Practical men’s skin care routine hacks
Do you need an easy to follow men’s skin care routine? Trying to look your best but not sure where to begin? Finding information on the web mostly useless?
If you can relate to any of the above, you’ve come to the right place. As a guy, I completely understand the importance of personal appearance.
In so many ways, the way we look is directly linked to our self-esteem. The problem for men is that we aren’t all that great at asking for advice on this topic.
Let’s face it – it’s not like you are going to go up to one of your buddies and say, “Hey, do you have any beauty secrets for dudes?”
But here’s the deal – the fact that you are here tells me you can about your appearance and want to learn about a routine that works.
Trust me when I say you aren’t alone.
The topic of men’s personal care needs (aka grooming) comes up a lot with the men I work with. Here’s how the issue usually pops up during private conversations:
“My girlfriend poked fun at me because of a few wrinkles on my face. I blew it off because I didn’t think it was a big deal. But when I looking the mirror, I can see what she means. Any guy tips for this?
I’ll tell you how I typically respond.
First, it’s always a good idea to consult a dermatologist if you are concerned about a specific skin issue. For example, a black spot or recurring redness.
Barring anything like that, the way to look younger, healthier, and more attractive is to develop a realistic routine in a way that fits your lifestyle.
When ritualized correctly, a good routine can minimize fine lines and wrinkles while making you look more handsome. But if you skip the basics, the opposite happens – meaning you can end up appearing old and haggard.
I know that last part may sound harsh but I am just keeping it real.
As I write this article now, I’m reminded of a personal story on this topic.
Quick Skin Care Routine Story
Years ago, when I was in my early 20’s, I didn’t take care of my face the way I should have. Plagued with oily skin, I suffered from mild acne and large pores.
By the time my 30’s rolled around, I was in serious need of advice. That’s when I went to a dermatologist and learned the basics of creating a good skincare routine.
For example, I didn’t know back then that I needed to cleanse twice a day with a non-soap product. I also wasn’t aware that using a quality facial scrub was key to getting out debris.
Finally, nobody told me that men should use a facial mask weekly for anti-aging purposes [see this post on best men’s face masks].
Once I learned the fundamentals and employed them daily, I began to notice major improvements. Here’s what happened, straight up:
- The dullness of my skin tone went away
- The acne started to fade
- My pores shrank
- The lines on my face were less pronounced
It didn’t happen overnight. As with most things in life, change is takes time. That said, once I made my skincare routine a ritual, the process became automatic.
And the best part?
Other people started to notice. No – they didn’t come up to me and say, “Wow, you have great skin!” Instead, what I heard was, “You look different. Younger. What’s going on?”
As a matter of full disclosure, I need to say that I’ve also had Botox injections. And while I think it’s a great option for dealing with wrinkles, it needs to be thought of as part of an overall, comprehensive approach to anti-aging.
All of this is a very long way to say that I understand why this topic is important.
In this article, you will learn:
- A quick primer on men’s skin
- The importance of knowing your skin type
- How to establish a morning ritual
- How to create an evening routine
- Product suggestions based on your needs
- Additional skin care tips for men
- Myths related to men and skin
A lot of guys think they can use their girlfriend’s personal care products, believing that: “Skin is skin – it doesn’t matter.”
I hate to break it to you but that’s simply not true.
While we may share similarities at the bio-dermal level, men generally have thicker, oiler, and more porous skin than our female counterparts.
Translation: Guys are more susceptible to developing acne. We also have larger pores and more pronounced lines. Much of this is a function of human physiology.
Once you get into your 30’s, the bodily process of protein synthesis begins to slow down (Zivkovic, 2011). In turn, this causes the production of collagen to decrease.
FYI: Collagen is a gel-like substance that gives your skin a plump, elastic look. The older you get, the less your body makes.
That’s why guys in their early 20’s are usually wrinkle-free and why men in their 30’s and up have lines.
If you want to know more about this topic, I encourage you to read this extensive post on men’s moisturizer options. You’ll find lots of insight there with tips.
The bottom line is this – don’t reach for your girlfriend’s stuff. Instead, start using products designed for men.
Men’s Skin Types
Before starting any routine, it’s really important to know your skin type. I’ve tried to keep things simple here by highlighting the five different types below.
Which is yours?
1) Normal skin
Guys who fall into the normal skin type category usually have the following characteristics:
- Few imperfections
- Not usually sensitive
- Pores not visible to naked eye
- Radiant, even tone
2) Combo skin
Men who have combination type skin characteristically will have:
- Dry and oily areas
- A noticeable shine on cheeks, forehead or nose
- Patches of dry skin
- A semi-uneven skin tone
3) Oily skin
This is a very common skin type. Heredity, environmental factors, and stress can all affect oily skin problems. Some guys get acne because of this. (See stress acne post to learn more).
Signs you have oily skin include:
- Dry patches
- A noticeable shine on nose, forehead, cheeks
4) Dry skin
Guys who have dry skin can usually tell there is a problem because the signs are obvious. Examples:
- Patchy, red areas
- Cracked, rough skin
- Visible lines
- Dull complexion
- Nearly invisible pores
5) Sensitive skin
Guys who have sensitive skin typically notice the following:
- Sensitive to touch
Before closing up this section, I just want to say that if you are unsure of your skin type, you can consult your dermatologist.
If you don’t want to do that – you can always choose products designed for all skin types.
As I walk you through the routines, I’ll make several product suggestions a long the way. All can be ordered through Amazon.
OK, let’s dive deep.
Morning Skin Care Routine
If you are like most guys, you probably wake up in the morning and begin a mad dash for work. What I am suggesting below is mindful of that reality and requires minimal time investment.
1) Cleanse your skin
If you are not already taking a shower in the morning, you might want to start. That’s because warm water radiating over your face helps open pores while encouraging sub-dermal circulation.
While showering, use a facial cleanser designed to purge impurities. I like Jack Black’s Deep Glycolic Cleanser because it works well (See Amazon for price). It’s also good for all skin types.
Using a gentle, circular motion, apply a dime-sized amount of the product you have chosen to your face. Do this for 30 to 45 seconds and make sure you get your forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and neck.
Once you are done, thoroughly rinse the cleanser from your face by letting the showerhead do the work for you.
Oh, I almost forgot:
Never use bar soap on your face.
I mention this because regular bar soap contains too many harsh chemicals that will strip your face of important nutrients. They also zap moisture from your skin.
2) Body Cleansing
While in the shower, you’ll obviously want to take care of the rest of your body. Here again, I don’t recommend bar soap. Instead, reach for a gentle cleanser.
One of the best on the market is CeraVe’s body wash for normal to dry skin. It’s dermatologist tested and recommended. It’s free of soap, sulfates, and parabens. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which helps your skin keep its moisture.
You can get this product at many drugstores or online at Amazon.
Simply apply, wash-up and rinse off.
After showering, you’ll want to be mindful of how you dry your face and body. This may seem silly but hear me out.
If you do like most guys, you rub a towel on your skin to get the water off. The problem is rubbing irritates the dermal layer. In turn, this can cause skin damage.
Instead, it’s far better to take a clean towel and gently pat-dry your face and body. This includes your hair.
Doing so will help preserve your skin’s natural elasticity.
3) Moisturize (Face, Neck, and Eyes)
This step in your routine need not be complicated. I’ll break it all down in a moment.
But first, I’ve got a super easy hack for you that simplifies what follows.
Consider using a facial care kit designed for men. In this way, you have everything you need in one central place. Personally, I really like the Tiege Hanley Skin Care System (See Amazon).
The kit is guy friendly and takes the guesswork out of the process. Here’s what it comes with:
- Facial wash
- AM moisturizer (contains SPF 20 sunscreen)
- Facial skin serum (for anti-aging)
- Facial scrub
- PM moisturizer
- Eye cream
The best part is that the products are designed for all skin types. And because the containers don’t take up a lot of space, you can line them up in your bathroom for quick access.
Regardless if you choose to use this kit or not, I’m going to walk you through a morning routine that provides results.
Step 1: Moisturize Face
- Make sure you are using a product that contains a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 20.
- Take a dime sized amount of the cream and apply to your palm.
- Dab your fingertips onto the cream and apply the lotion to your face using gentle, upward motions.
- Make sure you hit your forehead, cheeks, neck, and ears.
- Always lift your skin and avoid pulling it down.
Step 2: Moisturize Eyes
- It is best to use lotion specifically designed to treat and prevent wrinkles around the eyes, particularly if you suffer from dark circles and bags.
- Dot a tiny amount of cream under each eye. Gently spread the cream making sure you get the corners and above the eyelid.
- Use a tissue to mop up any excess.
This part of your morning routine is fairly easy. The biggest thing is to use a product designed for men’s skin. When you apply, make sure you hit the areas that are prone to problems.
- Lower legs
There are tons of moisturizers on the market to choose from. One product that works extremely well is Cetaphil Men’s Body Lotion.
Tested by dermatologists, it’s great for problematic skin types. Absorbs well and without that greasy feeling so many lotions have. See Amazon for pricing.
Evening Skin Care Routine
Your evening routine will not differ too much from the morning. That said, there will be several slight variations.
Do this before bed.
1) Using your sink, splash your face with warm water.
2) Apply facial cleanser. Rinse off when done.
3) Use an evening facial lotion (no SPF needed).
4) Apply eye cream.
Twice a week at night
There are three additional things you’ll want to do at least twice a week to get the maximum benefit of your routine.
1) Use a facial scrub designed for men.
2) Start applying a men’s face mask.
3) Begin using retinol cream.
Let me explain why these activities are important.
The facial scrub is designed to remove debris, like dead skin cells, that accumulates throughout the week. This form of exfoliation helps to rid your face of that dull look while helping you look more refreshed.
The face mask helps tighten your skin and close pores. Depending on the mask, they also help control oil. If you want more information on this topic, see this men’s face mask post.
Finally, the retinol cream offers a powerful, natural way to rejuvenate your skin and infuse anti-oxidants. The cream also helps to fade brown spots and encourage collagen growth. See this post on getting rid of dark spots to learn more.
Other Men’s Skin Care Tips
In addition to the tips shared above, there are other things you can do to help your skin look attractive and healthy. I’m mentioning the biggies below as a way of information sharing.
1) Don’t smoke
Cigarettes literally rob your skin of nutrients. Moreover, there’s tons of research to demonstrate smokers are prone to premature aging.
A recent study found an overwhelming majority of people think smokers are physically unattractive.
2) Drink lots of water
For your skin to look its best, it needs to be regularly hydrated. This means you need to be taking in about 15 cups of water per day or 3.7 liters.
3 Make sleep a priority
You probably knew this one already but it is worth reinforcing. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Doing so helps you look rested and refreshed.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your healthcare professional.
4) Use an eye mask
If you suffer from puffiness around the eyes or struggle with bags, using an eye mask will go along way in helping to treat this problem.
See this “how to treat baggy eyes” post to learn more.
5) Exercise regularly
This final tip is one you probably know but I’m mentioning anyway. Regular exercise, like strength training and cardio, helps to circulate nutrient rich blood to your skin.
It also encourages collagen production (Reynolds, 2014).
Lastly, exercise is a great stress-buster; something you want to minimize as much as possible.
6) Use a sunscreen during the day
The sun emits harmful rays that can do serious damage to your skin. By using a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF20, you help to protect your skin from potential damage, including cancer.
7) Use a hand cream
One of the first parts of your body that will show the visible signs of aging are your hands. By using a high-quality hand lotion, you help lock in moisture while helping them to look youthful.
An excellent one to consider is Working Hands by O’Keeffe’s. Avilable in some stores. See Amazon for price.
Men’s Skin Routine Myths
There are a lot of myths pertaining to skin care and guys that I am quickly going to walkthrough below. My hope is to dispell the misinformation while pushing back against stereotypes.
- It doesn’t matter what kind of lotion you use because they are all the same.
- Men don’t need to use creams their skin is already moist.
- If you shave, you don’t need a scrub to exfoliate.
- There’s nothing that can be done for baggy eyes.
Bringing It All Together
When it comes to creating a good skincare routine, it’s essential to think of what you are doing as both process and ritual.
Once you establish your regime, you may find you’ll need to tweak it a long the way. This is normal. What’s important is that you implement something that works for you.
If you are looking for more suggestions on skin care, check out this extensive page that offers 101 grooming tips for men!
I hope you found this post useful. Hopefully, the information shared here will help you look you look your best.
Thanks for stopping by.
Reynolds, G. (2014, April 16). Younger skin through exercise. Retrieved from New York Times: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/younger-skin-through-exercise/
Zivkovic, B. (2011, August 20). BIO101 – Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Translation. Retrieved from Scientific American: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/bio101-protein-synthesis-transcription-and-translation/