A Crash Course in Skin Care for Men

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Traditionally, men don’t really spend much time thinking about their skin or taking care of it for that matter. The general notion is that skincare products are designed for the ladies, and no guy wants to spend hours on complex skincare routines every single morning and evening.

The thing is, your skincare routine doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Just a few good products in your hands, some basic knowledge about your skin type, and you’ll be good to go.

What’s Your Skin Type?

Before you can start properly caring for your skin, you’ll have to know your skin type. There are many factors that can affect your skin type, and you should be aware that your type isn’t constant, so while right now you might have oily skin, as most men do, this can easily change as you age, as the seasons change, etc.

The 5 basic skin types are:

  • Sensitive
  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination

Let’s take a closer look at them.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is prone to redness, itching, dryness, etc. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll probably notice a stinging or burning sensation after using certain products. It’s a good idea to check why your skin is sensitive so that you can avoid using products that might irritate it.

Normal Skin

You’re a lucky guy if your skin type is normal! Normal skin is smooth and clear, with minimal to no sensitivity, and just the right balance of water and oils.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, it’s likely to be flakey, rough, and itchy. You’ll see red patches, have a dull complexion, and very small pores.

Oily Skin

As you’d expect, oily skin is shiny and greasy. This skin type is more common among teens, and it can be caused by hormone imbalance, stress, high humidity levels, etc.

Combination Skin

The most common type, combination skin, can have the traits of all the aforementioned types. Typically, it’ll be oily in the T-zone, and dry or normal in other places.

Face Care for Men

A good skincare routine for men needn’t last longer than 5-10 minutes, and only 2 steps are essential:

  1. Cleansing
  2. Moisturizing

Step 1: Cleanse

Washing your face too much will remove your skin’s natural oils, so don’t overdo it, regardless of your skin type.

Dirt and pollution accumulate on your skin during the day, so it’s best to cleanse your face properly before you go to sleep.

A small amount of men’s face wash should do the trick, and it’s a good idea to rinse it out with cold water, as this will shrink your pores and prevent new dirt from entering into your skin.

If you’re using a face scrub, don’t use it more than two times a week, as this will dry out your skin and can cause irritation.

Step 2: Moisturize

Keeping your face hydrated will have you looking fresh, wrinkle-free, and healthy.

After you’ve cleansed your face, apply a small amount of lightweight, quality moisturizer. If your skin isn’t dry, you can skip this step at night, but it’s still a good idea to do it in the morning to protect your skin from dirt.

Sunscreen Is a Must

Regardless of your skin type or the time of year, if you’ll be spending more than 30 minutes in the sun, you’ll need sunscreen.

This means that if you have a long commute to work, if you want to take a walk during your lunch break, or if you want to have a beer on your patio after work, you’ll need to apply SPF15 or higher.

Sunscreen can act as a moisturizer, hydrating your skin while protecting you from the sun damage and UV light.

Skincare Products

Depending on your skin type, you can choose the products that suit you best. What’s important here is to forget about the packaging and advertising – most skincare products can be excellent for both men and women, regardless of who they’re marketed toward.  

The only difference is usually in the scent, so if you don’t want “girly” products, simply get those that are fragrance-free, or that contain more earthy essential oils such as cedarwood.

If you’ve never used any skincare products before, you probably have no idea what works best for you, so a good idea would be to simply get travel-sized products, and try out a few different ones. Some trial and error will tell you exactly what you need.

Shaving

For men, shaving is often a part of their morning routine, and it plays a big role in the condition of their skin, so it’s important to get it right.

Hydration

Before you start shaving, it’s important that your face and beard are clean and hydrated. It’s best to shave either during a shower or immediately after, as your hair will be much softer and easier to handle.

If you don’t want to shower in to shave, you can put a damp, warm towel over your face for a couple of minutes before you start shaving.

Check Your Blades

Dull blades can cause irritation and ingrown hairs, so it’s best to change your cartridge after 5 to 7 shaves, or even more often if you notice the blades are getting dull.

Shave in the direction of the hair growth, rinse after each swipe, and avoid over-shaving. All these things will help to reduce redness and irritation of the skin.

If you have sensitive skin and often experience ingrown hairs, single-blade razors or straight razor shaves might help you deal with this.

Moisturizer/ Aftershave

Pat your face dry – this is, once again, to avoid irritations – and apply either a moisturizer or an aftershave. These will soothe your skin and help it stay hydrated.

Body Care for Men

Skin care doesn’t stop at your face – you need to take care of the rest of your body as well. You’re in luck because there’s usually not a lot that needs to be done here.

If you have oily skin, a bar of soap can be quite enough for you to take care of it. However, those with dry skin should use liquid cleansers and moisturizers.

Washing with a liquid cleanser, then applying a moisturizer after a shower will keep you looking healthy. You don’t need to apply the moisturizer to your entire body, simply focus on the areas where you have dry skin.

Don’t Forget about Your Hands!

Many professions and sports take a toll on a man’s hands – they become dry, chapped, have cracked skin, etc. A hydrating hand cream should be enough for you to take care of your hands properly.

The Bottom Line

For healthy-looking skin, hydration is the most important part. Moisturizing your face every morning, and the rest of your body after a shower will help you deal with the most common skin problems, and will keep your skin smooth and healthy.