Save Face: The Best Simple Skincare Routine For Men
A solid skincare routine is the cornerstone of good grooming. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be difficult (or time consuming).
Even the most appearance and sartorially conscious men are wont to skimp on skincare. However, a solid skincare routine represents the foundation of good grooming; that means going beyond a bar of soap or whatever products you’ve pilfered from the hotel bathroom. Fortunately, the best skincare routine for men doesn’t necessitate a 10-step ritual laden with enough bottles and droppers to fill a laboratory — a few considered products used consistently can go a long way towards helping you age gracefully.
Step 1: Cleanse Your Face
The cornerstone of any good skincare routine. Cleansing your face morning and evening works to remove the dirt, bacteria, and excess sebum accumulated throughout the day or overnight, aiding in minimising the likelihood of clogged pores and breakouts. In addition to maintaining adequate hygiene, cleansing your face allows your post-cleanse skincare products to be absorbed more effectively. Drier and mature skin types should look for facial cleansers with a cream or balm consistency, while oilier skin is best suited to a gel cleanser with ingredients like white willow bark and salicylic acid.
Made with nourishing shea butter and plant oils as well as white willow bark, the Ikkari Cream Cleanser works to hydrate the skin while reducing redness, making it ideally suited for those with dry and acne-prone skin. For those who prefer a gel-based formula, the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser cleanses and soothes in equal measure, thanks to the addition of soy protein and cucumber extract. Made with several exfoliating acids, the SkinCeuticals Blemish & Age Cleansing Gel is targeted towards mature skin prone to breakouts, working to refine skin texture without causing dryness. For those with typically unfussy skin, the Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser is the ultimate all-rounder; loaded with a superfood complex of green tea, kale, and spinach it leaves skin feeling balanced and refreshed.
Step 2: Apply A Serum
Designed to address specific skincare concerns (such as dull skin or wrinkles), serums are a powerful addition to your skincare routine. Containing high levels of active ingredients—including botanicals, vitamins, and antioxidants—serums are characterised by their lightweight nature that makes them more easily absorbed than moisturiser, allowing them to provide targeted corrective action to the skin.
The fast-absorbing SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum combines vitamins C and E with ferulic acid to brighten dull skin, protect against free radicals, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin C serums work synergistically with sunscreen and are best applied during the day. Those with breakout-prone skin will benefit from the Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum, which contains niacinamide which works to control sebum production, minimise the appearance of pores, and reduce hyperpigmentation left behind by acne. Now, every guy over the age can benefit from the addition of a retinol serum at night. The Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum combines a retinoid ester blend with soothing bisabolol and cactus extract to mitigate the irritation often associated with retinol use. With consistent use, it works to speed up skin cell turnover and promote collagen production, thereby softening the appearance of wrinkles, fading dark spots, and improving skin texture.
Step 3: Use An Eye Cream
The skin under your eyes is the thinnest on your face, necessitating a gentler approach; use your ring finger to tap the product onto your under-eye area. The best eye creams for men target puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines.
The Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Eye Cream uses caffeine to depuff while Vineferine (derived from grapevine stalks) and niacinamide reduce dark circles. For those looking to improve signs of ageing, the Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream uses a proprietary blend of amino acids, peptides, and vitamins to restore skin elasticity, reduce fine lines, and hydrate the under-eye area. For an overall refresh, the Clarins Total Eye Lift uses fatty acids to smoothen, moisturise, and hydrate the skin around the eyes.
Step 4: Moisturise
The right moisturiser hydrates and protects the skin, acting as a barrier between your face and environmental aggressors that are liable to speed up the ageing process (think smoke, pollution, and harsh weather). During the day, opt for a lightweight gel or lotion. In the evening, reach for a dedicated night cream; these are typically richer and contain active ingredients designed to support the skin barrier and aid in skin cell renewal and regeneration.
Designed for normal to dry skin, the Patricks AM1 moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid, creatine, and squalane to support moisture levels in the skin while encouraging collage production. The nuanced notes of sandalwood and leather are just a bonus. Alternatively, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream provides ultimate hydration in a lightweight formula, rapidly sinking into the skin without leaving any greasy residue behind.
Don’t be offput by the purple packaging; the Emma Lewisham Supernatural Face Crème is well suited to men’s skin, with the inclusion of peptides, bakuchiol, and saccharide isomerate aiding in promoting cellular renewal and collagen production while hydrating the skin. It’s rich consistency makes it best suited to use at night.
Step 5: Use An SPF
Not limited to beach days or summer sojourns to Europe, sunscreen is a non-negotiable part of any daytime skincare routine—yes, even when it’s raining. And indoors. Exposure to UV rays can not only result in skin cancer, but represents the largest cause of ageing, leading to wrinkles, sun sports, sunburn, and hyperpigmentation. Fortunately, sunscreens have evolved beyond the thick, gloopy formulas of your youth, with the new generation of SPFs boasting lightweight formulas with sheer finishes.
Combining skincare ingredients with SPF protection, the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen SPF 50+ can be used in place of your moisturiser during the day. Similarly, the AB Lab Dewy-C SPF 50+ adds resveratrol and vitamin C into the mix, working to brighten the skin and prevent free radical damage as it protects. Both formulas are readily absorbed into the skin and work on all skin tones without leaving a white case behind. For those who prefer a lighter texture, the AiryDay Clear As Day SPF 50+ comes in a clear gel formula and is suitable for normal, dry, and dehydrated skin.
Step 6: Exfoliate
Exfoliation works to slough off dead skin cells, revealing the healthy skin beneath. Exfoliating two to three times a week is necessary to prevent clogged pores and breakouts and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Steer clear of harsh scrubs and opt for a chemical exfoliant; AHAs and PHAs are best for those looking to combat tired, dull skin, while BHA is beneficial for those with acne-prone skin.
The Medik8 Press & Clear toner uses salicylic acid (and BHA) to combat breakouts while alpha arbutin brightens skin tone while reducing the appearance of stubborn post-blemish marks. Meanwhile, the Sunday Riley Good Genes and Ole Henriksen Glow2OH both harness the benefits of AHAs to reduce dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Subscribe to the Newsletter
Recommended for you
A decades-long partnership gives us two lightweight and sporty chronographs ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
November 14, 2023