It could really be overwhelming to look through Google and read through dozens and dozens of articles on how to get clear skin for men, especially when a lot of them are just trying to sell you products. You guys probably know how it feels like to get confused about the really wide array of cosmetic products available in the market now一it could be really hard to stay updated.
How much you know about each and every product doesn’t actually matter much. What’s important is that you understand how your skin is made. You can take that first step to reverse the situation instead: you find specific products suitable for you instead of choosing between so many of them.
We understand how hard it can be, so we’ve narrowed down some specific points for you to understand more easily. Just read through this article briefly to find out what your skin is and what you can do to make it the best it can be. You don’t have to overdo anything; just commit to a simple skin care routine for men you would read later on in this article.
Should Men Have Skin Care Routines?
Don’t let anyone tell you that having a skincare routine is feminine. Skin care for men is actually needed when you’re trying to keep yourself healthy since your skin is the largest organ in your body (Meyer, 2021). In fact, you can see it as something similar to eating more healthily and staying as fit as you possibly can.
The benefits of having a daily skincare routine
Everyone’s skin ages at the same pace as the rest of your body. If you care a bit about what you look like on the outside, you have to start taking care of your skin as early as you can一delaying your wrinkles and keeping your face bright and radiant.
Some products also keep your face tight and bouncy, which will, for sure, avoid any kind of drooping. As we grow older, the face slowly loses its capacity to hold onto water and other nutrients, so using products as simple as moisturizers can make a difference in helping it stay healthy.
When you walk outdoors, your skin gets exposed to the sunlight, which is made of ultraviolet (UV) rays that could damage your skin permanently (Shrikant, 2019). In more extreme situations, you can also risk getting skin cancer when you aren’t careful.
Using products with at least an SPF of 30 content can keep you safe from these harmful rays, and you’d also be able to save your complexion. Still, if you’re aiming for a tanner look, certain products are thin enough to both keep you safe and allow your skin to get golden.
You can also consider your comfort when maintaining your skin since some types can be prone to acne, irritations, and flakiness, while oily skin, in particular, could also make your face feel a bit heavy. These could also cause some pain and infections in the long run: pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, etc.
Following comfort, you’d also feel more confident in yourself when you’re sure that you look as best you can. It’s a bit different when you really see it yourself, right? The improvement in your skin could also make better impressions on the people you come across.
Having clear skin as men could impress someone or at least make them think that you’re really organized. Being approachable in general could also help you keep making connections at work or anywhere, really. Knowing that you can actually step up and not have to worry about your appearance is a plus that anyone would want to have.
Consistency and discipline
Once you’ve committed to taking your skincare a step further, you’re essentially going to train yourself to stick to routines. Meaning you’d be more used to doing the same processes again and again over time, which will lead to discipline.
Just remember that you’re going to have to keep going no matter how busy you are because improving your skin doesn’t take a day. It would require your time and effort, and before you even notice how long has passed, you’d see the results of your investment.
Possible side effects of having a skincare routine
We’re completely transparent with you: there could be some disadvantages or risks of having a skincare routine, which is why it’s extremely important that you know what you’re putting onto your face. No worries, as this article will go through the details of what your skin type could be and how you can recognize it, but here are a few reminders before you start making your own skincare routine.
If you’ve finally chosen some products to commit to, you always have to keep in mind that these might not be the best options for your skin. Regardless of how the products are with other people, you always have to check, trial, and error to be completely sure that it’s the perfect one for you.
Your skin could be sensitive to certain ingredients in products, and you can never be too sure just by reading it carefully. Plus, you’d never know how your skin would react if you’ve never once tried products. We don’t want you to be afraid of exploring, but just be ready for any acne breakouts.
If you realize that you’ve been sprouting acne regularly for a few months, you should reconsider using that specific product. It means that your skin will never adjust to it, and you have to see what exactly causes the problem (St. Michael, 2018). Changing up products from time to time to see which one works for you is entirely normal. Everyone goes through the process.
Now, purging is completely different from breakouts. While breakouts are due to possible irritations and infections, purging only happens at the beginning of your journey. It’s essentially the skin’s initial reaction to a new product when it isn’t used to it.
In a way, you can see it as your skin adjusting to being treated, which is why it’s a bit sensitive at the start. Purging is more common amongst beginners, of course, since the skin still hasn’t been introduced to cosmetics, but you’ll see that the skin will eventually be alright as you keep using products.
More than that, purging is also when your skin uses that new opportunity to bring everything out at once一all the clogged dirt in your pores is finally brought out. These would, of course, result in acne, like pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads.
How to Get Started as a Beginner?
As we said earlier, we’ll guide you through the whole process of finding your perfect skincare routine. Whether you’re a beginner or not, you’ll surely understand the important key points that we’ll discuss with you.
Why is it important to know your skin type first?
Your skin type basically tells you how much oil and moisture there is on your skin, making you sensitive to very particular ingredients in products—knowing which ones would, right off the bat, not work for you will take you a significant amount of time and money (Phull, 2012). It’s like filtering the “bad” ones early on in your journey.
Different types of skin
If you have normal skin, you’re incredibly lucky since this means that you have a “perfect” balance between dryness and oiliness (SkinVision, 2020). It’s mostly because your pores aren’t large at all, making your sebum, the fatty acids and oils your skin secretes, production relatively normal.
It would also follow that your skin complexion isn’t shiny at all, staying bright and radiant. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get any oily spots or dry patches, though, but that your skin would relatively be a lot easier to fix—your skin doesn’t have much acne, and its composition is made to adapt very quickly.
The skin has sebaceous glands under the surface, and those are in charge of producing sebum for moisture and protection. Some people have more active glands than others, and that’s caused by many factors like genetics, environment, diet, etc. (Martino, 2020).
Because of the excessive oil on your skin, some areas would seem shinier and thicker than others. Those parts are usually the forehead, nose, and chin or the T-zone. More than that, your skin’s also more prone to acne since your pores would be larger than other skin types—the dirt from your environment could get in more easily.
Dry skin would kind of be the exact opposite of oily skin. If you have dry skin, it means that you lack a lot of moisture to protect your skin from the environment. Because of this, you’d also be just as prone to acne, just in different forms.
Your skin could look a bit pale and patchy from the dry skin, and some even have redness in areas because of irritations. Chapping in the lips is also common among people who have dry skin, making it very prone to peeling and pain.
This type is exactly what its name implies: the combination of oily and dry skin. Meaning your face is sort of divided into two parts. There’s more oil in the chin, nose, and forehead, and there’s significantly less in the mouth, eyes, and cheeks.
Having combination skin basically means that your sebaceous glands aren’t all producing the same way (Martino, 2020). That’s why many people’s T-zones are even more pronounced—the drier skin around it makes the whole area look shinier and heavier.
It’s a bit more complicated to treat this type of skin since you’d need to use different products for the two parts of your face. But, if you commit to it properly, it would be second nature to you in time.
Some people simply have more sensitive skin, which is more irritable to more potent ingredients. Because of this, it reacts to external factors more severely. For example, if you live in an area with strong winds, your skin could get patchy, dry, and red very quickly.
You could also experience more rashes from time to time, which makes sensitive skin the most complex type to manage. You really have to make sure that you have skincare products on hand to keep it safe and healthy.
It’s common knowledge that our body changes as we grow older, and our skin condition is no exemption. As we grow older, our sebaceous glands gradually slow down the oil production, making our skin drier than usual. If you’re in this transition stage, you might have to use different products to fit your skin’s new needs.
For example, your skin would be a lot more sensitive to sunlight, making you have some dark patches or spots on your face (Osborn, 2015). To counter this, people generally advise using more sunscreen whenever you go out to protect your skin from UV rays.
How to recognize your skin type?
We were able to discuss the different critical points of each skin type, but you would still need to test out some methods to really make sure you have the right one. You can try any of the two ways below to confirm your natural skin type.
According to Tsai (2017), washing your face with mild cleansers can wash away any dirt and oils that’s been collected throughout the day. In a way, you would be looking at your face in its most natural form, which will help you determine which parts of your skin are oily and dry.
After 30 minutes of cleansing your face, you would be able to start to see some glow on certain parts of your face, like the cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead, which is entirely normal. Most people will see this, so you should wait another 30 minutes before you can tell the differences.
- If you feel that your skin is a bit dehydrated, like it feels tight when you stretch or smile, then it’s likely that you have dry skin.
- If you observe that your forehead and nose are significantly shinier (but not too much) than the rest of your face, then it’s likely that you have normal or combination skin.
- If more places besides your forehead and nose are shiny, then it’s likely that you have oily skin.
This method by Tsai (2017) would require blotting papers, a particular type of paper you can use to absorb any excess oil from your face. If you already have this on hand, you can start blotting these on your T-zone: the nose, forehead, and chin. The best way to really see the oil is by looking at it through some light.
- If you see that the paper is almost transparent, that means that you have oily skin.
- If there is oil, but it’s still pretty opaque or in the middle, you probably have normal or combination skin.
- If there’s barely any oil or visible stains on the paper, you likely have dry skin.
Best Skin care Routine for Men
Now that you know which skin type you have, you can already start testing and trying out different products to see what works for you! We’ll discuss the most commonly used men’s face routines for each skin type, so just head over to yours and fully understand the key factors you have to remember.
Normal Skincare Routine
Because your skin is already pretty balanced as it is, you don’t have to be too extravagant with the products you use. These are mainly just for maintenance and cleansing if you will.
Washing your face
According to Whitley (2021), face cleansing for normal-skinned people is actually all up to the user’s textural preferences. Many cleansers are made with various materials that could both feel different and make your skin appear differently.
- Gel cleansers
Gel cleansers are actually made to be thicker than most to be able to reach further into your pores (Kim, 2020). They’re also generally soothing to the skin, depending on the ingredients, because of the colder textures that they can provide.
Some companies offer gentle gel cleansers that can clean the dirt off your face without damaging it at all. They maintain the moisture and wetness already present on the skin and simply clean.
- Cream Cleanser
These have more hydrating ingredients that can make your skin bouncier and more radiant. If you think that your normal skin is a bit on the drier side or at least has patches of more dehydrated skin, then this option is the best for you!
Cream cleansers can not only clean the impurities off your skin but also moisturize it slightly in the process. These cleansers feel a bit smoother and silkier on the skin.
- Oil cleanser
Because there isn’t much oil content on your skin, you can take advantage of the benefits of an oil cleanser without worrying about it being too heavy on the skin. These have ingredients that can efficiently clean the pollutants on your face while brightening and nourishing your skin.
Guys’ faces actually benefit these more! If you’re the type to have some facial hair, oil cleansers can also make your beard shine and softer. Doing this will make the beard aesthetically more pleasing and make it easier to shave and trim.
Toners can make your pores more closed up temporarily and permanently (Valenti, 2016). As we discussed earlier, acne and irritations are formed because dirt from your environment can enter your pores when they’re large enough.
After cleansing these impurities off your face, you have to decrease the chances of dirt getting onto it again, and toners do the job really well. Before you step out the door and expose your skin to pollutants, always make sure you’ve already applied toner to make yourself ready for the outside.
Moisturize your face
Like toners, moisturizers also act as barriers between you and any external dirt that could potentially enter your face. The difference is that, depending on the type, moisturizers have ingredients that hydrate your skin. Some don’t, though, and keep the moisture there instead.
Because of your normal skin, moisturizers are there only for maintenance and protection purposes. That’s why most people would actually choose ones with SPF content to counter the Sun’s rays. It would be more efficient that way and would definitely give more value to your money!
Oily Skincare Routine
When you have oily skin, you want to make sure that the excess sebum on your face doesn’t get into your pores and clog them. This could cause acne breakouts and infections, so it’s really important to have oil control over your skin.
- Washing your face
Kakar (2020) actually recommends washing your face twice a day一once in the morning when you wake up and once at night before you sleep一regardless of your skin type, but it’s even more critical for oily-skinned men. The excess oil on your face could catch some bacteria during the day, and it could infect your skin if you sleep on it.
People actually disregard the morning cleanse since they assume that their faces are clean straight from the bed. However, Lindberg (2020) actually states that your skin could be just as dirty since your skin sheds off many dead skin cells and oils while you sleep. So, when your wake up, you have a film of dirt on your face, whether you see it or not.
- Oil control cleansers
As the name suggests, oil control cleansers are best for making the oil content on your skin normal or healthy. These also control the acid on your skin since they can change your pH levels, reducing your chances of getting some acne breakouts.
- Exfoliating cleansers
You already know that our skin actually produces oil even in our sleep, and it also sheds off some dead skin cells. An excellent way to clean this is to rub off any film of impurities that are on your face with exfoliating cleansers. These are textured with small, hard particles, making them “scratch” off the dirt on your skin through friction.
- Gel cleansers
As mentioned above, gel cleansers can reach further into your pores than other types, which makes them access the deep-seated oil in your skin. Through this, they can clean more while killing any bacteria that’s into your skin because of their anti-bacterial ingredients.
Plus, they’re also made with soothing properties that can clean off a significant amount of oil in your skin without risking any pain and irritations in the process (Kim, 2020). They’re also moisturizing, which can give your skin the necessary hydration it needs even without the excess oil content.
- Applying toner
Toners also have a cleansing property to them, so if ever there’s any oil that’s left after cleansing your face, toners can get rid of them for you. Not only that, but toners can also reduce the size of your pores permanently (Valenti, 2016).
Meaning using these regularly will eventually make your pores smaller, decreasing any risk of potential dirt entering them. If this happens, your oil production would also be lessened over time since your secretion won’t be as active as it was before一there won’t be enough space to let it all out, after all.
Applying toners will also, in a way, shield your face from any external dirt since they’re also anti-bacterial. So before the bacteria can even get in and infect you, the toner can already eliminate them. Plus, they’re also inflammatory, which can tame your already-there acne.
- Moisturizing your face
After you’ve aggressively removed the oil off your face, you would need a healthy and clean substitute to still sustain your face’s needs. Remember that our body produces these oils to protect our skin from dehydration and external sources.
You should moisturize your face before your skin gets completely dry since it can absorb it a lot better that way (Clark, 2019). Plus, just gently pat and apply it onto your face to avoid any damage and irritations since it could be sensitive after the cleansing periods.
When picking out a moisturizer, you have to be careful not to pick oil-based ones since these could slide off your face over time. Some could also be heavier than others, depending on the type you choose, so just do a trial and error to see which one your face is most comfortable with.
- (Optional) Use blotting papers
If you want an easy way to control the oil and shine on your face, you should get blotting papers and bring them with you on the go. Like we discussed earlier, these papers are made to absorb any excess oil on your face anytime (Tsai, 2017).
During working hours or just throughout the day, you might feel that your face is a bit heavier. You can use these on your T-zones to reduce this feeling and keep yourself feeling fresh and confident!
Dry Skincare Routine
This will almost be similar to a normal skincare routine, but you really just have to keep in mind that you have to make efforts to hydrate your skin as much as possible.
- Washing your face
You need to pick products that are more gentle with your skin but still get the job done. Some of these would be made with all-natural oils or an ingredient called hyaluronic acid, which keeps your skin hydrated.
Avoid exfoliating cleansers since these tend to be harsher on the skin than others. You might think that these are beneficial for you because you have patches of dry skin you want to get rid of, but these will make the whole situation worse (Flinn, 2021).
Your skin especially needs external hydration because it cannot produce enough sebum on its own. So instead of removing the dead skin through exfoliation, use gel and cream cleansers instead. They are excellent choices for you since they have moisturizing properties as well as ingredients that can actually keep the moisture in place.
- Moisturizing your skin
Aiding your skin with moisturizer will definitely make it healthier since these can give you the necessary nutrients to hydrate your skin. In addition, moisturizers can soften any dried-up patches on your skin and prevent these from ever happening again!
These don’t have any moisturizing ingredients in them (Eroglu, 2020). Instead, they keep the moisture that’s already in your face from getting out. It’s almost like a shield to stop the water from leaving your face.
Humectants also don’t have moisturizing ingredients of their own but instead have elements that suck out moisture from the environment to go onto your face. So, for example, if you live in a humid climate, humectants can bring some external water to keep your face hydrated throughout the day.
If you live in a dry environment, though, these could make your skin even worse since they would essentially be bringing air into your already dry skin. These also don’t have the “shielding” properties that occlusives do, so you should use these with another product as well.
Unlike the other two, emollients have their own ingredients that could moisturize your face by themselves (Say, 2020). Plus, they can also keep the water there with their retaining properties just like the occlusives.
Combination Skincare Routine
Your skin is essentially a mix between dry and oily, which makes it a bit harder to maintain. Therefore, you would have to consider having two sets of products for both parts of your skin, but as long as you know exactly where to put each product, you’re good to go!
You first have to do the blotting method discussed above to see which parts of your face are oily and dry. Then, once you’ve already noted these, you can apply their respective routines properly. This is the most optimal way to keep your skin healthy since finding the compromise between the two routines will just make it mediocre as well: the middle ground between healthy and not.
Sensitive Skincare Routine
This skin type isn’t one of the four main ones, which means that you’re already one of the four (normal, dry, combination, or oily) and sensitive on top of that. So you first have to know which of the four you belong to and just make sure that the products you’re using are safe for your skin.
To do this, you can first apply small portions of the product onto your arm or any other coverable area to check for any adverse reactions or allergies. There are two types of responses: irritant contact dermatitis that happens immediately or allergic contact dermatitis that takes at least four days (Hurly, 2021). If you haven’t gotten any problems in that time, it’s safe to assume that your face would also probably not negatively react to these products.
It’s actually best to consult a dermatologist before trying out different products since they know more about the science and processes behind your skin. Plus, they could prescribe healing agents or creams to soothe and make your skin better permanently.
All of the information we’ve shared with you is simplified to help you start taking care of your face more without having to worry too much! Granted, there are still many factors to consider when making your own routine, but we hope this article has helped you outline it somewhat.
It is still up to you to take the necessary steps and take action since this is your body, after all. The information in your head won’t do much if you keep it there, so we really encourage you to start now. Again, the earlier you begin your journey, the better your skin will look over time.
We understand how difficult it is to commit to a routine so suddenly, but just remember that you are not alone in this journey. The results won’t come overnight. You really have to put in the work that’s necessary for you to see any visible outcomes of your invested time, energy, and money, but take comfort in the fact that a lot of us are going through it with you!
CLARK, C. (2019) Here's Why Moisturizing Your Face Is A Skincare Must-Do. Weblog [Online] 12th October. Available from: https://www.reviewthis.com/why-moisturizing-face-is-important/. [Accessed 7/6/21].
EROGLU, I. (2020) The 3 Different Types of Moisturizers, Explained. Weblog [Online] 21st October. Available from: https://www.ejollify.com/types-of-moisturizers/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
FLINN, A. (2021) The Ultimate Dermatologist-Recommended Routine for Dry Skin. Weblog [Online] 9th May. Available from: https://www.byrdie.com/dry-skincare-routine. [Accessed 11/6/21].
HURLY, A. (2021) Here's How to Patch Test a New Skin Care Product (And Why It's So Important). Weblog [Online] 31st March. Available from: https://www.gq.com/story/how-to-patch-test-a-new-skin-care-product. [Accessed 11/6/21].
IGNOTAITE, A. (2018) Why Your Skincare Routine Should Be Your Most Important Habit. Weblog [Online] 5th September. Available from: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/why-your-skincare-routine-should-be-your-most-important-habit-41d9445ced49. [Accessed 10/6/21].
KAKAR, P. (2020) Men With Oily Skin, Here’s Your Ultimate Skincare Guide. SkinKraft Laboratories. Weblog [Online] 13th October. Available from: https://skinkraft.com/blogs/articles/oily-skin-care-tips-for-men#5-ways-men-can-control-oily-skin. [Accessed 11/6/21].
KIM, H. (2020) The 3 Major Perks and Benefits of Gel Cleansers for Face!. Weblog [Online] 24th March. Available from: https://www.wishtrend.com/glam/the-3-major-perks-and-benefits-of-using-cleansing-gel-for-face/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
LINDBERG, S. (2020) A Daily Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin: 4 Key Steps. Healthline. Weblog [Online] 5th February. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-care-routine-for-oily-skin-2. [Accessed 11/6/21].
MARTINO, A. (2020) The 4 Different Skin Types: Which Skin Type Do You Have?. Weblog [Online] 12th February. Available from: https://www.skinneymedspa.com/skin-types/. [Accessed 10/6/21].
MEYER, J. (2021) Here’s an Easy Men’s Skin Care Routine You’ll Actually Follow Every Day. Weblog [Online] 17th January. Available from: https://effortlessgent.com/mens-skin-care-routine/. [Accessed 10/6/21].
OSBORN, E. (2015) 4 Strange Skin Changes You Might Notice After Age 40. Weblog [Online] 6th May. Available from: https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/a50501/aging-skin-conditions/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
PHULL, R. (2012) The Importance of Knowing Your Skin Type. Weblog [Online] 29th October. Available from: https://www.sknclinics.co.uk/blog/the-importance-of-knowing-your-skin-type. [Accessed 11/6/21].
SAY, T. (2020) Different Types of Moisturizers: Finding the Right Hydration for Your Skin Type. Weblog [Online] 3rd January. Available from: https://blog.kiseu.co/skincare/different-types-of-moisturizers/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
SHRIKANT, N. (2019) Top 11 Reasons Why You Should Use A Sunscreen. Weblog [Online] 12th November. Available from: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/sunscreen-why-use/. [Accessed 10/6/21].
SKINVISION (2020) Different Skin Types: The Complete Overview. Weblog [Online] 2nd May. Available from: https://www.skinvision.com/articles/different-skin-types-the-complete-overview/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
- MICHAEL, N. (2018) Skin Purging vs. Breakout (How to Tell the Difference). Weblog [Online] 26th July. Available from: https://www.inspirebeautyshop.com/skin-purging-vs-breakout/. [Accessed 10/6/21].
TSAI, V. (2017) How to Determine Your Skin Type. Weblog [Online] 1st June. Available from: https://www.tatcha.com/blog/How-to-determine-your-skin-type.html. [Accessed 11/6/21].
VALENTI, L. (2016) Here's Why You Actually Do Need to Use Toner. Weblog [Online] 28th March. Available from: https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/news/a19522/why-you-need-to-use-toner/. [Accessed 11/6/21].
WHITLEY, A. (2021) Normal Skin: The Ultimate Guide & Skin Care Routine. Weblog [Online] 1st June. Available from: https://eminenceorganics.com/ca/blog/2019/04/25/normal-skin-what-it-how-care-it. [Accessed 11/6/21].