By Suramya Jain

Skincare Routine for Men

Good skincare is one of the most powerful tools we have against most of the common issues men face on their faces: acne, wrinkles, even sun damage.

Far too many men have minimal or non-existent skincare processes, so make this the year where you finally start taking control of what your skin looks like.

The version of you 10 years from now will thank you for it.

Before building a skincare routine and picking which products to use, one should first know their skin type. The following classification can help you in the same:

  • Normal: Your skin stays oil free most of the day and doesn’t get irritated or dry easily. Acne is rarely an issue.
  • Oily Skin: Your skin has oily patches and a natural shine to it. You often get acne or build up.
  • Dry/Sensitive Skin: Your skin gets easily irritated all over and frequently feels tight or dry.
  • Combination: Imagine your face has a “T” on it. The horizontal bar goes across your forehead – the vertical bar runs down to the tip of your nose. This is called the T zone. Guys who have combination skin have an oily T zone but dry/sensitive skin on the rest of their face (primarily the cheeks).
  • Aging Skin: Your skin looks weathered, is wrinkled, and has age spots. You have spent many years not taking care of your skin.

 Skincare routine steps:

Step 1: Gentle Cleanser

Use: Twice daily, day and night

When we think of clean skin, we’re conditioned to expect a dry, squeaky-clean feeling, but that’s actually a sign that you’ve over-cleansed and that is a bad thing. It means your skin’s protective barrier is disrupted and you’ve stripped away good oils that keep it moisturized. Instead, use a specific facial cleanser that’s designed for your skin type. If you have dry skin, look for a cleanser with moisturizing ingredients and if you have oily skin, use a gel cleanser with oil-controlling ingredients like salicylic acid. Use face wash first thing in the morning, to wash away any product applied the night before, as well as any sweat and bacteria you accumulated during the night. Then cleanse in the evening, to begin your bedtime regimen.

Step 2: Exfoliator

Use: Once or twice a week

This step removes dead skin cells and allows you to keep a brighter, smoother, softer complexion—while also preventing breakouts. For the task, you can choose a physical scrub or a chemical exfoliant. The latter is probably better if you’re dealing with acne and want to dissolve dead skin cells as well as sebum trapped inside the pores (especially a product with salicylic acid). But don’t exfoliate more than suggested by your chosen product (usually twice weekly), since your skin cells don’t really regenerate fast enough to keep up with constant sloughing.

Step 3: Toner

Use: Twice daily, day and night after cleansing

Lots of people think of toner as a second cleanser and, sure, sometimes it can help remove dirt and oil left over from your cleansing step. But the real purpose is to balance the pH of your skin after cleansing. If you have oily skin or struggle with acne, toner can be an invaluable step in keeping your skin clear and shine free; if you have dry skin, it can help restore much-needed moisture.

Step 4: Serum

Use: Twice daily, day and night (you can rotate which serum you use in the a.m. vs. p.m.)

Serums are more potent than your daily moisturizer, and are meant to impart active ingredients and nutrients more quickly and effectively. The good news is that no matter your skin concern, there is a serum for that. The bad news is that it can be hard to know what you need. If you’re new to the serum game, look for one that addresses a variety of issues: They’ll usually contain hydrating and skin-building ingredients that all skin can benefit from. Use it twice a day, after your cleanser and before your moisturizer.

Step 5: Moisturizer

Use: Twice daily, day and night (you can choose a lighter moisturizer for daytime and a heavier one for night time if you prefer)

Moisturizer works by trapping water in your skin, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and make your skin look brighter and younger. For the best results, apply moisturizer to your face and body immediately after bathing, showering or shaving while the skin is still damp.

Step 6: SPF

Use: Twice daily

To help prevent sun damage that can lead to wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer, before going outdoors, apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including your ears and neck. For best protection, use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Step 7: Face Mask

Use: Once a week

There are hundreds of different kinds of masks, and what they all have in common is that they’re meant to supplement our core skincare routines. They’re like serums, in that they deliver more concentrated ingredients and target specific skin concerns. The best kind of mask for men, especially beginners, is a clay mask. These masks use ingredients like clay and mud to cleanse deep into your pores (deeper than your twice-daily cleanser can go) and remove built-up dirt, oil and debris. But, also like serums, you can find masks that do almost anything - like exfoliate and hydrate - so no matter what you’re trying to target, there’s a mask for that. Most masks should be used once or twice a week.

Some men don’t follow a skincare routine because they think it’s going to be time consuming and expensive. If you choose the right products according to your skin type, you can do with less is more! Great skin is an integral part for helping you feel more confident about yourself and a consistent male skincare routine helps you achieve this.