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Breaking the Stigma: Why Skin Care is Important for Men

a man putting lotion on his face
a man putting lotion on his face

From skin care practices to dietary adjustments, there are many aspects of skin care that men should be investing in just as much as women. Men’s skin care has not historically been as trendy as other beauty practices, but no matter who you are, it’s important to take care of your skin. 

Read on for eight essential skin care tips for men to help prevent wrinkles, protect against sun damage, and reduce razor bumps.

1) Understand Your Skin Type And Steer For Products That Are Formulated For It

different skin types graphic

Knowing your skin type is essential in order to properly take care of your skin. Different skin types may require different needs, so it is important to find what works best for you. Whether your skin is dry, oily, sensitive, or “normal,” it’s always a good idea to follow these tips:

  • Stay away from harsh, strong chemical-based products
  • Protect your skin from becoming irritated or damaged 
  • Wear sunscreen daily
  • Wash your face regularly

Dry Skin

If you tend to have dry skin, your skin care routine may require gentle exfoliation with a face scrub and extra moisturizing. Look for products that contain hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, or natural ingredients such as aloe vera, which hydrates and nourishes your skin.

Oily Skin

Oily skin may benefit from the use of oil-fighting cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Products with natural ingredients such as tea tree oil or witch hazel are often suggested to help balance oil production and reduce blemishes.

Sensitive Skin

a man looking at his face in the mirror

For sensitive skin, it's important to steer clear of harsh ingredients that may irritate the skin or cause inflammation. Look for products that are fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and made as naturally as possible. Check the skin care aisle for gentle products geared towards soothing and protecting delicate skin.

Normal Skin

Normal skin should be able to benefit from all kinds of products, as long as they’re gentle and free of unhealthy chemicals. Using products tailored to your skin type, such as cleansers and moisturizers, can also help to maximize your glow.

2) Wash Your Face In The Mornings, After Exercise, And At Night Before Bed

a man washing his face with water

Taking the time to wash your face can help you to maintain a healthy and glowing complexion and prevent acne. 

  • Wash your face in the morning to eliminate any dirt, oil, or bacteria that has built up on your skin overnight. 
  • Sweat, dirt, and gym bacteria that adhere themselves onto your skin during and after a workout can cause irritation and lead to acne breakouts. Give your face a good wash after each exercise session.
  • Finally, night-time face-washing can help remove any makeup and sweat from the day, allowing your skin to properly rest and repair itself during the night. 

All that being said, don’t wash your face too often! Doing so can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to potential dryness, irritation, and breakouts. Washing your face twice a day should suffice to keep your skin clean and healthy. 

Doing this simple but effective daily process for your face can help to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

3) Always Use Moisturizer After Washing Your Face

a man putting lotion on his face

Moisturizing your skin with a face lotion can help to lock in the moisture and keep it hydrated, giving you a dewy, healthy-looking glow. Look for a moisturizer best suited for your skin type. 

If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores. People with dry skin can instead opt for a heavier, more hydrating moisturizer.

4) Know How To Handle Irritations Or Acne

Acne and other skin irritations, such as rashes or redness, can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. To fix them, it’s important to understand the best ways to treat acne-prone skin.

The first step, which you probably know already, is to avoid picking or popping any pimples. This can increase the risk of scarring and cause the pimple to become more inflamed. 

Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, and use skin care products specifically designed to target acne or other skin irritations. Keep in mind that inflammation and acne can be caused by internal health issues as well, such as stress, a poor diet, or hormonal changes caused by a number of factors

Once you pinpoint the cause, you can take the necessary steps to address it, such as taking a break to reduce stress, eating a more balanced diet, or talking to a doctor about any underlying health issues.

Bonus tip: Green tea, well-known for its wealth of nutritional benefits and antioxidants, can be your new best friend for skin care. You can even apply the tea onto your skin directly to support better skin health. 

5) Wear Sunscreen Whenever Outside

a man putting on sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen should become part of your everyday routine to ensure maximum protection against the sun. Sunscreen helps to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause long-term damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. 

Make sure to always apply sunscreen before going outside, and reapply every two hours or after sweating or swimming. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and ensure that it is broad-spectrum, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. 

You can even look out for a sunscreen tailored to your skin type, or one that contains additional ingredients such as antioxidants, which protect your skin from environmental stressors. 

6) Soften Up The Skin Before Shaving

This one might be a surprise to some–what exactly does “softening” the skin mean, and how do you do it? Softening your skin helps to make the shaving process easier and can help to prevent irritation and razor burn or bumps. 

To get started with a solid pre-shave routine, here are a few practical steps to take: 

  • Soak in a hot bath or shower, or apply a warm, damp towel to your face for at least two minutes. 
  • Once your skin is softened, apply shaving cream or oil to help lubricate your skin and aid in an easy and comfortable shave. 
  • Make sure to use a sharp razor and don’t press too hard, as this can lead to nicks and cuts. 

Taking the time to properly prepare before you shave can help to ensure a smooth, comfortable process that keeps your skin happy and healthy.

7) Avoid Aftershaves That Contain Alcohol

a man putting on aftershave

Aftershaves that contain alcohol can be extremely drying and irritating for the skin. As such, it’s best to try and avoid them. Alcohol tends to dry out the natural oils of your skin, leading to a tight, over-dry feeling. It can also cause irritation, redness, and burning. 

When shopping for aftershave, go alcohol-free to ensure your face gets the extra hydration it needs for that healthy, attractive glow. Some aftershaves also contain natural ingredients that hydrate, soothes, or renews the skin, such as aloe vera, chamomile, and witch hazel

8) Pat Face Dry When Wet To Avoid Wrinkles

When your face is wet, try to simply pat it dry rather than rubbing it. A tiny difference in approach, but significant in consequences when it comes to aging gracefully! Patting your face dry allows you to gently soak up any excess water on your skin without causing any damage. 

Taking the time to properly dry your face keeps your skin looking and feeling its best. Pro tip: Use a soft, clean towel as opposed to a rough towel, as the latter may cause irritation. 

Sample Skin Care Routine For Anyone To Try

a sample skncare routine

A good skin care regimen should include a mix of cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, as well as other steps such as exfoliating and using spot treatments. Below is a sample skin care routine that you may try, starting today.

Use A Face Wash Twice A Day

As we’ve discussed, your face twice a day helps remove dirt, oils, and any other debris while still keeping your skin hydrated. Use a gentle, non-irritating facial cleanser to avoid any skin damage or inflammation.

Exfoliate Twice A Week

Exfoliating your skin twice a week can help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Use a gentle scrub or an exfoliating brush to help slough off the dead skin cells. Make sure to exfoliate gently and to not over scrub your skin!

Moisturize Morning And Night  

Applying a moisturizer morning and night helps to keep your skin hydrated. Use a lightweight moisturizer in the morning, and a richer one at night. Doing so will help to keep your skin looking and feeling nourished, allowing it to keep its natural glow.

Try An Eye Cream

a man putting on eye cream

We don’t always keep this in mind, but the skin around the eyes is very delicate. And because of this, it needs some extra love and care! Eye creams are formulated to treat the specific skin issues around the eyes, such as dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles. Choose an eye cream specifically designed for your needs. 

Use Sunscreen

It’s important to always use sunscreen, especially on your face. This can help reduce the UV rays that damage your skin and reduce wrinkles over time. Make sure to use at least SPF 30.

And while you’re at it, make sure to get plenty of beauty sleep—your skin needs time to rest and breathe too, after all!

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Heather Davis, MS, RDN, LDN

Reviewed by: Heather Davis, MS, RDN, LDN

Heather is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN, LDN), subject matter expert, and technical writer, with a master's degree in nutrition science from Bastyr University. She has a specialty in neuroendocrinology and has been working in the field of nutrition—including nutrition research, education, medical writing, and clinical integrative and functional nutrition—for over 15 years.