Whether you’re a guy who wants to take better care of his skin, or a significant other, friend, or family member trying to get a guy to, read on for tips and product recommendations.
As a guy, getting into skin care can be intimidating – at least I know for me it was. It can be hard to feel welcome in stores that only feature pictures of women, and with beauty articles and videos that by default use “her” and “she” when discussing routines and products. It can feel like an industry built for and around women, and like men aren’t welcome. But, that’s seriously not true. One of the reasons I was drawn to K-Beauty is because there are actually loads of Korean brands who have entire product ranges, campaigns, and options for men. But, the whole thing can still seem a bit out of reach, which is why we decided it was due time to put together an article on the best ways for guys to build out their routines.
Keep reading for our answers to some of the most common skin care questions we get from and about men.
Where does shaving fit into a skin care routine?
It’s best to shave in between your double cleanse and your toner. After you’ve double cleansed, your skin is soft and clean, and has been prepared for your shave with the warm water. Plus, both your oil and water-based cleansers will have softened up your hairs. This is a major reason to double cleanse, as using both an oil and a water cleanser will allow for a much smoother and cleaner shave.
After you shave, use a gentle toner as it will help to soothe and balance out your skin and also remove any remaining hairs, shaving cream, or other impurities that may be left from your shave.
What products and ingredients treat ingrown hairs/razor irritation?
After each shave you should be using products which restore strength and hydration to the skin. Choose products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and propolis to restore strength to your skin barrier. A great post-shave product is the COSRX Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream. It’s packed with three forms of centella asiatica to soothe any irritation, and a high concentration of Ceramide NP to strengthen your skin barrier.
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Generally, it’s suggested that you apply products in an upwards motion. But with shaving, you should always be thinking downwards to avoid irritation. You should shave downwards, and you should also apply toners and creams in a downward direction. Even better, you should simply pat products in to avoid pulling your skin
Exfoliation also helps treat and prevent ingrown hairs, but you need to be extra careful with exfoliation as shaving is a form of exfoliation in itself. You should never exfoliate right before a shave as it weakens the skin and makes it more susceptible to shaving-related irritation.
How can I apply products if I have facial hair?
If you just have a bit of stubble or shorter facial hair, nothing really changes. When applying products, just make sure you are using cotton pads that are strong enough to withstand being used on hair and stubble – my favorites are the Klairs Toner Mate Two-in-One Cotton Pads. The pack contains ultra-dense and durable pads that won’t break up on stubble.
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If you have a thicker beard, you need to make sure to work your way under the hair with cleanser. It’s also important to exfoliate the skin under your beard, so using a cleanser with exfoliating ingredients like AHAs and BHAs can be a great way to accomplish that. Just make sure to follow it up with a beard conditioner or beard oil so you don’t dry out your hair.
What other ways should a man’s skin be treated differently than a woman’s?
Men’s and women’s skin is slightly different. In general, men produce more sebum than women after finishing puberty, leaving their skin generally oilier and more prone to long-lasting acne. Additionally, men have slightly thicker skin due to increased collagen density. This means men’s skin is more resilient and less susceptible to wrinkling.
For oiliness, men need to be especially diligent with exfoliating. Using a chemical exfoliator with ingredients like AHAs or BHAs three to four times a month will help to reduce congestion and control sebum production. I love to use an exfoliating scrub like the Banila Co Hi Bye Vita Peel Exfoliating Scrub. It has AHAs to chemically exfoliate, walnut shell powder that gently physically exfoliates, and 14 vitamins to promote healthy, stronger skin. I just make sure that I use it in the evening and not before I shave.
Especially with regular exfoliation and shaving, men’s skin can be even more susceptible to sun damage. So, using a sunscreen every single day is absolutely essential to maintaining healthy skin. A great option is the Thank You Farmer Sun Project Light Sun Essence, because it’s super lightweight so it won’t leave your skin oily or greasy, but still packs in high protection against both UVA and UVB rays.