks to their soluble lipid nature.
Tips to Know:
If you start with an AHA, chemical exfoliant like Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser, it is essential to add sun protection to your routine. What happens is the AHAs will make your skin more sensitive to the sun causing things like wrinkles, pigmentation spots and certainly sunburn too.
With a chemical exfoliant, most men should start first with a lower percentage. Understand that a higher percentage, while seeming more powerful, will not speed up the process or magically produce overnight results. Slow down unless you’re prepared to deal with long-term skin damage and problematic issues down the road.
In my next guide, I’ll teach you incredible shaving tips, but just know that if you want a better shave, you must exfoliate before shaving. Remember, after whacking your face with the razor blade, your skin is already super sensitive as it is. One of the worst things you can do is to put it through a second war. It will show you back signs of defeat with redness and irritation.
3. Spot Treatments and Masks
When to Use Them:
As needed. Consider them as going the extra mile in your skincare efforts.
You can use a spot treatment over or under your moisturizer, whichever works best for you.
Why Use Spot Treatments:
Investing a bit further in your skincare routine will help with things like acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, etc.
Let’s say you have a gruesome pimple; a spot treatment can help you avoid picking at it. Because when you do, you’re not only spreading bacteria, but you’re also running the risk of permanent acne scars. The truth is a good spot treatment will have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties too.
Speaking of acne, if you use a benzoyl peroxide cream like Touch Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%, allow it to soak for several minutes before rinsing it off. What you want is for it to soak in deep enough. Here’s where most men rush the process and end up eliminating the effectiveness, don’t do that.
Another thing to consider is the % of benzoyl peroxide. 2.5% is a great way to start out, but just be aware there are some side effects like redness, dryness, and sensitivity that can occur. Back when I was dealing with acne, I could care less about the side effects as long as the pimples were gone.
What I realized was the stronger percentage of benzoyl peroxide, the better the results. So, I continually and gradually increased it. Eventually, I started using 10%, which was the highest I could easily purchase at the time. Needless to say, it worked wonders.
But remember, this all depends on your skin type. For some men, benzoyl peroxide is not even an option. Sulfur ointment and creams, however, can be an excellent alternative and a tad less harsh.
You can also try using clay masks to help clean out your pores and reduce acne.
You can also use Vitamin C/antioxidant serums like M3 Naturals Professional Facial Vitamin C for a boost in any anti-aging skincare routine. These topical antioxidants offer photoprotection and block oxidation and inflammation. Plus, Vitamin C can play a role in ramping up collagen production too. Add in ferulic acid and the results can often be twice as effective.
You’ll want to apply them underneath your sunscreen. Both in the morning AM and night PM, while storing them in the fridge when not in use to keep the formula stable. (Usually, they last a few months before turning a dark brown color)
There are also retinoids, which can be used for treating things like acne and hyper-pigmentation, plus anti-aging purposes too. How they work is by sloughing off dead skin cells so they don’t clump together and clog your pores. It may seem simple enough. However, the scientific understanding of their precise function is super sophisticated.
There are all sorts of different types of retinoids, yet all of them are various forms of Vitamin A. Some you can purchase over the counter while others required seeing a dermatologist and getting a prescription.
Tips to Know:
Avoid doing anything that damages your capillaries. In other words, don’t squeeze pimples and blackheads if you want flawless skin in the long run. What do you in your twenties will affect how you look in your forties and beyond.
If you succumbed to temptation and just had to pick a pimple, put a triple antibiotic ointment on the blemish. It can significantly help speed up the healing process and ensure a lower chance of scarring.
When to Moisturize:
Anytime you clean your face, including right after you take a shower.
If you don’t want your face to feel like sandpaper to the touch, then you must moisturize. It’s a vital key to achieving soft, supple, and healthy skin.
Understand that whenever you cleanse your skin, you’re also stripping away all the natural and beneficial moisture produced by your body. It’s essential to replenish that lost supply because otherwise, you start encountering things like dry, dehydrated, dull, and sensitive skin.
Should you go without moisturizing after using benzoyl peroxide or chemical exfoliates, for example, you’ll only make matters worse.
Tips to Know:
For men with oily skin who don’t want a shine caused by moisturizing, try a gel instead. If the gel doesn’t work for you, try a light lotion or occlusive (water trapping ingredient).
If your skin doesn’t feel hydrated after moisturizing, or should it burn or tingle, stop and check the ingredients. You’ll need to switch to a different skincare product. However, should that still not work, you have another option to consider. Sleep with a humidifier at night while using an occlusive like Vaseline. Put it on your driest areas before you go to bed.
Argan and mineral oil, ceramides, aloe, shea butter, and petrolatum (Vaseline) can help when nothing else works to combat your dryness. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, quercetin, and niacinamide, can give your skin a boost too, year-round.
You can use Vaseline with your moisturizer. Aim for ingredient lists that have high humectants, usually glycerin, then hyaluronic acid and squalane. They’ll help retain moisture while Vaseline and mineral oil will help lock it in.
Certain moisturizers have formulas with sunscreen included, keep an eye out for that.
When to apply sunscreen: On a daily basis, no exceptions. All seasons including the Winter too.
You’ll want to use a sunscreen with a bare minimum SPF of 15, however, aim for 30 SPF and upwards. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 55 is a good choice.
Apply 1/4 TSP to your face, and other 1/4 TSP to your neck. Keep in mind this is a typical face size; every man’s needs will differ.
Why You Need Sunscreen:
Sunscreen is essential if you want to prevent dry, wrinkled, and discolored skin over the course of the time. With exposure from the to the sun’s detrimental ultraviolet rays, you’ll notice a thicker, leathery skin tone. However, that is not exactly a good thing. The truth is your skin will be weaker and be prone to bruising more easily.
Plus, just think of all the times your face gets exposed to the sun. From the window by your office desk to the drive home in the car, harmful rays will find you.
If you take the right precautions when it comes to using sunscreen, there are some added perks. Sunscreen can slow down the process of premature again skin and reduce things like blotchiness and red facial veins too.
Tips to Know:
Regardless if your sunscreen is waterproof, it’s not still people-proof. Most men have a habit of wiping the sweat away from their face. Remember to re-apply it often.
If you’re going to spend an entire day outdoors, plan on bumping up the SPF. If you typically use an SPF 15, go with an SPF 30 instead.
If you want to age-proof your skincare routine, it’s essential to use a sunscreen with the highest PPD (persistent pigment darkening) value your skin can tolerate. (Also understand that Burning is UVB while aging is UVA).
When it comes to anti-aging products, the most important of them all is sunscreen. Understand that the sun is responsible for 80% of visible aging when it comes to men’s skin. Retinoids, niacinamide, vitamin C, etc. are still, however, to use in your routine; just don’t forget the sunscreen.
Additional Skincare Tips
Toner can be quite confusing for some men, considering that there’s no real way to define what it truly means. At the end of the day, it’s only a liquid product for your skin. This can be in the form of glycerin and hyaluronic acid for hydrating, or AHA and BHA for exfoliating.
Between AHA and BHA, you’ll find that BHA, a lipid-soluble, can cut through sebum and oils while AHA cannot since it’s water-soluble. If you’re going to use an AHA, use a BHA before to help it penetrate more efficiently.
Pricing and Different Brands:
Don’t limit yourself to just one brand, unless, of course, you want to. The truth is you can mix up products from different brands and create a perfect skincare regimen designed for your particular needs.
You should also recognize that particular manufacturers will re-label their female products and re-market them towards men. Don’t ever feel ashamed to use a product that claims it’s for women. And when it comes to price, don’t always assume the higher the price, the more efficient it will be. Trust the ingredients above all else.
For Men with Oily Skin:
Keep an astringent pad with you to wipe off all the excessive oils during lunchtime – these cotton rounds will do the trick.
Treat Your Body Better:
You are what you eat, which means the health of your skin is also affected the diet choices you make. Choose fruits and proteins over fried fatty foods. Watch your water consumption too. Aim to get a healthy night’s rest between seven to nine hours per night. A lack of sleep will show all-around your eyes. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol if you can.
For Men with Dry Lips and Skin:
Try taking fish oil or omega-3 supplements (see some at GNC here).
Steer clear of any lip balms or chapsticks that give off a cooling sensation. Most often, they’ll claim they are medicated and have citrus oil. When applied to your lips, it can often make them drier once you stop using them.
Use the gentlest men’s skincare options. You’ll avoid inflammation.
Skincare for Men FAQs
Is there a simple and basic skincare routine to follow when you are limited on time?
Absolutely. If you don’t want to spend too much time but want to make sure to have a good skincare routine in place, you can simply wash your face at night with soap and then rinse your face in the morning with water. Always use a serum after shaving and moisturize with SPF during the day.
What are the key rules when it comes to choosing skincare products for men?
When finding the right skincare products for men, it is important to understand the skin type. You should also never just rely on how the packaging looks either. Instead, read the ingredient label to see what it is you are going to be using. Finally, consider your ethnicity. Asian and Hispanic men, for example, may be more prone to irregular skin pigmentation while African American men may have to deal with more ingrown hairs.
How do you deal with bumps and ingrown hairs?
When you find bumps on your skin and ingrown hairs, you can use salicylic acid. It is a gentle exfoliant that isn’t too harsh for the skin. You can also use benzoyl peroxide to help fight any bacteria.
Salicylic acid is a pre-shave exfoliant as well that can help remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface as well as your pores. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory agent as well as an antioxidant that can help with any redness and damage.
Benzoyl peroxide can help the bumps on the skin by dealing with any bacteria. However, it can also be harsh for the skin if the skin is too sensitive.
How much do men really care about skincare?
When it comes to men’s grooming products, the market is projected to grow significantly over the coming years. This tells us that more men are beginning to care about their skincare routine and how healthy their skin is. Having a good men’s skincare routine in place can also ultimately help with a person’s self-image and performance while boosting their confidence.
Does the order of your skincare routine matter?
When following through with a skincare routine, it is recommended that you focus first on the products that are meant to protect the skin during the day, including SPF, BB, and CC creams. At night, focus on correcting the skin by using heavier moisturizers and retinol products.
How do you know when a cleanser is too harsh for the skin?
You will know when a cleanser is too harsh or is not working for your skin type if you start breaking out, you get a rash, your skin begins to feel tight, it looks greasy or feels greasy, and the skin condition you are trying to treat actually gets worse instead of better.