It’s never too late to start the best skincare routine for men or to build on the one you already have. It is an investment in your health and your self-confidence. But as I’ve learned through many conversations, a men’s skincare routine often feels like an endless treasure hunt, complete with an impossible-to-decipher map. But here’s the secret: there is no end goal. It’s like daily exercise for your skin, the same way you eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. After all, it’s skincare routineand these are habits you build because they are good for you, not because you’ll magically look like Lee Pace or Henry Golding when all is said and done. (We would all be so lucky.)
I hope I can help you find the best skin care routine for you, explaining the best steps to take (and in what order), as well as some of the key ingredients to look for along the way. So here is the best skincare routine for men, if such a thing exists. And if that seems like too much for you right now, there’s always the easiest (3-step) skincare routine. If you start there, you’re already miles ahead of most guys. In fact, it’s a great starting point.
The Basic Regimen: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize
The three main steps in any regimen are cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration, but not all 3 at once. Here is an ideal scenario:
- Clean twice a day. Use a facial cleanser first thing in the morning, to remove any product you applied the day before, as well as the sweat and bacteria you accumulated overnight. Then cleanse in the evening, to start your regimen at bedtime.
- Exfoliate twice a week. This step removes dead skin cells and allows you to maintain a brighter, smoother and softer complexion, while preventing breakouts. For the task, you can choose a physical scrub or a chemical exfoliator. The latter is probably best if you’re dealing with acne and want to dissolve dead skin cells as well as oil trapped inside pores (especially a salicylic acid product). But don’t exfoliate more than your chosen product suggests (usually twice a week), because your skin cells aren’t really regenerating fast enough to keep up with constant peeling. Finally, it is best to exfoliate in the evening (always after cleaning and before moisturizer), so the skin can recover while you rest. Otherwise, you could navigate the day with a reddened mug.
- Moisturize morning and night, with SPF as your daytime priority. The moisturizer looks like a proactive product, but it’s actually less active in hydrating your face because it’s all about preserving the skin’s natural moisture levels and repelling any threat to the skin’s defensive barrier functions . We suggest having one for the morning, with SPF to protect against UV rays of skin aging. This daytime defender will wear a little lighter than your evening moisturizer, which is more proactive in the nutrition department.
The intermediate diet: hydrating serums, eye creams, face masks, spot treatments and toners
If you want to transition from a basic skincare routine to a more proactive regimen, there are a few types of products to get in the fold first. Now you don’t need to introduce everything of these products, but you should at least have a clear understanding of each.