It's safe to say that a man's skincare routine looks a lot different than a woman's. Aside from basic grooming – shaving, moisturizing and things like trimming their beard – the majority of the opposite sex keep things simple.
But since men share a lot of the same skin concerns as women, this isn't always the best approach. "Just like women, men suffer from wrinkles, dark spots, broken capillaries and redness and prominent pores," says NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
Ready to get with the skincare program? Keep reading for the beauty basics for when your current routine (or lack thereof) just won't cut it.
1. first off, know your skin type
"This will help you find the right products suitable for your skin," says Dr. Alain Michon, Medical Director at the Ottawa Skin Clinic. For example, he says that men tend to have oilier skin than women due to their high testosterone levels: "This can result in clogged pores and blemishes if not cleared."
2. revolve your routine around shaving
Since the relationship most men have with their skin tends to revolve around their shaving routine, Dr. Zeichner recommends using this to your advantage.
Whether you shave in the morning or the evening, he says to think of the skincare routine as part of the post-shave regimen. In this case, the morning is a time of protection and prevention of damage, while the evening is a time of hydration and repair.
"In the mornings, I recommend applying an antioxidant serum with vitamin C along with sunscreen or a moisturizer with sunscreen," he explains. "In the evening, I recommend a moisturizer along with a collagen-stimulating ingredient like retinol."
3. wear sunscreen and moisturize daily
Men aren’t immune from the sun, nor will they sparkle in it like Edward Cullen from Twilight. Instead, your skin will suffer if not protected properly.
"Great rule of thumb is to put sunscreen on every morning before leaving the house even on cloudy, rainy and snowy days," says Douglas Otero, celebrity makeup artist and Owner of Intermission Beauty.
Double fist bump if you wear moisturizer (another skincare must-have) that contains SPF. "Moisturizers that contain humectants, emollients and occlusives hydrate the skin and support the skin barrier," says NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King.
4. invest in the right products
If you've been using a bar of soap as face wash, your days of that are over. According to Desireé Delia, licensed esthetician and makeup artist, this is very harsh and drying to the skin. She recommends using either CeraVe or Cetaphil to start. Both are gentle, inexpensive and good for many different skin types.
Dr. Michon adds that the basics of skincare revolve around these three things: a good cleanser, toner and moisturizer. "The toner will help tighten the pores to even out the complexion," he says. Moisturizing and including a quality SPF reduces wrinkles (anti-aging is also important for men) and keeps your skin looking more youthful and refreshing.
5. prevent and treat ingrown hairs
All that shaving will inevitably lead to ingrown hairs. "Ingrown hairs occur when a cut hair starts to grow but instead of growing out above the skin, it grows back down into the skin instead," explains Dr. King.
If you're not sure what an ingrown hair looks like, they can appear like bumps that are red or skin-colored. They could even be painful and contain pus – ouch!
Prevent them before they happen by spending about ten minutes in warm water to help soften the outer layer of skin, says Dr. King: "This makes it easier to remove hair and decreases the risk of razor burn."
It's also advised that you gently and lightly exfoliate the skin with a warm, wet washcloth or a gentle moisturizing scrub. "This helps to release any ingrown hairs stuck under the surface of dead skin prior to shaving."
Finally, change up how you shave. Dr. King says to shave in the direction of hair growth and always use some sort of lubricating gel, cream or oil.
Don't go over the same area twice and don't shave too close to the skin, either. "Using an electric razor for this may help so that the hair, even at its shortest, is above the skin surface." Speaking of blades, keep them sharp, clean and changed frequently.
In addition to sloughing away dead skin and making way for soft, healthy skin, it’s good for shaving. "Exfoliating decreases the risk that skin will be covering where the hair is growing," says Dr. King, who adds that this is also key to ingrown hair prevention.
She recommends either a physical exfoliation with a gentle scrub or chemical exfoliation with a toner or cleanser containing glycolic or other alpha hydroxy acids.
7. don't be afraid to wear makeup
Woke up with a stubborn pimple? That's nothing a little concealer can't fix.
"There's absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of concealer for that extra little bit of help with the unexpected pimple before that important Zoom meeting or dark circles from a stressful work week," says Otero. "Find one that is skincare-based and it’s virtually undetectable!"
Another way to care for the skin – while keeping things simple (and delicious!) – is to add Vital Proteins® to your routine. Start with Collagen Peptides, which boasts bovine collagen, skin-loving hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. It can be easily added to your morning coffee or protein shake to help support healthy skin.**