For lots of men, skincare can be daunting. Maybe that’s why so many men have no skincare routine in place, which is a shame - because clear skin signifies health and confidence. Who doesn’t want that! A good skincare routine is one of the most powerful tools men have against their most common skin concerns. An effective skincare routine tackles acne, wrinkles, and sun damage for clear, healthy skin. And by skincare routine, we mean more than just washing your face with whatever soap you have lying around. It’s time to start taking this seriously and lay the foundation of a good skincare routine that should take less than ten minutes of your time. Pay attention gentleman - because we’re telling you how to get clear skin in six easy steps.
Starting a Men’s Skincare Routine
Everyone’s skin is different, so there’s no universal skincare routine for clear skin. There are, however, two important concepts when it comes to figuring out the right routine for you; skin type and skin concern.
- Skin type refers to what your skin is naturally like. The most common skin types are normal, dry, and oily. Normal skin doesn’t get oily but also doesn’t feel tight. Dry skin is usually experienced by those small pores that don't get oily throughout the day. Oily skin types tend to have large pores and accumulate lots of oil buildup throughout the day.
- Skin concern is the skin issue that you are looking to address, like acne, irritation, dark spots, wrinkles, etc.
The Most Common Skin Concerns for Men
6 Steps to Clear Skin for Men
Step 1. Cleanse
Washing your face both morning and night is important. It removes toxins, oils, bacteria, and debris. Plus, cleansing before applying products allows products to be absorbed more easily. To cleanse properly, wet your face with warm water. Apply a dime-sized amount of a gentle cleansing cream into your palm. Rub your hands together a few times to activate the foam, then work your hands in circular motions all over your face for about 30 seconds. If you have a beard, spend another 15 seconds working the cleanser into your skin, using the pads of your fingers to rub more forcefully up and down against the grain of your beard. Splash with warm water and pat your face with a towel, leaving it slightly damp. Damp skin is ideal for Step 2.
Step 2. Tone
Toning is an often overlooked step in skincare, among both women and men. But if you want to get serious about your skin (and isn’t that why you’re here?) do not skip a toner.
Toners can help with:
-close pores and tighten cell gaps after cleansing
-reduce the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminants into the skin
-protect and remove chlorine and minerals present in tap water
-restores skin ph (you can also link to the SR blog about skin ph too)
Rub a quarter-size amount of toner between your palms and then press them into your forehead, cheeks, and neck, blending any extra in with your fingertips. If you’re dealing with breakouts or ingrown hairs, look for a toner with a high concentration of lactic or salicylic acid. For dark spots, look for a toner with ingredients like AHA, BHA, or glycolic acid.
Step 3. Serum
A serum is a formula that contains a high concentration of active ingredients. This is the part of your routine where you address your main skin concern. If you have multiple, rotate your serums by applying one in the morning and one at night, or alternate them every other day. Put two to three drops of serum onto your fingertips, then rub your hands together and apply the serum in quick, swiping motions. Start across your forehead and move from the bridge of your nose out toward your cheeks. Use any excess over your neck and jawline.
How to Choose a Serum
- If fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin are your concern, a natural retinol serum can help to minimize these visual signs of aging. Retinol can be harsh on sensitive skin, so introduce it gradually. Start just at nighttime, every other night, and monitor your skin in the morning for any irritation. Retinol also increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so using broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 is very important.
- If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation or dullness, you need a brightening ingredient like Vitamin C to fade dark spots and refresh your face. A vitamin c booster is your serum of choice here.
- If your concern is dry or dehydrated skin, or you’re just looking for an overall boost of skin hydration, try hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating powerhouse because of its ability to hold so much moisture. One gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water. A hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid will deliver water directly into your skin to make it feel less tight
- If you are prone to blemishes and breakouts, you need a tea tree oil face serum to fight congestion inside your pores. Tea tree oil also helps to fade post-breakout scarring or discoloration from ingrown hairs. For more on using tea tree oil, see our previous post about tea tree oil for acne & skin benefits.
Step 4. Eye Cream
Because the skin underneath your eyes is the thinnest on your face, it tends to lose moisture quickly and easily. You need more concentrated ingredients in this delicate area. An eye lift cream will tackle puffiness, dryness, and dark circles. Place a half pump of product onto your ring finger, then press your other ring finger against it to distribute the eye cream evenly. Tap the ring fingers along the outsides of the eyes and bring them inward, continuing the tapping until the product is mostly absorbed. The ring finger is the weakest on the hand, so using it reduces the chances of pulling or tugging at your skin.
Step 5. Moisturizer
A moisturizer keeps your skin from feeling tight and dry, as well as helps it maintain its natural moisture content. Use an anti aging face moisturizer in the morning and a hydrating face oil for nighttime. Apply your moisturizer by putting a nickel-size amount of product onto your fingertips (a dime-size for the oil at night), then rub it in between your hands. Swipe across your face in quick motions. Move across your forehead, down your cheeks, and along your neck until it’s fully absorbed into the skin.
Step 6. Sunscreen
If you only listen to one word of advice from this article, let it be this. You must wear sunscreen every single day. Regular use of an SPF 30 sunscreen can lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent. An anti aging sunscreen can also help prevent premature skin aging caused by the sun’s UV rays, including wrinkles, sagging, and age spots.
Beard Care Tips
Ignoring the skin under your beard can lead to issues like beard dandruff, in-grown hairs, and breakouts. If there’s hair on your face, it will affect the skin underneath. These beard care tips will keep your facial hair groomed and your skin clear.
- Trim it regularly- Regular trims are a must when it comes to a well-groomed beard. Use a quality trimmer, and always brush out your beard before trimming it dry, for the most accurate results.
- Comb it regularly- Combing your beard daily trains any stubborn hairs into growing the way you want them. Comb your beard from the bottom up and out. Start at your neck and comb toward your cheeks and chin.
- Eat right- The health of your facial hair is heavily reliant on your diet. That means loading up on lean proteins like poultry and beans; healthy fats like olive oil and avocado fat and Vitamins B5, B3, and B9.
Listen up, men... a good skincare routine is the foundation of a clear complexion. If you’re struggling with any of the common skincare concerns we discussed, it’s time to work on your six-step routine for getting clear skin.By Jaclyn LaBadia, feature contributor