Best Skincare Routine for Men: A Step-By-Step Guide
You've probably noticed how much skincare is talked about for women, and how much it isn't talked about for men, but both genders should have a skincare routine to maintain the health of their skin. As the biggest organ in your body, looking after your skin is vital to your health.
In this article, we're going to look at skincare for men, what it means, why you need a routine, and offer insight into a men's skincare routine. Whether you're looking for tips on a new routine, learning from scratch, or just trying to understand why skincare is necessary, we've got you covered.
Keep reading to find out more.
What is a skincare routine and why do I need one?
In short, a skincare routine is the series of products you apply to your face morning and night to keep the skin glowing and healthy. A solid skincare routine should leave your skin feeling healthy, and though it is less spoken about, men's skin needs a routine too!
Your skincare routine can include a simple facial cleanser and some moisturiser, or it may go deeper with added eye cream for dark circles, exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, creams to reduce fine lines, and sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.
A skincare routine is as vital to your body as sleep, healthy eating, and regular exercise. By treating your skin with respect, you are keeping it healthy, firm and bright. A skincare routine helps to prevent issues in the future, like dry skin, acne, and wrinkles.
You're never too young or too old to start using skincare products and learning how to keep your skin healthy will be beneficial to you in the future.
To start a skincare routine, the first thing you'll need to do is determine your skin type to ensure you're using the right products for your skin. To find out how, keep on reading.
How to determine skin type
Skin type refers to the texture, moisture levels, sensitivity, and sebum levels of the skin. It is determined by genetics and can't be changed. Before you begin a new skincare routine, you should determine what skin type you have to ensure you're using products that are suitable for it.
Dry skin produces less sebum than other skin types, making the skin drier and more prone to cracking, and becoming flaky and rough. Dry skin feels tighter, is irritated easily and can appear dull. This skin type struggles to retain moisture, and so heavy face creams and face oils are needed.
Oily skin is caused by too much sebum being produced. Though sebum protects the skin, too much of it can cause clogged pores and acne. Oily skin needs water-based formulas and light face creams and face washes.
Sensitive skin is usually dry but can also present in those oily skin types. Sensitive skin is characterised by skin that is reactive where normal skin wouldn't be. Sensitivities can cause rashes, dry skin, and irritation and the skincare routine often requires gentle, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free products.
Normal skin is not too oily or too dry and tends to work with a range of skincare products. Generally, this skin type is easy to cater for and does not require specialist products.
Combination skin is a tricky skin type because it can be both oily and dry. There are many products that cater to combination skin and a balance between heavy products and light, water-based products may take time to find.
Acne-prone skin can be both oily and dry, though those with oilier skin are more likely to have acne-prone skin. Acne-prone skin needs special products to deal with the excess oil produced, which causes clogged pores and the resultant acne.
This final skin type can be combined with others, but is characteristically more wrinkled, weathered and has age spots. If you have spent a lot of years not taking care of your skin, you may find you have this skin type.
Simple skincare routine for men
Each skincare routine is different and can vary from person to person depending on different skin types, budgets, and allotted time. Below, we have mapped out the basis of all skincare and explained how to apply each product and why it is applied. This baseline can be catered toward all skin types by adding products suitable for your skin. Take a look now.
Step one: cleanse
The first step to any skincare routine is to cleanse your skin. This can be done using a facial cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.
Cleansing washes away impurities, brightens the skin in the morning, and preps the skin for moisturisation. On an evening, you may find a double cleanse is suitable to ensure you wash away all the impurities of the day. This can be done with the same cleanser or two different cleansers. If using two different products, start with an oil-based cleanser and follow with a water-based product.
Facial cleansers sometimes come targetted to acne-prone skin too and this type of cleanser can be followed by a lighter, gentler cleanser in the evening.
Never wash your face with a soap bar, even it's the only thing you've got. Soap bars can dry your skin out quickly and leave it irritated. In addition, overwashing your face can cause it to become dry, or in the case of those with oily skin, even more oily.
Cleanse with water and a soft, microfibre cloth if needed. Work the product into the skin in circular motions before washing off and ensure you cover your entire face and neck.
Step two: exfoliation
You should exfoliate depending on the type of skin you have. This means less exfoliation for those with drier skin and more for those with oilier skin. That being said, nobody needs to be exfoliating more than three times a week.
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and excess sebum from the skin, cleaning it more deeply than a cleanser and allowing new skin to shine through. Over exfoliation can cause dry patches, so be careful not to go overboard.
Exfoliation is a good idea before shaving as it ensures a smoother, cleaner shave.
Exfoliation comes in two types, physical and chemical. A physical exfoliator is usually called a face scrub and contains physical scrubbing ingredients, like the coffee in this physical face scrub. A chemical exfoliant is usually an alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acid (AHAs and BHAs respectively), like lactic or salicylic acid. Some exfoliators use both physical scrubs and chemical exfoliants, like this Dr Organic Tea Tree Scrub.
To exfoliate properly, ensure your product is suited to your skin type. After cleansing and with wet skin, rub the product into your face and neck in circles, then wash off with warm water.
Step three: hydration
After you have cleaned and dried your face, it's time to restore the moisture. Hydration can come from creams, lotions, serums, and other products and this step is also where any specialist cream, like targetted eye creams, come in.
This step can simply be where you apply a face cream, or you can make it a multi-step process for deeper hydration.
We recommended beginning with hyaluronic acid or using a cream that contains it. The acid alone makes for a hydrating base for your skincare and allows any moisture to skin deeper into the skin.
After hyaluronic acid come any face serums you want to apply. A face serum is used to penetrate deeper into the skin than normal moisturisers. Serums are highly concentrated and designed to go onto your skin before your moisturiser. Serums can be helpful for those with dry and sensitive skin, and serums suitable for oily skin and ageing skin are also available.
Serums provide more targeted relief than all over moisturisers and are a great addition to all men's skincare routines.
As well as serums, you may want to add an eye cream to your routine. This would go on after the serum but before the moisturiser. Eye cream is more suited to the skin around the eye and is designed to be gentle on the thin and delicate skin there. Eye creams can be targeted to remove dark circles, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and other visible signs of aging.
Once you have applied serums and eye creams, you can apply your moisturiser. You need to ensure that your face cream is suited to your skin type. If you have drier skin, opt for heavier, thicker creams that penetrate deep, or even a face oil. For oily skin types, you should choose lighter face creams designed for oily skin.
To moisture, take a small amount of the product and massage it into the entire face as well as the neck and leave to soak in.
Step four: protection
The final step in any skincare routine should be sun protection. This is to protect your skin from the sun's penetrating rays and to prevent the aging and wrinkles that come with sun damage. Everyone, of every age, skin type, skin colour, and budget should apply sunscreen as the final step in their skincare routine.
If you have oily skin, you can opt to skip the moisturiser and just apply sunscreen, provided your sunscreen choice is sufficiently moisturising.
Sun exposure speeds up the aging process resulting in aged, weathered, and tired-looking skin and all good skincare routines include SPF.
There are hundreds of options for face sun creams out there and you should ensure you are wearing one daily, even if you plan on sitting indoors all day!
A note on facial hair
For those with facial hair, it should be noted that you need to keep the skin under it healthy too!
You should shampoo your beard, especially if you find you have dandruff in it. This will also help to clean the skin underneath it.
When applying moisturiser to your face, you can use this for the skin under the facial hair too. You may also want to try facial hair oils, like this beard oil, or an aftershave balm to keep your beard soft and the skin underneath it smooth.
Men's skincare is rarely talked about but is vital to your overall health. What you put onto your body is just as important as what you put into it and so choosing a good skincare routine can help your skin feel better as well as your body.
As well as the physical look and feel of your skin, good skin is important for good self-esteem and mental wellbeing. In a world where appearance is still an important factor, feeling like your skin looks good can help you to feel good too.
There are lots of products out there for men's skincare now (including a lot of products marketed to women that will actually help your skin too!!) and so finding the right routine is easier than ever.
Take a look at the skincare we have on offer and start developing your own solid skincare routine today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the perfect skincare routine for men?
The perfect skincare routine for men consists of cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating and protecting. The cleansing stage can be done using a face wash that is suited to your skin type. Wash with warm water. Exfoliation is next but only needs to be done 1 - 3 times a week. Then you need to hydrate. If you're using serums and eye creams, these go onto your skin before your moisturiser. Then protect your skin with sunscreen to avoid damage from too much exposure to the sun.
What are the steps for a good skincare routine?
A good skincare routine involves cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating, and protecting. Cleansing means washing with a cleanser, and double-cleansing in the evenings to remove impurities from the day. Exfoliation can be done with a physical or chemical exfoliant and should be done 1 - 3 times a week. Then you should treat and hydrate your skin. This means using any treatments, serums, and eye creams and then applying moisturiser. Then you should layer on sunscreen to protect your skin.
How can I get flawless skin?
Flawless skin comes from keeping your skin healthy. To get flawless skin you need to ensure you are cleansing away impurities twice a day everyday. You should exfoliate up to three times a week to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. You should then treat and hydrate your skin, using products that target your skin concerns, and a moisturiser suited to your skin type. Then you need to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen every day. You could also apply a face mask once a week and go for regular facials.
How do I start a skincare routine for beginners?
Beginning a skin care routine is easy if you follow the basic steps: cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, protect. Cleanse with a face wash that is suited to your skin type, then exfoliate 1 - 3 times a week with a physical or chemical exfoliant. You can then moisturise straight away, or treat your skin first with serums, eyes creams, and other products like vitamin c and retinol. Afterward, you should layer on a sunscreen.