Take the complexity out of skin care with this guide to skin types, the best products, and the when/how to use them. (And there’s a handy infographic to help you get up to speed quicker.)
A lot of guys think skin care is only necessary when they have a specific issue – acne, redness, wrinkles, or other typical skin care concerns. While certain men’s skin care products can help with isolated issues, a daily skin care routine will prevent them in the first place.
Your skin is your largest organ; like any other part of your body, it needs daily preventative measures to keep it healthy. This is no different than weight lifting, cardio, and eating right to keep your body in shape.
A daily skin care routine will benefit you now by keeping skin firm, clear, and bright. Things just get better years from now, when everyone else is starting to wrinkle and you’re not.
LEARN YOUR SKIN TYPE
Most guys don’t know their skin type. Frankly, many guys don’t even realize skin has “types”. Learning your skin type is the first step in taking care of your skin (and is pretty easy too).
WHICH OF THESE FIVE BASIC SKIN TYPES MOST RESEMBLES YOU?
- Normal: Your skin stays oil free most of the day and doesn’t get irritated or dry easily. Acne is rarely an issue.
- Oily Skin: Your skin has oily patches and a natural shine to it. You often get acne or build up.
- Dry/Sensitive Skin: Your skin gets easily irritated all over and frequently feels tight or dry.
- Combination: Imagine your face has a “T” on it. The horizontal bar goes across your forehead – the vertical bar runs down to the tip of your nose. This is called the T zone. Guys who have combination skin have an oily T zone but dry/sensitive skin on the rest of their face (primarily the cheeks).
- Aging Skin: Your skin looks weathered, is wrinkled, and has age spots. You have spent many years not taking care of your skin.
Once you know your skin type, things get a lot easier. Use men’s skin care products that match your skin type as you follow the skin care routine detailed below. Most product packaging indicates the skin type it’s been made for.
WHEN: MORNING & NIGHT
Every morning, wash your face with a men’s facial cleanser that is made for your skin type. Cleansing first thing in the morning refreshes you by removing dull skin and impurities.
Before you go to bed, wash your face to prevent oil and other pore-clogging bacteria from sitting on your face all night.
Wash your face in the shower or splash warm water over your face before washing. This opens up the pores and helps remove any deep-down impurities.
As you apply the face wash, gently rub in circles. Don’t rub vigorously – facial skin is very sensitive.
When you’re done, rinse with cool water to close the pores and then pat dry. Never rub your face dry – stretching the skin can introduce premature wrinkles.
After washing, your face should feel clean, but not too clean or tight. Tightness is a sign of excessively dry skin – which can cause irritation, acne, premature wrinkles, and excess oil production.
Never wash your face with bar soap. No matter what type of soap you use, natural or generic, the ingredients are too harsh for the face.
You wouldn’t put diesel in a gasoline fuel tank, would you? So why use the wrong product and cause undue harm to one of your biggest assets, your face?
Washing your face more than twice a day is completely unnecessary. We’re talking to you, guys with oily skin. Over-washing sets your sebum glands (the skin’s oil glands) go into overdrive, creating excess oil.
A NOTE ABOUT TONER:
Some guys may ask why we didn’t suggest using toner post-wash. The fact is, most men don’t need toner.
Toner adjusts your skin’s pH balance post-cleanse. However, your skin naturallyreadjusts your pH balance. If you use an appropriate face wash for your skin type, a toner is really unnecessary.
Scrubbing (exfoliating) your face should be done 1 – 3 times a week after cleansing your face, depending on your skin type. Guys with oily-type skin should exfoliate more often, while men with sensitive/dry skin should do it less often.
A men’s face scrub is an extremely versatile product – not only is it important to a skin care regimen, but it’s the secret weapon you’ve been missing in your shave routine too.
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and other build up on your skin. That helps new, healthier skin cells reveal themselves, improving your complexion. Guys with oily skin probably don’t need to be told this, but the less build-up on your skin, the fewer clogged pores and breakouts you’ll have.
Before a shave, scrub the shave area. This discourages ingrown hairs and bumps. Not enough men take the time to prepare their skin before shaving.
You want your facial hair to be protruding as high above the skin as possible, allowing for a cleaner cut and preventing it from growing back into the skin. A men’s face scrub will do this.
Using a face scrub is a lot like using a face wash. Wet your face beforehand with warm water and use a small amount of scrub, gently rubbing in circles around your entire face (or shave area).
Focus on areas where dead skin and build up primarily occur – the nose, forehead, and neck. When done, rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.
Never use a scrub more than three times a week and only once a day. Guys have a tendency to go overboard with face scrub because it “feels like something is happening” when using it.
Take it easy – overusing a scrub can cause dryness, irritation, and excess oil production.
WHEN: MORNING & NIGHT
Hydrating the face, or moisturizing, is nothing more than applying a men’s face moisturizer to your skin.
Moisturizing offers a plethora of benefits: it makes the skin firmer, prevents water loss, and has an anti-aging effect.
As you age (even in your early 20’s), your skin’s cells can’t hold as much moisture as they used to – mostly because your body produces steadily fewer skin proteins (collagen).
Moisturizing delivers hydration and essential nutrients to skin cells so they can continue to look full, delivering a youthful, healthy face.
After washing or scrubbing your face and thoroughly patting dry, apply a men’s face moisturizer over your entire face. Take special care to hydrate around the forehead and eyes.
You only need a little bit of product and there’s no need to vigorously rub it in. If you have dry skin, you may need to reapply a small amount again in the afternoon. Guys with oily skin – don’t skip the hydration step.
Using just a small amount of face moisturizer every day will keep oil in check and reduce blemishes.
WHEN: MORNING & NIGHT
What’s the easiest way to have great looking skin your entire life? Prevention. Unfortunately, most guys think of their skin last when it comes to overall physical health.
Preventing skin issues starts with protecting yourself from the sun and fighting off the aging process.
SPF: If you will be in the sun for longer than 30 minutes, use sunscreen on all exposed parts of your skin. Nothing will age and damage your skin faster than the sun. Make sure to use sunscreen that has at least SPF 15.
Most sunscreens – even “natural” versions – are made with some pretty suspect chemicals and ingredients. When coming inside for the day, it’s best to wash the sunscreen off.
Eye Cream: Like to stay up late? Often have dark circles or bags under your eyes? Men’s eye cream is your secret weapon for looking good.
Bags and dark circles accumulate around the eyes when you don’t get enough sleep.Normally, blood and other fluids move into your head as you sleep. If you don’t give them time to do that, those fluids push up against the skin. The result? Puffiness and dark circles.
Eye cream ingredients stimulate the area around the eyes, reducing puffiness and fluid build-up. The best eye creams for men contain caffeine; it’s an incredible stimulant that drains blood back into the body.
Anti Aging Cream: We recommend using a men’s face moisturizer every night before you go to bed. But if you’re worried about wrinkles and fine lines, you should use a men’s anti aging cream.
Why use it at night? Your body repairs itself as you sleep, so applying anti-aging cream at this time works with the body’s natural restorative process.
Hesitant to let the world know you care about aging? No worries – using an anti-aging cream at night keeps it between just you and your pillows.