Simple 3-Step Men’s Skincare Routine

Today I’m going to walk you through a simple men’s skincare routine that will leave your skin feeling clean, protected, and healthy.

Men naturally have thick, sturdy skin layers which may make you think they can get by with minimal to non-existent skincare routine.  It is often joked that men only like to use a 3-in-1 product for their hair, body wash, and face. In reality—men have specific needs for their skin too! The skin is the largest organ in the human body, so it is crucial to take care of it.

Men's Skincare Routine

By: Kaitlyn Hunter, FNP

How Men & Women’s Skin Are Different

Before we dive into specific products, let us quickly review a few common differences between male and female skin.

  1. Oil. Men naturally have larger pores and more active sebaceous glands.  This extra oil production can be good and bad.  Larger pores allow more dirt and bacteria to enter the skin, triggering the production of blackheads.  However, oil keeps the skin naturally hydrated and dewy.
  2. Exfoliation.  Men who shave every day or a few times a week may not realize it, but the act of shaving exfoliates the skin.  The razor gently removes dead skin cells along with unwanted facial hair. By removing dead skin cells, the skin appears healthier and smoother.  However, if the proper products are not applied to the skin after shaving, the fresh skin cell layers are left unprotected.
  3. Thickness.  Male skin is naturally thicker all throughout the face.  This thick skin provides the male face with extra protection.  However, this resilience also means basic over-the-counter products may not be strong enough to penetrate deeper into the skin to create change.

Men’s Skincare Routine Order 

Whenever I treat male skin in the office, I prefer to start them on a very basic routine- 4 products or less! The higher number of healthy ingredients jammed packed into one product, the better. Let’s jump into a simple, 3-step men’s skincare routine in order of when you would use them and at what time of day.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleanser (AM & PM) is always first! The cleanser removes all the sweat and dirt that accumulates throughout the day on the skin.  It also removes all the gunk from large pores!  A cleanser with an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), or both, is best! Click here to watch Alison, our esthetician, break down the difference between these two acids, along with glycolic and salicylic.

My two favorites are the Oxygen Infusion Wash and Cleansing Gel by SkinBetter Science.

Step 2: Vitamin C

Vitamin C (AM only) is next. Vitamin C brightens the skin and protects it from harmful free radicals such as UV rays and HEV (High Energy Visible) light such as blue light from electronics.

Think of Vitamin C as a ‘treatment serum’ as well as a backup to sunscreen.  If sunscreen is the soccer goalie, Vitamin C is every player on defense.  The players and the goalie BOTH protect the goal.  In this analogy, the goal is the skin!

Solo by SkinBetter is a Vitamin C product created specifically for men! It is one of the first, medical-grade skincare products dedicated to men’s skin health.

Step 3: Moisturizer with SPF

Moisturizer with SPF (AM only) is the final and most important step in the morning (see my note below about nighttime moisturizer). Sunscreen protects the skin from the sun as well as HEV light.

HEV light has received a lot of attention in the past couple of years as we have increasingly become dependent on technology. Every time we look at our phones, we expose our skin and eyes to HEV light. Every time we work on our computer, we expose our skin and eyes to HEV light.  Sunscreen is no longer just for sun protection. We need to apply sunscreen as a ‘daily protectant’.

UV Clear and UV Daily by EltaMD are two of my favorite AM moisturizers with SPF.

Note: For nighttime hydration, just apply a regular moisturizer—one without SPF.  It is not necessary to apply SPF at night since the skin is not exposed to any harmful free radicals. PM Therapy by EltaMD is a great option. 

The Sooner You Start, The Better

The sooner an anti-aging skincare routine is started, the better!  By preventing damage to the skin, the skin will be in a healthier state without the need to do aggressive treatments requiring days of downtime. We hope this simple men’s skincare routine will help be a good start!

If you are not sure where to being, contact a local skincare office. Here at our MedSpa, we offer complimentary consultations to every new patient.  This allows one of our providers to spend one-on-one time with each patient to create a customized skin care plan. In the consultation, we use the Canfield Visia Facial Analysis camera system to provide an in-depth evaluation of the damage in your skin, pigment, texture, and can determine your ‘true skin age’.  

If you feel like you may be late to the skincare game, do not stress!  It is never too late to give your skin the TLC it needs.  Start with the basics and work your way up from there. We’re here to help if you need it. Reach out to schedule an appointment today!

Related Research