Body soap alone cannot address your specific skin concerns. While it does rid your body of dirt, the ingredients found in those are particularly harsh on your face and disrupt the pH balance of the skin.
Having set skincare products can help eliminate your acne, reduce oil buildup, and prevent your skin from rapidly aging. The problem is, which products should you get?
Keep reading to find out what skincare products for men will work well for you!
How To Choose The Best Skin Care Products For You?
You do not need four or five skincare products in your routine. They just need to be targeted to your needs, such as skin type and preferences. Here’s how to choose the best skin care product for you:
Consider your skin type
The first and most important step to choosing the best skin care is to determine what skin type you have. For example, do you have oily skin? Dry skin? Remember that some ingredients do not work well for specific skin types.
Once you know what skin type you have, shopping for products is easier. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, you might find yourself looking for products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in it.
Knowing your skin type also helps you determine which ingredients will not work well for your skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin, for instance, you should minimize the use of skincare products that have exfoliating ingredients like Vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA).
Prioritize Products That Address Your Needs
Think about what you want to achieve with your skincare routine. Does it solve your acne? Prevent wrinkles from appearing? Then you need a product that can help with that.
If you have acne, for instance, stick to a routine that can get rid of it and buy products that can help you with it. Meanwhile, if your goal is to minimize your fine lines and wrinkles, focus on anti-aging skincare products, like serums.
You don’t have to buy one of everything—just two to three items that can help meet your needs!
Pick Skincare Products Based on Your Preference
It is a waste of money if you buy a skincare product but end up not using it. So, in choosing a product, you should be 100% sure that you will like it.
An example of this is how some men do not like the heavy feel of cream or lotion on their faces, even if the cream was already fully absorbed into the skin. So, if you are one of these men, it is best to go for men’s makeup with formulations that have a lighter feel, like a gel-based moisturizer.
You should also consider how much time you can spare for skincare. There are facial cleansers that take some time to foam on your face. An example of this is oil-based cleansers, which, though more effective, you really have to work thoroughly with before you can see any results.
Lastly, be aware of skincare products that have strong fragrances in them. If you are sensitive to strong fragrances, it is best to choose something with no fragrance to minimize the chances of developing an allergic reaction.
Read the Ingredient List
Finally, never trust the labels on certain skincare products. Some examples of these labels are “formulated for acne-prone skin,” “best for oily skin,” and “renew aging skin,” among others. More often than not, brands just use this as a marketing strategy. The ingredients in the skincare product do not have the main ingredients that resolve your skin concerns.
Always look at the ingredient list of the skincare product that you are planning to buy.
An example is when you want to buy a product for your dry skin. The first five ingredients that you should see in the list should be those that hydrate or moisturize, such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, or peptides.
Best Skincare Products for Men with Normal Skin
You will know you have the normal skin type if your face does not get dry or flaky. In the event that you get oily, the oil is not greasy and is just concentrated on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin.
If you have a normal skin type, you will only need to stick to a basic routine you can do once every night. Here’s what you’ll need:
The first step is to clear your face. Cleansing your face helps clean the gunk out of your pores, which can also prevent acne from forming. Don’t use hand soap.
Hand soap is created with harsh chemicals not suited for sensitive skin (such as the face). Instead, use a facial cleanser. You can choose a cream, gel, bubble, or oil-based cleanser, depending on your preference.
Your cleanser should have emollients—ingredients that ensure your face looks bright and still moisturized after cleansing. Some examples of emollients include ceramides, lanolin, petrolatum, and mineral oil.
By the way, since your skin type is very forgiving, you can use cleansers that have active ingredients in them, such as niacinamide, Vitamin C, or hyaluronic acid.
Adding a serum to your skincare routine helps maintain the barrier of your skin and make it more refined. You can go for serums that have ingredients that nourish the skin, like Vitamin E, niacinamide, collagen, or hyaluronic acid.
It doesn’t matter whether you use an oil-based or water-based serum, as your skin type can easily absorb both formulations without feeling greasy. Again, your skin is forgiving, so choose whatever works best for you and your preferences.
Using a moisturizer helps hydrate the skin so your face does not get too dry or oily. It also acts as a barrier against harmful pollutants in the environment. They usually contain active ingredients like pomegranate, licorice root extract, chamomile, or green tea, allowing your face to look healthy and fresh all day.
The best type of moisturizer is cream-based. These are the thin and lightweight ones. You’ll never feel them on.
If your chosen moisturizer makes you feel greasy at the end of the day, switching to an even lighter formula is recommended (even if it only has one active ingredient). Niacinamide moisturizers are an excellent example, as they help monitor your skin’s oil production.
Next, don’t ever forget to wear sunscreen. And yes, before you ask, we should still wear sunscreen even if we are not going outside. This is so that your skin will not prematurely age due to the damage from the sun’s rays and develop early wrinkles. It also helps in reducing dark spots brought about by sun exposure.
You can choose between a physical sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen. A physical or mineral sunscreen is one that protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It has zinc oxide and titanium oxide in it, which makes it look white.
A chemical sunscreen protects your skin by having active ingredients that absorb the UVB rays before it penetrates your skin. It is barely visible (making it great for photos) but does disappear after a while. If you choose this type of sunscreen, just make sure to reapply after three hours.
Keep in mind that if you have a darker skin tone, it is best to use a chemical sunscreen since it does not have a white cast. In the event that you prefer physical sunscreens despite having a bit of white cast, you can remedy this by really working the sunscreen into your skin and putting a CC cream on top.
Scheduling an exfoliating step in your skincare routine can be a hassle, but necessary if you truly want to stick to a dedicated routine. Exfoliating is what removes the dead skin cells that clog your pores, preventing things like pimples, acne, and oil build-up from occurring.
You only need to exfoliate once or twice a week. Doing this more often will dry up your skin, making it more susceptible to skin concerns.
We suggest using a chemical exfoliant (such as toners) rather than a physical exfoliant. A chemical exfoliant toner has active ingredients that exfoliate your skin just by applying it on your face. A physical exfoliant can come in cream form with scrubbing beads in it. You exfoliate your face by manually scrubbing it.
A chemical exfoliant is better to use because it is gentler and reduces the chances of over-exfoliating your skin.
You can choose from various acids such as phytic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. Make sure to pace the use of these products because they can sting and burn your face when used daily.
By the way, wearing sunscreen should be an established routine when it is your exfoliating day—freshly exfoliated skin is very sensitive to the sun. Make sure that it has at least SPF 30.
Best Skincare Products for Men with Oily Skin
The common misconception for oily skin types is that we should only be using drying skin care products to remove the oil on our faces. However, that’s simply not true.
Drying skin care products are those that have a lot of acid ingredients that dry the skin. When we purely use skin-drying products, our skin produces more oil to compensate for the loss of moisture. Therefore, we should aim to minimize excess sebum production by using skincare products that properly hydrate our faces—not dry them.
That said, here are our skincare product recommendations for men with oily skin:
It is important to deep clean your face when you have oily skin. Deep cleaning means that all of the excess oil and dirt buildup are removed from your face with just one wash.
A deep-cleaning facial cleanser should be able to penetrate and clean your clogged pores without drying your face. Use oil, gel, or cream-based facial rather than using a foamy one. Foam or bubble cleansers tend to strip the natural oils on your face, which leads to a much oilier face.
The struggle is that you feel the need to cleanse it immensely as it feels greasy—hence the bias toward foamy facial cleansers.
The good news is you can still use foamy cleansers that are formulated with ingredients targeted for oily skin. This way, you can still have that “clean feel” after cleansing, but you are assured that you still have just the right amount of oil in your face to keep it from becoming dry.
A gentle Vitamin C exfoliating cleanser is a good option. It acts as an exfoliant that helps unclog your pores. Be on the lookout for Vitamin C cleansers formulated with oils that nourish the skin, such as lime oil and bark oil.
Exfoliating Toner or Daily Toner
Your pores can easily get clogged with dirt and oil due to excess sebum production. This is why sometimes, you get redness, inflammation, and acne. Using a toner can help deepen, clean, and nourish your pores. You can either use a chemical exfoliant toner or just a regular toner.
A chemical exfoliant toner has active ingredients that exfoliate the skin by rapidly promoting skin renewal. A regular or daily toner simply removes leftover oil and dirt, and it also balances the pH level of the skin.
However, if you already have an exfoliant ingredient in your cleanser, like Vitamin C, alpha-hydroxy acid, or glycolic acid, you can do away with toner as you do not want to over-exfoliate your skin.
If you want to use a daily toner, look for skin care products that are formulated for calming and strengthening the skin barrier. Ingredients like witch hazel, tea tree oil, niacinamide, aloe vera, and hemp seed oil are great for this.
Men with oily skin should use moisturizers to provide adequate hydration to the face. Remember, your skin gets oily because it lacks hydration. It keeps on producing oil to hydrate your face properly. Therefore, if you use moisturizer to help hydrate it, your skin will no longer produce excess sebum.
The best type of moisturizer for men with oily skin is one that is gel-based or water-based. Gel formulas, in particular, get easily absorbed into the skin, and they feel lightweight.
It is difficult to find a perfect sunscreen for men with oily skin as all of them add some slickness to your face. Still, it’s important to wear sunscreen and protect your skin from UVB.
A good trick to lessen the oily look and feel of sunscreen is to mix a bit of translucent powder into it. This does not affect the efficacy of the sunscreen, but it does help achieve a matte finish on your face.
You can also opt for sunscreens that are in a primer or stick form (usually with clay), as they can help with oil control.
Best Skincare Products for Men with Acne-Prone Skin
The problem with acne products is they can be drying to the skin. As such, the products in your routine should have a balance between hydration and acne-fighting ingredients. Here are our suggestions:
Antimicrobial Face Cleanser
For men with acne, it is vital that your face cleanser has an antimicrobial agent. This not only deep cleans your pores and prevents acne from forming, but it also treats your current acne. Ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) help fight bacteria and dry acne.
You can use any type of facial cleanser, but we recommend choosing a cream, bubbly, or foam-based one. Using such products will deep clean your face and prevent the growth and spread of bacteria.
If you already have acne treatment products in your routine, just opt for a facial cleanser that has a gentle formula. Ceramides and peptides work well in cleansing and nourishing the skin barrier of the face. They also do not aggravate acne.
Do not recommend using a face cleanser with physical exfoliants. These are cleansers with actual microbeads that scrub the skin, which may irritate your acne.
Exfoliating Toner and Daily Toner
Exfoliation helps unclog pores that later develop into acne. However, these skin care products should not be used daily. Active ingredients like mandelic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) help with skin renewal and pore cleansing.
You should also use a daily toner to help calm your inflamed and irritated skin. For a daily facial toner, we highly suggest picking skincare products with a calming effect. Calming toners also work best, especially if you use a cleanser that has a brightening effect, like a Vitamin C cleanser.
Face toners that have niacinamide, aloe vera, tea tree, centella asiatica leaf extract, madecassoside, or artemisia vulgaris extract also help reduce the inflammation and redness of your face.
Gel-based products have a lightweight formula that is gentle on the skin. Gel-based moisturizers also get easily absorbed by the skin. This ensures that your pores will NOT get clogged by oil, reducing the chances of getting more acne.
This formula is also soothing, which is great for calming areas where you have acne.
Remember, acne skin care products can dry the skin, so we also need to focus on hydrating our faces. Lean on moisturizers with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, antioxidants, or Vitamin E.
Alternatively, if your face is experiencing dryness due to acne skin care, get a night cream. Using a cream-based or lotion-based skin care product at night will combat dryness as it has a thicker formula.
Acne Treatment for Men
The amount of antimicrobial agents in all the skincare products is sometimes not concentrated enough to get rid of acne completely. So, if you do have a breakout, you must have a dedicated anti-acne skincare product ready.
These are usually those that contain only one active ingredient that treats your acne, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, and sulfur. They usually come in dedicated “spot acne treatments” or lotions.
Just make sure to apply these products in areas where there is acne, as lathering them with moisturizer may dry and irritate your skin.
It is best to use a chemical sunscreen when you have acne-prone skin because zinc oxide and titanium oxide in physical sunscreen products tend to clog the pores. Again, despite its name, chemical sunscreen does not have harmful chemicals—it just relies on a “chemical reaction” with the absorption of its active ingredients.
The best part? It does not aggravate acne.
The downside of not using a physical sunscreen (the one that looks like lotion), however, is that our acne and any redness on our face can still be seen. We can easily cover those imperfections with a stick concealer.
Best Skincare Products for Men with Dry Skin
It is difficult for men to deal with dry or sensitive skin, especially for those with full-on beards. Take a look at the following skincare products that work best with dry or sensitive skin:
Face hydration is key in resolving problems for most people with dry or sensitive skin. Pick a facial cleanser that does not foam as much as this can be drying, like gl-based or oil-based cleansers.
Cleansing products that have ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, squalane, or lactic acid can lock in the moisture of your skin even after washing it. Be on the lookout for those.
Men with dry skin will benefit more from using serums (as opposed to toners) as these have a more concentrated formula that is packed with active ingredients. The slightly thicker consistency of serums also helps with hydration as well.
The best serums for men with dry skin should have active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, collagen, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), or other botanical and essential oils. These ingredients also provide extra moisture, combat redness, and reduce inflammation.
Moisturizer is the best friend of any man with dry skin. However, while we might have the urge to drown our faces in moisturizer, this will do more harm than good.
When our skin has too much moisture, it no longer releases natural oils. Therefore, by the time our moisturizer is absorbed by our skin, there are still no natural oils on our face to keep it hydrated. So, use moisturizer—but not too much.
Anyway, it is best to go for cream-based or lotion-based moisturizers. The feel might be thicker or heavier, but since we have dry skin, our faces will just drink it all up. Some examples of key ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramides, peptides, propylene glycol, or niacinamide.
The best weapon against skin dryness and sensitivity is night cream. Your night cream should be on the heavier side, as dry skin easily absorbs any skincare product. The nourishing ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, ceramides, peptides, Vitamin E, or glycerin.
Best Skincare Products for Men with Aging Skin
It’s normal to want to look young forever, which consistent skincare can help you achieve. In fact, men in their late 20s to 30s should start using anti-aging skin care products to reduce the chances of getting fine lines and wrinkles early.
For older men, you typically want products with active ingredients that must stay longer on the skin and not be rinsed off for maximum effectiveness.
There are skincare products that market as an all-in-one anti-aging treatment. These come in the form of cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Just be sure to check the ingredients; see if they’re really fit for an aging face.
For example, an anti-aging moisturizer should at least have Vitamin C, aloe leaf juice, panthenol, or other antioxidants.
Men with aging skin and those who want to start an anti-aging regimen should invest in a high-quality serum. Retinol is the only proven effective ingredient that can drastically minimize the signs of aging. Another good product is a Vitamin C serum that is best for skin renewal and brightening.
Too much skin damage from UVB causes premature aging of the skin. When you do not use sunscreen, your fine lines will look more defined, and it will be easier for you to develop wrinkles (and sun spots).
Thus, never forget to wear sunscreen, especially when putting retinol and Vitamin C on your face. Your best option is physical sunscreens (the ones that look like lotion), which provide longer and more coverage.
Men’s skincare should not be complicated. Just remember the basics: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Once we have these three skin care products, then we are set!
The best skincare routine for you is one that works well with your skin type and addresses your skin woes. Just be faithful to your chosen active ingredient, and you will be well on your way to skin rejuvenation.
Can I use a cleanser with alcohol in it?
Yes, you can. The alcohol found in most cleansers is different from ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Alcohols like lanolin or cetyl alcohol are fatty alcohols that do not irritate the skin. They are used as emulsifiers.
Can I combine retinol and Vitamin C?
Using these two active ingredients at the same time is not recommended but not prohibited. These are strong exfoliants and antioxidants that can irritate the skin. If you want to use both, you should let your skin build a tolerance first. Retinol and Vitamin C are best paired with hyaluronic acid.
Can I skip the toner?
Yes, you can, especially if you have normal or dry skin. However, if you have acne-prone skin or oily skin, adding toner to your routine will be beneficial. Toner helps remove leftover dirt and oil and helps the absorption of moisturizer.