In recent years, the number of male skincare lines has boomed. Many traditionally female-oriented skincare companies have started separate male-specific lines, while new companies have launched, exclusively addressing male skin. With so many options, finding effective skincare for men has never been easier. But many guys are clueless about where to start and what to buy. Here’s how to keep it simple with your skincare and get real results.
Your skincare game plan
Follow these tips for an effective approach to a clear complexion.
- Ditch the bar soap. Many men mistakenly think that using ordinary bar soap in the shower is sufficient for facial cleansing. However, soap can actually do more harm than good by stripping your face of its natural oils. Instead, use a facial cleanser to dissolve daily dirt and grime for clear, healthy skin.
Short on time? Apply your cleanser in the shower while skin is already wet. Massage a small amount over the face and neck, rinse carefully and pat dry. After you get out of the shower, apply lotion immediately to lock in moisture.
- Scrub it off. You should exfoliate your face two to three times a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Exfoliating encourages new cell growth, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and makes shaving easier.
Today’s exfoliators feature vitamins, minerals, herbs and plant extracts. They’re designed to soften and smooth without damaging skin’s top layer.
- Remove residue. After washing your face, grease, film, dirt or soap might still remain. This is where your toner comes in: it removes any leftover residue. Pour some on a cotton ball or cotton round, and then apply it to skin with gentle strokes.
- Moisturize. Although men’s skin is often thicker and coarser than women’s, moisturizing is still an important part of a guy’s basic routine. Top on the list of reasons: environmental damage, free radicals and pollution don’t discriminate — they affect women and men of all skin types, causing dryness and damage.
If your skin is oily, simply look for an oil-free moisturizer to hydrate without causing greasiness or shine. If you have mature skin, consider an anti-aging moisturizer to combat wrinkles, dryness and other telltale signs of aging.
- Take cover from the sun. Add sunblock to your year-round routine. You’ll ward off environmental damage, prevent fine lines and wrinkles and keep yourself safe from skin cancer.
Unfortunately, many men don’t apply sunscreen daily, so they increase their risk for sunburn and skin cancer. In fact, men are twice as likely to get skin cancer and have the highest chance of dying from melanoma. That’s partially because men are less likely to wear sunscreen and don’t seek medical attention early enough.
Animal studies have also looked at whether men’s skin is more sensitive to sun damage. In one study conducted at Ohio State University, researchers compared skin cancer risk between male and female rats. Both sets underwent UV lamp sessions three times a week for six months. According to findings, “Males got skin tumors earlier, got more of them and more of the tumors were severe,” pathology professor Tatiana M. Oberyszyn, Ph.D., tells WebMD.
In addition, men often spend more time outdoors than women, thereby increasing their skin cancer risk even further. So, slather on your sunscreen every day, and don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Know thyself. Before purchasing any products, it’s important you know your skin type. Then, look for skincare that’s specifically designed for your type.
When identifying your skin type, pay attention to how it looks and feels:
- Dry skin often feels tight and can flake.
- Oily skin is typically shiny, greasy and acne-prone.
- Combination skin generally has a greasy T-zone — forehead, nose and chin — but other areas are normal or dry.
Still not sure of your type? Consult a dermatologist or esthetician.
The shopping list
So what skincare items do guys need? Check the list:
A Guy's Guide to Getting Rid of Acne
Men’s Hair Loss: Not a Losing Battle
10 Steps to a Perfect Shave