4 Skincare Products I Always Recommend to My Male Clients (Including My Husband)

best mens skincare routinebest mens skincare routine

I spend my life talking about skin, treating skin and convincing other people to look after their skin. It's my job and a passion.

But some people will just never be that into it.

Generally speaking, this includes many males (but not all). My husband is one of them - and that’s fine. We all have different hobbies and interests.

However, I do believe skin care is important for everyone, no matter your gender.

I understand why my male clients in-clinic are a little harder to persuade into skincare routines. Up until recently, a lot of skin care has been very heavily marketed towards women.

This biased marketing can easily put people off, which is why I think it’s important we break down the stigma that surrounds looking after your skin. Because a skincare routine should be based on your skin type and its concerns, not on your gender. 

In this article, you'll find some helpful information about how male skin differs from female skin, and the types of products that tend to work well to treat typically 'male' skin concerns.

But really, this information applies to anyone feeling overwhelmed about how to start a skincare routine (or for anyone trying to convince someone else to take an interest in their skin).

Baby steps are key, so let's get into it.

But first, you can listen to our new podcast series Mr Beauty IQ below!

Is Male Skin Different to Female Skin?

It's true that men have physically thicker skin. In fact, male skin tends to be a lot more hydrated than female skin because their stratum corneum (outer layer of skin) is better at holding water.

Comparatively, the male skin dermis also has a higher collagen density... so it’s no wonder men can do less and still look fresh and youthful. (I'm generalising here, but am I though?)

Plus, we can’t forget that male skin needs to support facial hair, which looks different but also comes with its own challenges like ingrown hairs and shaving irritation.

Common Male Skin Concerns.

What are the most common male skin concerns that pop up in my clinic work?

Well, most tend to be associated with lifestyle factors. Predominantly, working outdoors (and without SPF protection) which we all know is the worst thing one can do to their skin.

Additionally, a lot of male clients (like all of us) generally just don’t know how to look after their skin and leave issues for too long before having a professional assess their skin type and concerns.

And you know what happens when anyone neglects their skin, regardless of gender?

Dehydration. Acne. Dryness. Blackheads. Hyperpigmentation. The lot. Sound familiar?

You can learn more about male skin from a skin therapist in this YouTube video below!

Best Men's Skincare Routine.

OK, but what if a male in your life is completely disinterested in looking after their skin? It’s not all doom and gloom.

I’m a dermal therapist, and it's even taken me years to convince my husband to improve his skincare routine. YEARS. It’s been (and still is) a journey.

Small steps, daily reminders, not-so-subtle hints and multi-purpose products that are easy to use are key. Conveniently storing products in a visible, high-traffic area of the bathroom (say, near the toothbrush) works, too.

For anyone who wants to start a skincare routine from scratch, it doesn't need to be overwhelming. You only need a simple routine with a few steps.

Below are some tried-and-tested products I often recommend to my male clients, including my husband.

In fact, this is his *exact* routine. (See smug selfie below.)

1. A Gentle Cleanser.

What: Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser

Why it’s great:

This calming cleanser can be used both morning and night. It contains soothing, hydrating ingredients like vitamin B5 (panthenol), vitamin E, green tea and aloe vera, and removes grime, dirt and sunscreen gently, without causing any irritation. Bonus: You can use it on your body if you want, too.

Best for:

Everyone and anyone - all skin types will be able to tolerate this cleanser.

2. An Exfoliating Cleanser.

best mens skincare routinebest mens skincare routine

What: A cleanser that contains exfoliating ingredients, such as Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser or Cosmedix Clarify Foaming Cleanser - Skinstitut also do some exfoliating cleansers at a lower price point.

Why they're great:

I often find male skin can tolerate more frequent exfoliation, and using an exfoliating cleanser is literally the easiest way to fit it into a no-fuss routine.

Both of these Cosmedix cleansers are really gentle exfoliators that'll help with regulating oil production, removing dead skin cells and improving skin tone and texture. They can also be used daily in the evening, or on alternating nights to the gentle cleanser.

Best for:

  • Cosmedix Clarify Foaming Cleanser is best for oily and acne prone-skin as the slightly foaming formula contains salicylic acid (a BHA or beta hydroxy acid). This chemical exfoliant cleanses deep within the pores to clear out excess oil and help with breakouts, plus it’s also great for inflammation.

  • Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser is best for everyone else (i.e. normal, dry, and combination skin types) as it contains a gentler chemical exfoliant called lactic acid (an AHA or alpha hydroxy acid).

3. A Sunscreen.

best mens sunscreenbest mens sunscreen

What: Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+

Why it’s great:

Fact: 80 per cent of signs of ageing (think dark spots, and fine lines and wrinkles) can be attributed to the sun, so everyone should be wearing sunscreen every day*.

This chemical sunscreen provides broad spectrum SPF50+ protection, combined with the hydration and comforting texture of a moisturiser. Easy!

Best for:

The best sunscreen is the one you'll actually wear, but Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+ will work on all skin types. It can also act as your morning moisturiser step, which is great for keeping your AM routine short and simple.

4. A Moisturiser (Preferably With Active Ingredients).

medik8 vitamin A moisturisermedik8 vitamin A moisturiser

What: Medik8 Night Ritual Vitamin A Age-Defying Retinol Cream 50ml

Why it’s great:

Personally, I think most people need to be using a vitamin A skincare product somewhere in their routine.

Vitamin A (also referred to by its most common derivative, retinol) is the gold standard of anti-ageing skincare ingredients, as there's tonnes of evidence to support its ability to increase cell turnover and reduce the appearance of the most common signs of ageing like uneven skin tone and texture, hyperpigmentation, collagen loss and fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A can even help with congestion, too.

You can learn more about vitamin A in our YouTube video below!

The simplest way to fit vitamin A into a skincare routine is in a serum-rich night cream (i.e. a moisturiser containing the active ingredients you'd usually find in a serum).

Medik8 Night Ritual Vitamin A Age-Defying Retinol Cream 50ml contains 0.2 per cent retinol, which is a small quantity of a powerful form of vitamin A. They've combined this with hydrating vitamin E and glycerin to ensure the formula delivers the benefits of vitamin A gently and effectively, and without causing irritation.

Best for:

This is a great gentle, beginner vitamin A product, and most skin types should be able to tolerate it without issue (but always go slow and start by applying one or two nights a week before working up to nightly).

There's a but though - a BIG but. I wouldn't recommend anyone use this product (or any vitamin A product) unless they're wearing sunscreen every day.

If you (or your loved one) aren't quite there yet, focus on consistently and diligently using your sunscreen each morning, and stick with a plain moisturiser like any of the Skinstitut moisturisers until you're ready to graduate.

A Final Note on Male Skin Care...

While male skin does tend to differ a little to female skin, how you treat your skin should be based on your skin type and concerns, not your gender.

There's no need for entirely different skincare products. Everyone can use any skincare product, so long as it suits their individual skin.

And finally, for skin care to work, you have to actually A) want to look after your skin and B) use it consistently.

This is why this simple, multi-purpose routine is a winner.

Want to read more about beauty for men?

*SPF is only one part of sun protection! Always seek shade, and wear sunnies, a hat and protective clothing. Use sufficient sunscreen for all unprotected areas and reapply sunscreen as directed. Always read the label.

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