Men’s Face Moisturizer Options
Looking for a men’s face moisturizer product? Trying to figure out which ones work best for your skin type? Is your goal to have a younger, more attractive mug?
If you are answering yes to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s be honest guys, a lot of what you read on the Internet about men’s grooming products sucks.
Most of the time, the information provided doesn’t tell you jack. Not to mention the fact you’ve got to read through a bunch of hypermasculine garbage that tries to convince you that “real men” buy face creams.
Here’s my promise – you’ll find none of that crap here. Instead, I’m going to give you the real deal about men’s face moisturizer choices, just like I have in the past with men’s colognes.
I’m going to fill you in on the dirty secret nobody is talking about. The men’s personal care market is an exploding, multi billion-dollar industry.
Years ago, it was considered “taboo” for guys to talk about grooming needs. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Today, companies that specialize in the male personal care market are spending big bucks to get you – a guy – to buy their products.
Bottom line – you’ve got nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, good on you for researching face care products to help you look your best.
Face Moisturizer Personal Story
Not long ago, I was out on a Canadian River, fishing with my four brothers. As we sat around and talked (and caught nothing) a woman walked up to us and asked if we had seen her dog.
In a flash, her chocolate retriever “Duke” sprinted from the distance. Apparently, he had been wandering. Dogs tend to do that I suppose.
At any rate, she asked me if I was the youngest of the group. When I told her no, she seemed surprised.
“Really? Well, your face doesn’t show it. Must be good genes.”
After she left, my brothers really gave me a lot of crap. Once they were done razzing me, the conversation quickly turned to what I was using as a moisturizer.
Who would have thought a silly fishing trip would have turned into a conversation about face care? But that’s exactly what happened, albeit briefly.
I’m sharing this with you for context. In truth, most men do care (a lot) about their personal appearance. While it’s not something we openly talk about, all of us are fully aware of the relationship between perception and self-esteem.
Knowing this factoid is what inspired me to run an analysis of the best men’s moisturizer options.
With the help of consumer reviews and customer feedback, I data-mined dozens of different moisturizers to reveal the top products.
And let me tell you – it wasn’t easy. There are more creams on the market than I can shake a stick at. But finally, after months of getting all the information sorted, I’m ready to share my findings.
Guys, we’re going to be covering a lot of information in what follows. I highly encourage you to read this entire page so that you can make the best choice for your specific needs.
After all, this is your face we’re talking about.
In this article, you will learn:
- The unique features of a man’s face
- How men and women have different skin
- Five men’s skin types
- Designer vs. niche moisturizers
- Why quality and price don’t always go hand in hand
- The fundamentals of picking a good men’s moisturizer
- How to apply moisturizer to your face
- How many times per day you should apply a product
- Several moisturizing hacks
- Seasonal issues and considerations
- Myths about men and face moisturizing
At this point, I also want to be fully transparent and disclose that the products shared on this page are linked to Amazon; an organization that I am an affiliate with.
That said, interwoven in this guide you’ll find other educational material about men’s grooming, including a video.
So, are you ready to get your handsome on? Let’s jump right in!
A Man’s Face
Many people assume that men have the same face skin as women. But that’s not exactly true. While there are similarities on the bio-dermal level, guys tend to have oiler, thicker, and more porous skin than the ladies.
You may be thinking “so what?”
Well, I’m sharing this with you because men are more likely to experience acne as a result. Moreover, guys develop deeper, wider, and more pronounced wrinkles than our female counterparts.
It’s like this. Once you get into your late 20’s and early 30’s, the process of protein synthesis in your body starts to slow down big time (Zivkovic, 2011).
As time goes on, your face begins to lose an important substance called collagen. You may be curious about what this means?
At its core, collagen is a fancy term used to describe the gelatinous substance your body places in the skin. This substance fills the dermal layer, making it look plump and smooth.
The older you get, the less collagen is created.
This is why guys in their early 20’s have faces that appear wrinkle-free. Make sense?
A research study appearing in the British Journal of Dermatology found that as you age, the amount of collagen created in your body decreases.
For men, thicker skin can cause wrinkles to become more pronounced (Shuster, Black, & McVitie, 1975).
It goes without saying there are genetic variables that must be factored into the dynamic. Your genes, health history, alcohol intake and use of tobacco all matter, too.
That said, you can expect to lose some amount of collagen with each passing year. There’s no way to totally stop this loss, even though some skincare companies use language to suggest otherwise.
Sure, you can spend money on dermal fillers like Restylane and Voluma but they aren’t cheap. Plus, why not try to encourage your system to produce more collagen, naturally?
Wouldn’t you rather do this as opposed to getting stuck with a long-nosed needle?
5 Men’s Skin Types
Right off the bat, you need to know that whenever you hear the term “skin types” linked to men’s grooming products, it’s a top-level term that’s used interchangeably with moisturizers, masks, scrubs, creams, and lotions.
Many of the products are labeled “good for all skin types”. Others are siloed into categories like: dry, oily, normal, combination and sensitive.
Intuitively, you probably can assess what type of skin you have based on your history. That said, I encourage you to read all of the typologies below so that you can make the wisest choice for your skincare needs.
1) Normal Skin
People 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) Combination Skin
If you have the type of skin that has a combination of features, you characteristically:
- Dry and oily areas
- Shine on cheeks, forehead or nose
- Patches of dry skin
- Semi-uneven skin tone
3) Oily Skin
This is one of the most common skin types. Environmental factors, genetics, and stress can all influence oily skin problems. Some guys get acne because of this.
Here’s the thing. If you have oily skin and/or struggle with pimples, you need to use several approaches. Learn more in this men’s stress acne post.
If you have oily skin, you likely:
- Have enlarged pores
- Pimples (small and large)
- Whiteheads, blackheads and dry patches
- Shiny facial features
4) Dry Skin
When you have dry skin, the symptoms are obvious. For most guys with this issue, it’s been a lifelong issue. Common signs include:
- Patchy, red areas
- Scaly areas
- Cracked skin
- Rough to touch
- Dull complexion
- Visible lines
- Almost invisible pores
5) Sensitive Skin
Men with sensitive usually exhibit the following traits that stand out:
- Sensitive to touch
Niche vs. Designer Face Moisturizers
Believe it or not, there are two types of men’s skin moisturizers. The first is niche types. The second is the designers.
Here are the primary differences:
- Niche moisturizers: These products cater to a specific skin type and are marketed in ways that speak directly to a given issue. Most can be picked up at big-chain drug stores, shopping centers, and malls. Prices can range from inexpensive to pricey.
- Designer moisturizers: Usually more expensive, these products are marketed to men and promise a certain lifestyle. Popular brands include Rugged and Dapper, Clinique, and Men’s Science. Sometimes available in stores but usually not.
Moisturizer Mistakes Men Make
To keep it real, most guys aren’t going to go around and talk about personal care choices. It’s just not what dudes do. And that’s part of what feeds into some of the buying mistakes we make.
Sadly, there are a lot of men who think the more expensive a product, the higher the quality.
But that’s simply not true.
There are dozens of men’s moisturizers that do an excellent job hydrating the skin that don’t cost a fortune. I’m talking about products that help boost collagen and act as an anti-aging cream.
An amazing example can be found in Men’s Science Advanced Face Lotion (See Amazon).
The reason I’m sharing this with you is that many moisturizers share the same ingredients. Just because the label carries the logo of a big company doesn’t mean it’s awesome.
The other thing you need to know is most grooming products aren’t FDA regulated. In other words, they can make all sorts of wild claims and not worry about being regulated.
Outdoor and Indoor Moisturizers
You probably already know this but it’s worth stating. The sun can do massive damage to your face and accelerate the signs of aging.
When your skin is exposed to the sun’s powerful rays, it compensates by producing melanin.
Sunlight, which operates on a spectrum and contains ultra-violet radiation, rides a wavelength down to earth – and onto your face.
When exposed too long to these rays, severe damage can happen, including the onset of potential cancers.
Here are some examples of what sun-damaged skin can do:
- Cause blotchiness and redness
- Create premature lines and wrinkles
- Strip the dermal layer
- Cause your face to take on a leather-like appearance
- Increase discoloration
- Create freckles
- Cause hyperpigmentation (brown spots)
I am mentioning all of this because you are going to need two specific kinds of moisturizers. One for daytime and one for night.
Even if you are outside minimally or work mostly indoors, you still need to use a lotion that offers protection. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 80% of the sun’s harmful rays penetrate your skin – even on cloudy days.
When choosing a product for daytime use, current recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology suggest a minimum of 30 SPF (See graphic from AAD).
But I need to point out there is some disagreement here. Some dermatologists suggest SPF 20 is fine. I’ve even in some say SPF 15 is OK.
Here are my thoughts. It’s better to have some protection than no protection. Do your research and if need be, talk to your dermatologist. I personally use a minimum of SPF 15.
OK – moving on.
If you are spending time outdoors, like on the beach, camping, fishing or hiking, you may want to use a sun-block. These types of products offer maximum protection while also preventing sunburn.
Finally, do all possible to limit your exposure to the sun. When outside, consider wearing a hat to protect your face.
Use sunglasses that are designed to protect your eyes from harmful solar rays and cover the delicate area under your eyes.
Remember, your eyes are the first-place wrinkles typically show up and are one of the biggest signs of aging.
To learn more about skincare under the eyes, like reducing wrinkles, puffiness and bags, read this “How to get rid of baggy eyes” post.
How to Pick a Men’s Moisturizer
Now that you have reviewed the basics on skin types, it’s time to explore how to pick the right moisturizer for your specific needs.
Before you apply anything to your face, it’s critical that you wash it first and remove any debris. To learn more about choosing the right cleansers designed for men, check out this comprehensive post.
Here are some things to consider when picking a moisturizer:
- Identify your skin type. If you aren’t sure, check with a dermatologist.
- Know your goals. Example: Fewer wrinkles, smoother skin, younger look, oil reduction, better skin tone, etc.
- How often will you need to use the product? Some require application 2-3 times per day.
- Asses your exposure to the sun. How long will you be outside?
- Do you need something non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t lend itself to causing acne?
- Factor in any skin conditions and if need be, talk to your dermatologist.
25 Best Face Moisturizer Options for Men
Below you will find a list of 25 best face moisturizer choices for men. I’ve broken everything down by the skin types mentioned above.
Under each product, I’ve also included descriptive information. If it’s something I’ve used or know that someone else has applied, you’ll see something in the narrative.
All the moisturizer options listed have been carefully assessed and delivered men the results, based on my research.
To make things easier, I’ve included a link to Amazon for you to check on the price and order. Later, you’ll find several application tips, best practices, and seasonal information.
Check it out!
1. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing AM/PM Bundle
If you are looking for an excellent moisturizing option, I highly recommend CeraVe’s AM/PM bundle. The morning product contains SPF 30 to protect you from the sun.
The evening product is one you apply before bed or after a night out. Both help to repair, restore, and maintain skin’s barrier. I’ve been using for years. Simply excellent.
2. MenScience Androceuticals Advanced Face Lotion
Great for normal skin types, this product helps to reduce the visible signs of aging while renewing the skin’s dermal layer. Goes on ultra-light and leaves skin smooth. No SPF so best used at night.
Product has a matte finish, which helps to reduce shine. Uses antioxidants, green tea, and vitamins A, C and E to help repair and protect.
3. Tiege Hanley Skin Care System
Here’s what I like about this product line. It comes in a complete set and contains AM and PM moisturizers, plus other products designed for men. AM product has SPF.
I’ve used them and have to say they deliver the results as promised. Excellent for normal skin types. Great for guys who want to simplify.
4. Brickwell Anti-Aging Cream
If you are looking for a great overnight anti-wrinkle cream that uses natural ingredients like green tea, this one is a smart choice. Does not have SPF.
Helpful with reducing fine lines and crows feet. Helps to plump skin, giving a more youthful, fresh look.
5. XFACTIO Anti-Aging Serum
This product is made from natural ingredients and is designed to be used on face and neck. Terrific overnight moisturizer that helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
I’ve heard from several people this product also helps the face to look smoother and firmer, giving a more youthful appearance. Not meant for day use (no SPF).
6. Brickwell Men’s Daily Essential Face
This is a very good product for combination skin types. It’s light, non-pore clogging, deeply hydrating, and absorbs through the skin’s dermal layer quickly.
I’ve used this one at night and have been pleased with the results. No SPF sunscreen.
7. Rugged and Dapper Skin Fuel
This is a great product that goes on light and is terrific for men on the go. Good for combo skin types or if you struggle with an oily complexion. Uses natural ingredients and is fragrance- free. Also, couples as an aftershave balm! No SPF.
The reason I am recommending is that many readers of this blog have contacted me to share Skin Fuel has worked well for them.
8. Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers
Designed as a daily moisturizer, this product goes on smooth and light. Helps to reduce dryness and promote a more youthful appearance.
Contains Vitamin B and eucalyptus oil. Can also be used under eyes to minimize bags and slacking. No SPF.
8. Carboca For Men Moisturizer
This is a really good product if you want something that draws out toxins from your skin and contains a number of natural ingredients.
The activated charcoal ingredient helps to purge your skin of impurities while the moisturizing agents smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Use this one at night.
9. Jack Black Double Duty Moisturizer
If you are searching for a day cream that protects your face from the sun while offering anti-aging benefits, you might want to consider this guy.
With an SPF 20 sun block, the product is fragrance free and contains vitamins and sheer moisturizers. Goes on light and doesn’t leave a greasy look.
10. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair
If you prefer to apply a product with a higher SPF (30) consider using this one. Neutrogena has been in the skin care business for decades and their daytime moisturizer is an excellent choice for combo types.
Contains Retinol, which is a natural ingredient that helps to increase collagen while giving your face a fresher, more rested look. Hyaluronic acid acts as a rejuvenator.
11. Baxter Oil Free Moisturizer
Really good moisturizer if you struggle with oily skin. Uses green tea and chamomile as natural ingredients. Effectively hydrates your face and promotes a more youthful look.
Lightweight, goes on easy and doesn’t leave a shine like so many creams do. Also contains stearic acid, which helps mop up oil. Lots of positive feedback on this one.
12. Carboca Men’s Acne Moisturizer
Need a moisturizer that also helps to reduce acne? Got oily skin but still need a cream to keep you hydrated? Consider Carboca’s product.
This guy contains hydrated charcoal to extract impurities from the dermal layer. Helps to reduce drying while decreasing lines and wrinkles. No SPF so apply this at night.
13. Mr. Smith Skin Care
I’ve used this product and have to say it is really good! If you want something natural and doesn’t contain overpowering fragrances, you might want to check this one out.
I also like this product because it delivers on the anti-aging promises made in the packaging. Lightweight. No SPF.
14. Face Cream Moisturizer LilyAna
If you want a natural moisturizing product that is good for oily skin and makes you look younger, you’ll really like this one. I have personally used and can tell you that it truly does what it says it will.
Primary ingredients include Rose Distillate, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C & E, Orange Extract. No SPF, use at night.
15. Anthony Oil Free Facial Lotion
If you are looking for an all-around, good moisturizer that’s helpful for oily skin, this product is certainly one to consider. I’ve used in the past and was happy with the results.
Applies easily and is lightweight. Helps to reduce shine while minimizing crows feet and wrinkles. Contains sodium PCA amino acids, soothes with aloe and chamomile, retains moisture with glycerin. No SPF.
16. Recipe for Men Anti-Shine Moisturizer
If you have dry skin that cracks or is prone to wrinkles, you really should try this one. I’ve used it during winter and found it to be extremely effective. No SPF.
The product uses a micro-pearl system that is part of its energizing gel base. Ingredients include botanical extracts. The result is smoother, younger skin.
17. Men + Care Hydrate
This product is easy to use, making it guy-friendly. Perfect for the man who wants a simple product to apply at night to keep wrinkles at a minimum.
Contains vitamin B3, which is known to promote healthier looking skin. Designed for face and neck. You can sometimes find at a chain pharmacy.
18. Cetaphil Men’s Daily Face Lotion
Looking for a daytime lotion that offers some SPF protection from the sun while reducing wrinkles? Need something easy to apply and simple? This product is a smart choice.
Its dermatologist tested, contains an SPF 15 factor and couples as a lightweight aftershave lotion. Honestly, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. At some stores.
19. Vassoul Retinol Moisturizer Cream
Sometimes, you need something heavy duty to keep the lines away. An example might be cold weather climates where warm air is zapped from the atmosphere. This is when you should reach for a product like this.
Contains 2.5% retinol and is loaded with lots of organic, skin preserving ingredients like aloe vera and green tea. I have used and so have several dudes I know.
20. Peter Roth Mega Rich
I like this product because it contains peptides that help to produce collagen. Designed for evening use (no SPF), it effectively reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
I’m the first to say this isn’t the cheapest product on the market. That said, it delivers on its claims because I’ve used it in the past.
21. First Aid Beauty Serum
If you are looking for something fragrance-free and natural that doesn’t include harsh chemicals, this is an excellent choice. The reason I like is that it helps to calm distressed skin. No SPF.
Using colloidal oatmeal as a main ingredient, the product helps to restore the skin’s moisture barrier, thereby promoting a smoother face. Hyaluronic acid minimizes wrinkles. You may be able to find in stores.
22. Cetaphil Redness Relieving
Do you have redness on your face? Is rosacea a problem you struggle with? Experience drying and cracking? If so, consider this product. I’ve used it and have had good results. No SPF.
What I like about this guy is that it calms the face and helps to take away the irritation from the day. Fragrance-free. Does a good job of reducing deep lines.
23. Sunday Riley
If you need a high potency, evening product (no SPF) that replenishes skin and reduces lines, this is a good product. Contains vitamin C, which is key to healthy skin and supports collagen production.
It goes on somewhat thick, which might not be a bad thing in cold weather environments.
24. Eucerin Sensitive Skin Redness Relief
This is another product for dry, sensitive skin and for guys who have rosacea. I’ve used this product and can share with you that it is effective at minimizing blotchiness and redness. No SPF.
What I’ve done with this guy is put it in the fridge. I like how the cream feels when I apply to my skin because of the cooling effect. Works great at providing moisture overnight. You can get at some drug stores.
25. Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief
If you want a product that can be applied during the day and offers sun protection (SPF 30), this one may be just what you need.
Uses soothing plant extracts and peptides to keep your skin from flaring up. Great at reducing wrinkles and locking in moisture. Apply in morning.
How to apply moisturizer
All face moisturizers come with specific directions on application and frequency. It’s important to read the label with care.
As men, we don’t like to spend a lot of time fussing around with grooming products. But if you want them to work, you need to allow time for it to absorb into your skin.
For example, if you are applying something with SPF, many products suggest waiting 15-minutes before heading outdoors. Bottom line? Do what the directions suggest.
- Apply a dime-sized amount to center of clean palm
- Using finger tips, use gentle, upward strokes to evenly distribute.
- Apply to forehead, evenly spreading cream over the entire dermal layer
- Don’t forget nose, neck, and ears.
- Always lift the skin and never drag it down. That’s why upward strokes are the recommended approach, particularly on the neck area.
How often should men moisturize?
Generally speaking, you should moisturize at least twice a day. This means once in the morning and once at night. Some products suggest more frequent use. Check the label.
Application frequency factors:
- Do you live in a chilly weather climate? If so, applying a moisturizer more frequently may make sense.
- Will you be in the sun for an extended period? You may need to apply more than once.
- Do you have naturally dry skin? Putting on lotion at intervals may be necessary.
- Seasonal considerations.
What about washing my face?
It’s a good idea to cleanse your face twice a day. If you put on a lotion in the morning, it makes sense that you would want to rinse it off in the evening.
Doing so allows you to remove the product, plus debris that has accumulated on your dermis.
But here is the thing – don’t use soap.
That’s because soap will dry your skin out and cause tiny lines and wrinkles. Instead, opt for a facial cleanser designed to c moisturize.
Probably the best product for cleansing is made by the folks at Cetaphil. They make a daily face cleanser that’s good for normal to oily skin.
Dermatologist recommended, the product goes on light. I’ve been using it for years and can tell you it’s great for your skin. You can pick this up at most drug stores. Check Amazon as well.
Should I consider a mask?
Guys, I’m going to come right out and say it. Yes, you should also use a mask.
It’s important to think of skin care as routine and not one specific activity. Using a mask should be part of your skin care ritual.
Nowadays, many companies make masks that are designed for men. Some help to moisturize. Others plump. And still, others deliver collagen to the dermal layer and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
To learn more, visit this page on the best face masks for men.
Men’s face moisturizer stereotypes
One of the crappy things about using men’s moisturizers and other grooming products are the stereotypes. While things are getting better, it’s still an issue.
While I can’t list them all, here are a few that need to be dispelled. Remember, what appears below is complete BS.
- If you moisturize, you make your face look more feminine.
- Real men don’t use moisturizing products
- You can’t be rugged and use a face cream
- Men with green eyes have naturally moist skin
- Only white guys need to moisturize
- Only black men need to moisturize
- If you have oily skin, you don’t need a moisturizer
- Male celebrities don’t use grooming products
- Moisturizing causes acne
- Using your girlfriends face cream is good enough
- There’s nothing you can do for dark circles and bags
Men’s face moisturizer poll
Just for fun, I’m posting a poll below to see just how many of you moisturize. Be sure to chime in with your vote. It’s completely anonymous.
If the poll doesn’t pop up, you can click here.
Bringing it all together
The decision to use a moisturizer on your face is probably one of the smartest things you can do to look your best. Let’s be honest – the first thing people notice about you is your face.
If you are looking for more grooming tips, check out my men’s grooming page with 101 suggestions.
I hope you found the material presented useful. Never feel ashamed for wanting to be as attractive as possible.
Thanks for stopping by!
Shuster, S., Black, M., & McVitie, E. (1975, December). The influence of age and sex on skin thickness, skin collagen and density. Retrieved from British Journal of Dermatology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1975.tb05113.x/full
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/
Main photo: Ryan Farber (Instagram)