Fashion & Beauty

Everything You Need To Know About A Men’s Skincare Routine

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re a stockbroker, a marketing director, a fireman or a lumberjack. There’s nothing manlier than a man who takes care of himself and understands the importance of being well-groomed.

And we’re not just talking about the weekly trip to the barbershop to have your hair cut and your beard trimmed. Oh no. We’re talking about having a daily skincare routine that you treat like one of the most important rituals in your life – because it is.

If you’re the kind of guy who washes his face with a bar of soap in the shower, you’re about to learn a whole new way of life.

Here’s everything you need to know to follow a men’s skincare routine.

Why Men Need a Skincare Routine

Man checking out his beard in mirror

Some men think that since they don’t wear makeup, there’s no need for all those fancy potions and lotions that their wives, girlfriends, moms and sisters use.


First of all, forget the stereotype that it’s feminine or even metro-sexual to take care of your skin. It’s not. It’s something that every man of every age and every lifestyle should be doing.

Here’s why:

As we age, so does our skin.

Adopting a skincare routine can help you maintain a youthful appearance by cleaning off and protecting your skin from all sorts of pollutants and chemicals in the air.

And if you are prone to acne or breakouts, it’s an absolute must.

The proper skincare routine will make you look better. And, as we all know, when we look good, we feel good.

Related: The 23 Best Skincare Subscription Boxes For Men And Women [For All Skin Types]

It All Starts With Choosing the Right Products

The first step in developing a skincare routine is to choose the right products. To do that, you need to understand what type of skin you have.

Is your skin dry? Is it more on the oily side? Is it somewhere in between? Do you have certain spots that are dry and other spots that are oily?

Normal, dry, and oily are the most common skin types. If your skin is shiny or looks greasy, you have oily skin. If your skin is always flaky, you have dry skin. If it’s neither of the two, you probably have normal skin.

Before you shell out any money on skincare, make sure you know what type of skin you have so you can buy products that are right for your type of skin.

The Skincare Routine Step by Step

Man smiling washing his face

We’re about to lay out a step by step skincare routine that you should follow each and every day. If you want the best skin of your life, follow all six steps closely. However, if you’re a total skincare novice and want to ease into a routine, steps one, five, and six are THE most important.

Skincare Step 1: Cleanser

The first step to any skincare routine is to cleanse your face.

Start by wetting your face with warm water. Apply a bit of facial cleanser to your fingertips and rub it all over the face. Cleanse your neck and all the way up to your hairline. If you have facial hair, rub it in good so that the cleanser gets to the skin beneath your facial hair.

When you’re done, splash your face with warm water to rinse the cleanser off and pat your face with a towel until it’s almost dry. You’ll need your skin to be slightly damp to get the most out of step two (or step five if you decide to skip ahead).

Cleanse your skin in the morning and at night for the best results.

Skincare Step 2: Toner

Toner is one of those products that a lot of people don’t think is all that important – but it is.

Toners help remove excess oil and dirt, minimize shine, and help reduce acne and blemishes by balancing your skin’s pH levels. They are especially useful for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Toners often include ingredients such as retinoids and antioxidants, and when applied properly, they can really enhance the overall look of your skin.

You can apply toner with your fingertips or with a cotton ball or cotton pad. For the best results, use a toner every time you cleanse your skin, both in the morning and at night.

Skincare Step 3: Serum

Different types of serums do different things. And if you’re looking to minimize the signs of aging or reduce fine lines and wrinkles, a serum is an essential step in the routine.

If your skin is dry, a serum with hyaluronic acid is hydrating to the skin. If your skin is sagging or showing signs of aging, try a serum with retinol.

If your skin looks dull or you have dark spots, choose a brightening serum that contains vitamin C. If you’re prone to acne, opt for a serum with salicylic acid to fight against breakouts.

There is no one-size-fits-all serum that works for every guy. It all depends on your skin type and what issue you’re targeting.

Skincare Step 4: Eye Cream

Eye cream is not just for middle-aged women feeling insecure about crow’s feet around their eyes.

News flash: both men and women get wrinkles, dark circles and bags under the eyes.

You can reduce puffy under-eye bags, fine lines and dark circles with a few dabs of eye cream applied beneath and around your eyes each day.

Skincare Step 5: Moisturizer

Moisturizer isn’t just for dry hands and cracked elbows. If you want to preserve the skin and look as youthful as possible, moisturizer is a must-have part of any skincare routine.

The trick with moisturizer is to apply it to every part of the face, including your neck and jawline. At night, before you go to bed, this should be the last step in your skincare routine. In the morning, there’s one more step to go …

Skincare Step 6: Sunscreen

We cannot stress the importance of wearing sunscreen every single day. Whether it’s a hot summer day or a snowy winter morning, the sun’s UV rays can always damage the skin.

But with sunscreen on your face and neck, you can ward off wrinkles, dark spots and sun damage to make you look years younger than you actually are.

Here’s the other good news about sunscreen: many moisturizers include it. So you can actually combine steps five and six simply by choosing a moisturizer with an SPF built-in.

And while they are great for your skin’s appearance, products with ingredients like vitamin C and salicylic acid make your skin more photosensitive. A Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is recommended as part of your daily routine while using them.

Don’t Forget the Lip Balm

Lips can get dry and cracked, but they can also get sunburned. The last thing you should do before you leave the house is apply a lip balm with an SPF to hydrate your lips and prevent sun damage.

Here’s the bottom line:

Cleanser cleans the face. Moisturizer, sunscreen and lip balm keep the skin hydrated and protected—all of the other steps in between help to repair the skin. Cleaning and moisturizing are the two key steps that you need to embrace now.

Just remember the more steps you add to your routine, the better your skin will look!

You Need a Shaving Routine Too

Father and son with shaving cream on their face

Though you may not think of it this way, shaving is actually part of your skincare regimen too, and it’s important to follow the right steps in this process as well.

Step 1: Wash your face with a facial cleanser

Step 2: Apply shaving cream

Step 3: Shave

Step 4: Apply an aftershave balm to moisturize

On the days that you shave, you can (and should) still finish your morning routine with a moisturizer that includes sunscreen. You can also still apply eye cream since you don’t shave anywhere around the eyes. But it’s usually best to skip the toners and serums on those days.


Because after you’ve shaved, toners and serums can sting or cause a burning sensation on the skin, especially if you are prone to sensitive skin.

Related:The 11 Best Beard Trimmers [For All Your Manscaping Needs]

Additional Steps for Even Better Skin

Man at the spa with cucumbers over eyes and face mask

Okay, so now that you know the basics, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. There are lots of other skincare products that you can work into your routine. These aren’t products that you necessarily need to use on a daily basis, but they can be a great treat for the skin, even if applied once or twice a week.

Exfoliators and Face Scrubs

Cleansing the face daily is essential. But exfoliating the skin every few days is just as important.

Exfoliators and face scrubs, even when used sparingly, help to shed the build-up of dry, dead skin cells. After you exfoliate, your skin will feel smoother and will have a brighter, fresher appearance.

Face Masks

Face masks come in several different forms and can be used to treat and correct all sorts of skin issues.

There are sheet masks that look like ski masks with cutouts for the eyes, nose and mouth. There are charcoal masks and clay masks that you rub onto the face and let dry on the skin. The method isn’t what’s important – what matters is the ingredients and what it’s designed to do.

Depending on the type of mask you choose, you can give your face an added boost of hydration. You can smooth and resurface the skin. You can treat acne or brighten your skin tone. You can even make your skin look tighter and firmer.

In just a few minutes, a face mask can make you look and feel more refreshed than you might imagine. You may feel a little silly the first time you apply one to your face, but it’s about how you look after, not how you look while doing it.

Best Skincare Starter Kits for Men

Ready to start a daily skincare routine? Here are some multi-product kits from some of the best skincare brands to get you started on the right foot.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Facial Fuel for Men

Kiehl's Since 1851 Facial Fuel for Men

This set includes three essential products: Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing face wash, energizing scrub and moisturizer. These products are designed with vitamin E to give your skin an added boost and revive a dull appearance.

Use the face wash twice a day to cleanse the skin. Use the moisturizer morning and night. Use the energizing scrub twice a week. You will see the results!

The Kiehl’s Since 1851 Facial Fuel for Men Set is available at Keils for $55.

Jack Black Skin Saviors

Jack Black Skin Saviors

The Jack Black Skin Saviors set includes four essential products that every man needs (and it’s packaged in TSA-approved tubes and sizes so you can take it with you when you travel).

This set includes a daily facial cleanser, an energizing scrub and a moisturizer with SPF 20. It also comes with a lip balm with SPF 25.

The lip balm can be applied as needed. The cleanser and moisturizer should be used morning and night. The exfoliating scrub can be used up to four times a week, prior to shaving.

This set includes small, travel-sized products, but it’s a great way to try out a variety of different essentials without having to break the bank.

The Jack Black Skin Saviors set is available for $35.00.

Clinique For Men Starter Kit – Daily Age Repair

Clinique For Men Starter Kit – Daily Age Repair

In small size tubes so you can try them out before committing to buying a huge bottle, the Clinique For Men Starter Kit includes three things that every man can use on a regular basis.

This kit includes a face wash, a shaving cream to prevent nicks and razor marks, and an anti-aging moisturizer to hydrate the skin and reduce wrinkles and lines.

The Clinique For Men Starter Kit – Daily Age Repair is available at Amazon for just $11.99.

Do Men Need a Skincare Routine?

All men and women need a skincare routine. But aside from the products you put on your skin, there are two other things that you need to maintain a bright, complexion:

Get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water.

When you sleep, the skin produces collagen. Without collagen, your skin will sag and be more prone to wrinkling.

When you drink water, you flush out the toxins in your body and increase blood flow – both of which are essential to having healthy skin and a more even skin tone.

With the right amount of sleep, the right amount of water and the right skincare products, your skin will look better than you ever thought it could.

So ditch the bar of soap that you rub on your face when you’re in the shower. There are hundreds of affordable skincare products on the market that do a much better job.

You may also be interested in: The 8 Best Razors For Men [And 4 Subscription Boxes]

Six-Step Skincare Routine for Men

Bonus Steps:

Jessica Heston

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