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Ultimate Skincare Essentials for Men

When it comes to men’s skincare, it’s not as simple as borrowing your mum, sister or girlfriend’s products and assuming they’ll have the same effect. Thanks to differing hormone levels in men and women, men often have tougher, thicker skin, which means you’ll need products all of your own.

Typically, men also have larger hair follicles, and more of them. This means men tend to produce more sebum than women, which can lead to a build-up of dirt and make you more prone to breakouts. Then of course there are lifestyle differences, as statistically men spend more time outdoors. And, of course, shaving, which has other effects on the skin.

So it’s important to get that skincare routine down, sooner rather than later.

 

Cleanse

Regardless of sex or gender, the most important step in any routine is cleansing. Morning and evening, you should cleanse your face to remove accumulated dirt, oil, bacteria, dead skin cells and general impurities. Not doing so can lead to clogged, blocked pores and eventually, breakouts – and it’s easier to cleanse your face regularly than clear up a breakout!

As a bonus, cleansing your face helps to open the pores and keeps your skin looking fresh and radiant, which also means that the other products in your routine will penetrate your skin more effectively.

When choosing a cleanser, look for something gentle that’s mild but also hydrating. Your cleansing step doesn’t need to be complicated, it should only take 30 seconds or so, but it shouldn’t be skipped.

 

Exfoliate

Whether you prefer a clean-shaven face or a long beard, the chances are you’ve had to deal with ingrown hairs at some point. The best way to prevent this is exfoliating, particularly before you shave, as this can release trapped hair follicles by removing dead skin cells. This should help prevent razor bumps.

Another top tip is to never shave with a dull or blunt razor, as this creates friction on the skin which exacerbates redness and can cause rashes.

How you exfoliate depends on your skin type, so it’s imperative to work that out before you go shopping for products. For men with normal or dry skin, scrubs aren’t quite so important, though you should still buff your face once or twice a week. If you lean toward the oilier side, exfoliating with a scrub can have more of an effect.

If you prefer a chemical exfoliant, keep an eye out for products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid. All of which are active ingredients that help to clear away dead skin cells.

 

Shaving Cream

reflection of man applying shaving cream

If you shave regularly, it’s worth investing in a good shaving cream – and we mean a cream, not a gel. Though gels do the job, they’re not as beneficial to sensitive skin. And though you might think your skin isn’t sensitive, ask yourself that again once you’ve dragged a sharp blade over it.

The best shaving creams include ingredients that are specifically targeted at sensitive skin, like allantoin and glycerin, which help reduce irritation, calm redness and generally have a better result.

 

Moisturise

Cleansing and exfoliating can strip away the natural oils in your skin, and you need to have a plan to restore that hydration. Moisturiser is the next step here, as it can not only help you retain moisture, but provide much-needed nutrients to the skin.

Moisturiser also acts as a protective barrier, which can help to prevent a build-up of dirt and clogged pores. Just make sure you choose your product according to your skin type, as dry skin needs more hydration and oily skin thrives with a gel product.

 

SPF

We can’t say it enough: it doesn’t matter if you’re outside. SPF is important and should be applied every day, no matter the weather. If you’re indoors, remember that harmful UVA and UVB can penetrate most glass, which means even sitting at home, you should be protected.

Remembering your SPF will benefit not just your health, but your appearance in the long run. It’s the best way to reduce signs of aging, preventing the early formation of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation as well as protecting you from the sun.

 

Beard Oil

bearded man looking off camera, standing in front of trees

Whether you’re in the early stages or a full-on Viking, you’ve probably figured out that applying moisturiser beneath your beard is nigh-on impossible.

That’s where beard oil comes in. As well as keeping your beard groomed and in great condition, beard oils also care for the skin underneath, provided you seek out the right ingredients. Look for oils like sweet almond, rosehip or jojoba, as these will soften and tame your beard, feed your skin, and won’t clog the pores and trigger breakouts.

 

Nighttime Hydration

If you’ve ever mocked your significant other for their “night cream”, now might be the time to eat your words.

Day or night, you should moisturise after you cleanse your face. But at night, the strategy is a little different. While we sleep, our body enters into a natural regenerative cycle, which boosts the turnover of our cells and aids healing. By using a moisturiser specifically designed for use before bed, we’re working with our body’s cycles to promote a clearer, brighter and all around better complexion.

When choosing a moisturiser for the evening, try to find products that use niacinamide, or even retinol. Niacinamide helps the skin to retain moisture and protects the natural barriers of your skin, whereas retinol smooths skin and helps with the signs of aging.

 

Eye Cream

An eye cream is an optional part of every man’s skincare routine, but one that we’d highly recommend. Generally, they’re designed to prevent wrinkles forming and puffiness around the eyes, which can be a dead giveaway after a bad night’s sleep or even just as the years tick on.

An eye cream that includes hyaluronic acid (for moisture retention) and caffeine (for puffiness and dark circles) should do the trick. These will make sure your eyes get the care they need. Remember to apply before your moisturiser and SPF.

 

Masks

man applying face mask

Another optional addition to your skincare routine, but a face mask can really add that extra oomph to your skin. Clay masks are a superb choice for drawing out impurities, whereas peel off masks can work well for those seeking some bi-weekly exfoliation.

If you’re prone to acne and breakouts, clay masks can also be a brilliant choice as they can help to regulate sebum (oil) production.

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