For many men, skincare is something to worry about only when a problem crops up. The irony is of course that by taking such a lackadaisical approach, problems will inevitably crop up. To make matters worse, some of those male skin problems–wrinkles for instance–will be a case of too little too late no matter what some miracle cure is promising. In other words, these men are not avoiding–they’re procrastinating.
Other dudes know better and take a far more conscious approach to male skincare. Like so many of their female counterparts, they know that by adopting a habitual male skincare regiment they’re working that prevention angle, eliminating problems before those problems even occur. As a result these guys get smooth, healthy skin commonly free of acne or wrinkles. Their small investment of time and a little money has paid off in the form of less irritation, unclogged pores and just overall great skin.
Which brings us to you. Are you a procrastinator, or a regulator? Or are you just a guy who doesn’t know how to kick off a routine? If so, we have a Guide to Skincare Men Should Follow Daily and it’s just for you. Read on and get clean.
This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.
Use a Men’s Facial Cleanser Daily
There are parts of your skin you can hide, and then parts you can’t hide. What we’re trying to say here is that everybody can see your face so keeping that face clean is probably the most important step in men’s skincare. To ensure your face stays problem-free, first determine which skin type you have (and be honest with yourself): normal, oily, dry, aged, or a combination of the above. Then seek out a facial cleanser that targets your specific type of skin. If you aren’t exactly sure which skin type you have or which cleanser to use then by all means go for a multi-action face wash instead. And to be clear, we’re talking about facial cleanser, not a bar of soap or a body wash.
Now that you have your facial cleanser, you want to apply it twice daily–once in the morning and once before bed at night. You should first open up your pores by splashing warm water on your face or taking a warm shower. Then squeeze a dime-sized dollop of cleanser onto your face. Rub the cleanser onto you facial skin for about 30 seconds and watch as it forms a nice lather. Don’t rub too hard because you don’t want to pull on the skin. Finally, wash off with cool water (emphasis on “cool”), which will reduce the size of your pores and prevent excess oils from getting in. And remember: don’t rub too hard on the skin when you wash it.
Exfoliate Twice Weekly
Skin is a living organ (the body’s biggest in fact) with its own built-in regulating mechanism that produces dead skin cells on a cyclical basis. That means you should exfoliate twice a week to eliminate lingering dead skin cells, which can clog up pores, prevent healthy cells from getting to surface, and even affect overall male skin complexion. In other words, this step is crucial because it will keep the skin clean and healthy. It will also produce optimal conditions for a smooth shave. That said, you don’t want to overdo exfoliation because it can lead to dryness and irritation. Once or twice a week is plenty, and if you have extra-oily skin then consider going three times a week to prevent build-up.
To properly exfoliate, pick up a quality men’s facial scrub. You can either exfoliate after you’ve applied facial cleanser or in lieu of the facial cleanser. Then proceed in the same general way as you did with the facial cleanser. Rinse the face with warm water. Rub the product in for about 30 seconds using your hand, a washcloth or a designated exfoliating brush. Remember not to rub too harshly whereas that will actually damage the skin. Finally, wash off with cool water. Consider following that with a moisturiser or anti-aging cream because exfoliating products do have a tendency to dry out the skin.
Men’s skincare is about prevention, but it’s also about retaining vibrant, healthy skin. Hence, you should moisturise once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. Using a facial mosturiser will keep the skin hydrated and looking great, which in turn reduces the build-up of oils and also prevent wrinkles. Moisturising should always come at the end of the men’s facial cleansing routine, meaning after the facial cleanse or the exfoliation. Treat this product like lotion (which it is), meaning you don’t need to rinse it off after you’ve gently applied it. Along the same lines, use an SPF 30 or higher suntan lotion if you’ll be out in the sun all day.
Proper men’s skincare might focus on the face, but covering the whole body is arguably as important. Likewise, the process is relatively similar to facial cleansing, but with less emphasis on exfoliation (which is going the extra mile–do it twice a week at most). You want to start by taking a nice warm or hot shower to open up those pores. Next, you should do the following:
Wash with Bar Soap or Body Wash – Bar soap isn’t necessarily good for the face, but it’s fine for the body. That said, body washes usually include more moisturiser, vitamins and helpful oils. If you have normal or oily skin, the choice is yours. If you have dry skin, however, it’s best to stick with a fortified body wash.
Body Moisturisers – If a daily male skincare routine already sounds laborious, then body moisturising will appear downright painstaking. The good news is that a lot of guys can skip the body moisturising and still be okay. However, if you have overly dry skin then body moisturising really is essential. Apply it after showering and hone in on areas like the knees, elbows, lower legs, shoulders and hands, i.e. the driest and most commonly exposed areas.
Men’s Hand Cream – Given how much you use your hands (or who you use them on), it’s common sense to want smooth, clean palms. Consider using a quality men’s hand cream that will hydrate the skin without making it too slick or greasy.
A Few Extras
For most, the men’s skincare regiment laid out above is more than enough to get you started on the right track toward healthy skin. But if you find yourself so enthralled in the whole men skincare process, then don’t let us stop you from scoping the following extras:
Toner – Optional but far from mandatory, toner is typically used to balance the skin’s pH levels after you’ve cleansed. On the other hand, most experts will tell you that the skin balances pH levels naturally. Does that make toner more a gimmick, less a men skincare essential? Probably.
Face Mask – Picture a woman covered in cream with cucumbers on her eyes and you know what a face mask is. And while such a measure might seem like a step too far, face masks really can offer a variety of benefits, most of which depend on the type of mask you use. Overall, think of face masks as super- powerful facial cleansers that can do things like drastically clean those pores, hydrate the skin, infuse the skin with all sorts of beneficial vitamins and minerals, improve texture and give the skin a youthful, healthy glow. It might be time consuming, but it’s worth it.
Eye Cream – This is an anti-aging cream that attacks those pesky crows-feet growing next to your eyes. Apply eye cream before you’ve applied moisturiser. As with moisturiser, don’t wash it out after you’ve lightly rubbed it in.
This article is part of our Trimmed & Terrific Series.