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The Ultimate Men’s Skin Care Guide for Clear and Smooth Skin

Men's Skin Care Guide

A simple men’s skin care regimen is crucial if you want to head off any problems before they set in. Making sure you aren’t lumped with blemishes, lines, and ingrown hairs, is as easy as picking a few men’s care products and getting into a routine. The Ultimate Men’s Skin Care Guide covers skin care tips for men and straightforward answers to common questions about men’s face care. It’s all you need to know to stay looking good in one easy read.

Most men find trying to figure out a serum from a booster a waste of time and money. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Skin care for men can be as simple as five easy steps and a few extra minutes in the morning and at night. You’ll save yourself a world of pain – no more zits, ingrown hairs, and razor burn – and you’ll get to hold onto your youth for as long as possible.

Getting to grips with skin care for men

Just about everyone out there wants to know how Pharrell Williams has managed to keep that smooth, clear baby face even in his forties. Ever since the words “exfoliation” and “moisturize” slipped from his lips, men’s face care has had a cool new rap.

But before you head for the drugstore, a bit of general information about men’s face care will have you master of men’s personal care products in no time at all.

First off, know your skin type. Red and scratchy with a bump here and there isn’t what we’re talking about. These are the five basic types:

  • Normal skin is smooth and clear with small or barely visible pores and does not sting or burn after using products.
  • Sensitive skin can itch and burn after using products, and has a tendency to flush.
  • Dry skin can have a tight feeling after showering or swimming, and can be dull, flaky and even crack.
  • Oily skin shines and is oily to the touch. It may have open pores, concentrated mainly in the T-zone (oily forehead, nose, and chin), and a tendency to breakout in pimples and blackheads.
  • Combination skin is oily in some parts (usually the T-zone) and dry in others (your cheeks). You may have had blackheads or dandruff from time to time.

Once you’ve got a handle on your skin type, you’ll be able to learn about the skin care routine and men’s skin care products that suit you best.

Frequently Asked Questions about skin care for men

To say there are loads of men’s personal care products on the market and truckloads of instructions on skin care, is an understatement. This makes skincare for men daunting and confusing and it’s the reason a lot of guys give the old skin care routine a complete miss. But skin care is about more than looking your best – it involves your health, too. So we’ve put together the most common questions guys ask about taking care of their skin because knowledge really is power.

What’s wrong with using soap on my face?

The skin on your face is not as thick as the skin on your body, so men’s skin care regimens should include products that are gentler on the skin. Most soap bars have ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (a detergent) and parabens and artificial alcohol-based fragrances. Your face may feel squeaky-clean after you’ve washed it, but this isn’t a good thing. It means your skin’s protective barrier has been compromised and all those good lubricating oils stripped away. Using the wrong face wash can trigger an overproduction of oil and aggravate breakouts in the T-zone while also drying out other areas of the face.

Do men need to use eye cream?

Eyes are the mirror to the soul, right? Puffy bags, dark circles, and crow’s feet just don’t look good on anyone. The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face so eye care for men in the form of an eye balm is the best way to keep your peepers looking gorgeously fresh, smooth, and ready to impress.

Why does moisturizer feel greasy on my face?

A common complaint from men is that they don’t like the way a moisturizer feels on their faces. If you feel you have more oil of your face than a barrel of crude, then it’s time to ditch the heavy cream. Today’s modern moisturizers have lightweight, comfortable formulas that maximize hydration without leaving a trace of oil or residual on your face. One of the best skin care tips for men is to look out for a lotion, gel, or balm instead.

How does sunscreen fit into the routine?

Applying sunscreen should be an important part of every man’s skin care routine. A golden tan adds a rugged appeal to the physique, whether you’re a city or country boy. But you want to be the boss of what the sun does to your skin. That means putting on an SPF sunscreen every day before you leave the house. The sun’s UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, leading to long-term effects like wrinkling and premature aging. Both types of ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB) can cause skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer before the age of 70.

Keep in mind that UV rays are harmful in winter too – so you’re being exposed on the drive to work and even at your desk if your office is full of natural light (UVA rays can get through window glass). While you might not think it, UV rays are especially harmful on snowy days, because the rays are multiplied by the reflective nature of the snow.

Sun protection comes in a variety of SPFs and formulas to suit every man’s skin – from broad spectrum, lightweight creams to high protection sprays that are water and perspiration resistant.

Is shaving the same as exfoliating my face?

Exfoliation is removing dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin – stopping your products from working their best and making your skin look dull. Every time you shave, some exfoliation does take place. But when you add an exfoliating product to your men’s skin care routine, you remove dead cells, dirt, and oil that could be giving your razor a bumpy ride. After washing with an exfoliating cleanser (don’t use a harsh scrub that can cause damage to the skin or dry it out), shave before splashing your face with cool water – this makes your pores look smaller and your skin smoother.

I get bumps and ingrown hairs from shaving – what can I do?

Too many men suffer skin irritation after shaving in silence. Some even get more serious razor bumps called pseudofolliculitis barbae that can be painful. But there is help out there – here’s what you need to know to give ingrown hairs and razor bumps the boot.

First off, you’re more likely to get razor bumps and ingrown hairs if you have very curly hair. This is because the irregular shape of curls and curly hair shafts make the hairs tend to push back into the surface of the skin as they regrow after being cut.

You can still get razor bumps and ingrown hairs, even if you have no genetic tendency. If you shave when the hair shaft is dry, then your razor has to work hard to cut the hair and there’s usually a bit of tugging and pulling. This can lead to the hair tips being cut at an angle, making it easier for the hair to push back into the skin. So what’s a man to do?

  • Learning how to prevent or get rid of ingrown hair bumps starts with washing the face with an exfoliating cleanser as part of your men’s skin care routine. This slews off the dirt and debris – and smooths a path for your razor.
  • Now soften your hair for a tug-free shave using men’s care products like shaving cream or a foaming gel that cushions the skin for easy razor glide.
  • You’re shaving your face not cutting corn, so do it gently. Use high-quality blades that glide over the skin and shave regularly to stop the hair from getting long enough to push back into the skin and cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs. Avoid going in for the re-stroke – that’s going over the same skin after you’ve scraped off the shaving foam. Remember – you may be tough but your skin isn’t.
  • Now’s the time to thank your skin by putting back the moisture with a post shave splash to help reduce irritations and take the heat off razor burn. Keep up the hydration by finishing off your shave with a moisture gel or balm that’s going to keep your skin looking smooth and super-hydrated until the next shave.

Skin care tips for men

So your idea of skin care for men is getting into the shower and reaching for whatever soap’s at hand? Well, you might be surprised at how little time or investment it takes to get a skin care regimen going – that’s going to work hard to keep your skin looking smooth and youthful. There are just five simple things you need to know to crack men’s face and body care.

1. Cleansing and toning

The only way to stop clogged pores, breakouts, dull and tired looking skin, and help dial back lines and wrinkles, is to wash your face using good-quality men’s cleansers – and you have to do it twice a day.

Start building your men’s skin care regimen with a foaming facial wash that tackles dirt, grime and pollutants with the non-drying and gentle purifying power of plant extracts.

If you have oily or combination skin, use a refreshing, post-shave toner ingredients like Apple Vinegar extract that helps to visibly soften, mattify, and energize the skin.

Clarins always choose the most effective ingredients. If a plant based ingredient proves to be more effective, we will always choose this over a chemical one. This is the golden rule that all Clarins researchers follow when designing our innovative products. Clarins uses over 250 natural plant extracts in its formulas – all carefully selected for their effectiveness and delivered in optimal concentrations. Each ingredient is sourced with the utmost care for the environment to protect our planet’s biodiversity.

2. Exfoliate

Getting rid of dead skin cells that clog the skin’s surface is an important part of men’s face care. Never use harsh scrubs that can dry out and even damage your skin. For a hardworking exfoliator that’s gentle on your skin, choose an exfoliating cleanser that gives you 2-step action – first cleansing, then working hard to get rid of pore-clogging sweat, oil and spent surface cells. It’s a great way to visibly help reduce, or get rid of ingrown hairs and razor bumps before you shave.

3. Moisturize

So you’ve got rid of the dirt and debris on your skin. Now it’s time to put back the hydration. Don’t be tempted to skip this step in your men’s skin care routine. Without enough moisture, oil glands work overtime to keep skin from drying out, which can lead to blemishes and clogged pores. When you moisturize, you're not just hydrating your skin; you're also protecting it from the harmful effects of stress and pollution. All Clarins’ face moisturizers include an Anti-Pollution Complex that helps to protect your skin from harsh environmental influences that can lead to premature signs of aging—this is an essential step in men’s face care.

Don’t forget your most age prone zone—the eye area. Eye care for men is an important part of your skin care routine. Opt for a men’s eye care serum that helps to visibly decongest puffiness temporarily, brightens dark circles and smooths the look of wrinkles by tightening eye contours.

4. Sun protection

Wearing an SPF sunscreen is a vital part of your men’s skin care regimen all year round. A daily multi-protection sunscreen when combined with other sun protection methods, not only helps protect your skin from the sun, it also locks out pollution and free radicals – forming an invisible shield that minimizes the appearance of dark spots and decreases the risk of early signs of skin aging.

When choosing a sunscreen, you’ll notice that each tube displays an SPF number. This stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s an indication of the product's ability to block rays, and the amount of time you can be in the sun before burning. SPF ratings start at 2 and can reach as high as 70. For example, if you burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure without any cream, an SPF of 15 will allow you to stay in the sun for up to 150 minutes without burning. Keep in mind that since UV rays can penetrate glass and are multiplied by the reflective nature of the snow, so applying sunscreen should be a daily part of men’s face care.

5. Body care for men

Skin care for men is about more than your face. Ditch the harsh soaps and opt for an invigorating, 2-in-1 wash that gently cleanses your hair and body and helps to tone the appearance of the skin with energizing ingredients like Bison Grass and Chinese Galanga – body care for men that’s gentle enough to use twice a day.

Don’t forget your hands. Dry cuticles, redness, and chapping just aren’t good to look at and they’re painful too. Don’t like the feel of grease on your hands? A non-oily hand cream formulated specifically for men – with Pro-vitamin B 5, and Allantoin and Purslane – helps to soothe roughness and irritations caused by work, workouts and harsh weather.