Simple Guide to Men’s Skincare Routine + What to Buy

By Emily M.| Last updated on April 18, 2024
Men's skincare routine
⏱️ 9 min read

Neither women’s nor men’s skincare routine has to be complicated. You just need to have a basic understanding of your skin – what it needs, what it benefits from, and what harms it. Then, you can find a routine that works and get the right products!

We’re here to help you with just that. Keep on reading and let’s find the best men’s facial routine for you!

Men’s Skincare Routine:

How to Figure Out Your Skin Type

To choose the right products for your men’s skincare routine, you need to know what your skin type is. Figuring this out is actually really simple:

If you have oily skin, it probably feels oily. You’ll be able to feel the oil on your fingertips when you touch your face and will look a bit shinier than the average person.

Dry skin also feels dry. The skin on your face is tighter than on other body parts, especially after you’ve just washed it. You may also be prone to flaking during the cold and windy seasons.

Normal skin means you don’t have any issues with it. You’re not particularly prone to breakouts or flakiness and need a routine to maintain the health of your skin.

Combination skin includes dry areas and oily areas. Typically, the T-zone is oilier (forehead, nose, chin), while the rest of the face feels drier.

Pick the category that best matches your skin and go directly to the best male skincare routine for you:

  • Oily Skin Routine
  • Dry Skin Routine
  • Normal Skin Routine
  • Combination Skin Routine

Skin Care for Oily Skin for Men

If you have this skin type, it may seem logical that you should try to dry out your skin. That is wrong – drying out your skin causes it to produce even more of its natural oils (sebum) to compensate.

The best thing you can do is to cleanse the skin daily.

Avoid products with fragrances as they often cause breakouts. Go for lighter products such as gels, foams, or water-based cleansers, since solid ones (like a bar of soap) can leave behind particles that block your pores and leave you greasier than you’d like.

After cleansing, you want to use a light toner and moisturizer. If you want to go the extra mile, retinol is also a good option – but start sparingly. Apply it only once in a few days, and gradually increase the frequency.

To combat blocked pores and reduce the oiliness of your skin, try exfoliation. The best ingredient for exfoliating oily skin is salicylic acid (BHA), but this shouldn’t be a part of your everyday routine – once every 2-3 days is enough.

Men’s Face Care Products for Oily Skin

When it comes to products, we already got through the basics – avoid solid products and drying agents. Here are our top picks!

Oily Skin Face Wash for Men

Since coffee is one of the ingredients of mCaffeine’s cleanser, you can rely on it to reduce puffiness, while the Good Vibes cleanser is good for making the skin softer and smoother.

Men’s Face Serum for Oily Skin

The importance of a serum is that it penetrates the skin deeper than a moisturizer and therefore has some cleansing properties as well.

The mCaffeine is rich with vitamin E (a great antioxidant), and the Minimalist one with niacinamide (helps maintain the skin barrier).

Men’s Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Both these moisturizers are non-sticky, but the CeraVe one also has SPF so it’s a great option for the summer. Kiehl’s moisturizer helps your skin retain its natural oils to minimize overproduction.

How to Adapt for Summer and Winter

When the weather gets hot outside, your skin will produce sweat and become oilier. During that time, you can exfoliate more often and stay away from heavy moisturizers. And don’t skimp on the SPF!

During winter, your skin’s sebum-producing cells will be working overtime due to the air indoors being very dry and heated. Stick to your routine even though it seems that your skin is behaving differently.

Men’s Dry Skin Care Routine

If you have dry skin that means that, for whatever reason, your skin isn’t producing enough sebum and you have to make up for it by using hydrating products.

The first step, as always, is cleaning the skin. There are tons of moisturizing cleansers available, and you’ll find some recommendations down below.

After that, go in with a serum and a moisturizer. Since the skin feels tighter right after a wash, you’ll want to apply a serum immediately after drying while the face is still damp.

Finally, you can top it all off with a skin oil.

Best Skin Care Products for Men with Dry Skin

When it comes to finding the best skin routine for men with dry skin, we’re going to keep it simple – moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize!

All products you use should be labeled as ‘hydrating’ or something similar, and contain ceramides, squalane, hyaluronic acid, or vitamin E.

Dry Skin Face Wash for Men

The Ordinary cleanser has squalane, a great moisturizing ingredient, while Paula’s Choice is a good option for those looking for anti-aging products!

Men’s Dry Skin Serum

Biotique’s Dandelion serum is perfect for anyone looking for natural products since it’s made with 100% botanical products, while the CeraVe one has powerful hyaluronic acid plus barrier-building ceramides.

Men’s Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Both these moisturizers are highly nourishing to the skin – Brickell offers protection without clogging pores, but Wilder’s Prime doubles as an after-shave lotion too!

Men’s Oil for Dry Skin

On top of moisturizing the face, these oils are also great anti-aging products. The Drunk Elephant is infused with Marula oil, and the Burt’s Bees one contains 99.6% ingredients of natural origin!

How to Adapt for Summer and Winter

In the summer, it’s essential to add an SPF (although it’s good to put it on no matter the season). You can also use humidifiers to prevent the summer air from drying your skin even further and go out wearing sunglasses.

In the winter, move to chemical exfoliants rather than physical ones. If the weather is cold, then you should use a skin oil daily, or at least once every 2 days to make up for the additional dryness your skin is experiencing.

Men’s Skincare for Normal Skin

Normal skin is arguably the easiest to work with since there’s nothing to fix – you’re just trying to maintain its health.

The first step is always the same – washing your face. Do this twice a day, in the morning and before bed, to have a clean slate before applying products.

After that, use a moisturizer. In the mornings, you should go for one with SPF, especially if you intend to spend a significant portion of your day outdoors.

You should also exfoliate at least once a week to remove the dead skin cells from your face. Since you don’t need oil control, you can find a chemical exfoliator with a gentler AHA acid, like mandelic acid.

Men’s Face Care Products for Normal Skin

The best skin care routine for men with normal skin isn’t very complicated. What you’ll want to do is avoid products that are aimed at dry or oily skin, because using them might trigger these issues to appear.

Let’s take a look at some of the options that best suit normal skin!

Normal Skin Face Wash for Men

Both of these are great for hydrating the skin, but the Neutrogena one also contains hyaluronic acid, which will help reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

Men’s Face Serum for Normal Skin

If you’ve got normal skin, a serum isn’t a necessary part of your routine, but it won’t hurt. The Vichy one is a great option for those who want to fight off signs of aging, and the Caldera Lab is good for evening skin tone.

Men’s Moisturizer for Normal Skin

Ideally, you should use different moisturizers in the morning and before bedtime. Having normal skin means that you can use a heavier, more hydrating one at night without risking a breakout.

Here are our top picks for a lighter, SPF-infused one for the day, and a hydrating one for the night.

How to Adapt for Summer and Winter

For the summer months, you should never skip SPF. You can also exfoliate your face more often and include antioxidants in your routine.

For winter, incorporate a serum to make up for what the harsh weather does to the skin.

Men’s Skincare for Combination Skin

If you’re dealing with combination skin, you should also start with a facial cleanser, and proceed with a serum and moisturizer. Since this skin type is more prone to wrinkles, these products should also contain an anti-aging formula.

It’s also okay for you to exfoliate more often to get rid of extra sebum in your oilier areas – it’s ideal if you can exfoliate only the T-zone.

A physical exfoliator gives you more control over where it goes, but don’t overdo it – 2 times a week is more than enough.

Best Men’s Skin Care Products for Combination Skin

Having combination skin can be tricky, and you’ll want to invest in products that are specifically designed for it. These products are well-balanced to fit this type of male skincare routine.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ones!

Best Face Wash for Men Combination Skin

The Aesop cleanser is mostly botanical, so it smells amazing! It also purifies the pores and leaves you feeling refreshed. The Oskia one will remove dead skin cells, repair sun damage, and boost collagen to make your face tighter and rejuvenated.

Men’s Face Serum for Combination Skin

Medik8’s serum contains retinol, which is always a good step to incorporate into your routine. The Aesop one is made to hydrate the skin without leaving a sticky feeling, and vitamin C is there to help even discoloration.

Best Men’s Face Cream for Combination Skin

Elemis’ moisture boost is also not sticky and has SPF, so it’s more suitable for the summer months, although recommended throughout the year. The Jason lotion isn’t only non-greasing for the skin but it also doubles as a shaving lotion.

How to Adapt for Summer and Winter

In the summer, the drier areas of your face may get drier, while the oilier ones get oilier. That’s why it may be a good idea to apply different products to different areas.

On the other hand, during winter, the best way to care for your combination skin is to find a very lightweight moisturizer for the day, and a heavier one for the night.

Skincare Steps to Take from Time to Time

So far, we talked about steps you can incorporate into your daily routine or do at least once a week. However, if you want to treat your skin right, there are additional steps you can take but not as often.

For example, face masks can be a great way to keep your skin calm and clear. Charcoal ones are great for oily skin, while sheet masks are universally accepted as a quick fix for dry skin. You can use face masks once every 2 weeks to avoid disrupting the skin’s natural barrier.

If you want to get a professional treatment, those are usually done every few months or weeks, depending on the treatment – microneedling can be done once every 4 weeks or so and is a great way to treat fine lines, dullness, and even acne scars.

Check out our guide on microneedling for more info!

Cover image source: Freepik

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