Basic Guide to Male Skincare - How to Get Started

Men’s skincare isn’t as talked about as the ladies’ but in reality, we all need to take care of our skin. If you’re getting lost in all the skincare how-tos and top tips that only feature the ladies, we’re about to get you set up with the basics and some skin care best practices.

Let’s keep it simple. As people, we have 4 basic skincare steps that we have to follow, whether male or female. You only need to remember 4 things: cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect. Here’s how it works.

Men's skincare and beauty basic routine


This has got to be the most basic step in a routine and is guaranteed to be anyone’s requirement for good skin. Day in and day out, we get exposed to everything from pollution to humidity. With all that, sweat and bacteria can accumulate and clog your pores. To mitigate this, you need to cleanse your face. It’s pretty simple but the next question would be what cleanser should you use and how often should you use it? Each cleanser is formulated differently for every skin type and skin issue. It’s always safe to go for a non-stripping, mild cleanser but there are cases wherein a nice formula does wonders for certain skin issues.



It may be the most common form of cleanser guys go for. Cleansing bars are more traditional, simple, and convenient for most guys. They’re easy to store and easy to pack. But keep in mind that body soap and facial cleansing soaps are often formulated differently. The skins on our faces and bodies are composed differently and using body soap can mess with the balance of each. Most body soaps can be too harsh for the face and may end up stripping away the precious natural oils on the skin barrier. Choose bar cleansers that won’t dry out your face and don’t contain too much fragrance.


These are clear and take on a gel-like consistency. The great thing about gel cleansers is they’re good at catching debris and perform well when it comes to deep cleaning. They remove excess oil and can help get rid of acne-causing bacteria. If you suffer from blackheads and clogged pores, these can be your go-to formula.


Creamy in texture and very similar to gel cleansers when it comes to catching all the dirt and grime sitting on the surface of your skin. The creamy texture also makes it a mild choice, perfect for sensitive skin.


It may seem odd to use oil as a cleanser but oil-based cleansers can actually do a decent job when it comes to ridding your skin of germs and debris without harming your skin barrier. A good formulation can even work great at de-clogging pores without drying out your skin.


This may be a surprise to most people but no-rinse cleansers exist! Yes, you won’t have to rinse away the cleanser with water. Instead, you need to wipe it down with a towel or a cotton pad. This type of cleanser can be a convenient choice but in some cases, the no-rinse cleanser is a must. Some people suffer from terribly sensitive skin and the hard water from the tap can further its symptoms and possible irritations. A mild, no-rinse option can be the better choice in this case.


Here’s a step that makes skincare just a little more complex. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and allows for better skin turnover. Our skin has its own way of renewing itself from sun damage, acne, and irritation but it doesn’t always get to shed the dead cells on the surface of our skin. When these build up, they can form rough patches. Even worse, they can end up clogging your pores and start causing acne. 

By exfoliating, you get rid of this layer of dead cells and reveal healthier bright skin. It also helps calm down textured skin. Exfoliation is usually done twice a week often varying with the type of exfoliant you’re using and the effect you’re going for. But for any type of exfoliation, it’s best to test your skin first and not go too harsh. All good things take time! 



Physical exfoliants can definitely slough away the layer of dead skin cells on your skin. These often come in the form of soft brushes, sponges, or gritty particles mixed in with your cleanser. It’s basically any mildly abrasive material that mechanically sweeps away the patches of dry skin and dead cells. After using physical exfoliants, you instantly feel that your skin has softened. In all honesty, this makes it tempting to do exfoliation more but going heavily on physical exfoliants poses the risk of micro tears and scar tissue – nobody wants that. If you’d like to try physical exfoliation, please go at it with care and don’t do it more than twice a week.


Chemical exfoliants tend to be the slower yet milder type of exfoliator. With chemical exfoliation, you have your active ingredients and they work their way into your skin and break apart the bonds of built-up dead skin cells. The most common chemical exfoliants are your AHAs and BHAs but you also have PHAs (Polyhydroxy acids) that are better suited for sensitive skin. Although they work slower, they also lessen the risk of skin damage when used properly and with the right timing and consistency. 


These two often go hand in hand. As we cleanse and exfoliate, our skin requires some pampering to be able to recuperate and strengthen its barriers. To maintain a good balance in your skin, you need to keep it hydrated and moisturized. Moisturizers help nourish and protect the skin by trapping the moisture in between the layers of your skin and offer more protection by shielding your skin against environmental pollutants. These can be your serums, good oils, and creams. 

It’s best to moisturize after cleansing so that you’re sure that you’re only trapping in the good stuff underneath the product. This step can be done twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed.


When done in the morning, you’ll probably be wearing this during the day when you’re active so it’s best to find a comfortable formula for your moisturizer. Also, it’s a must to pair your moisturizer with sunscreen or find a good one that already has both functions. Listen, the sun can bring havoc to your skin because of its UV rays. Too much sun exposure accelerates the signs of aging and can bring chaos to your skin’s microbiome. Your skin also loses hydration and even collagen. 


Moisturizers worn during bedtime can be denser. It’s all about nourishment and repair at this point. Cell turnover works more rapidly when you’re asleep. If you have the AC on as well, this can make your skin dry and damaged as you sleep. When finding a nighttime moisturizer, you can go with the keywords rejuvenation and skin recovery. Active ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid can help keep skin supple and lush. 


Skincare can seem like a daunting task especially since it isn’t talked about much in a man’s world. But take it one day at a time. Do what’s comfortable and listen to your skin’s needs. Skincare is about taking care of yourself and not just for vanity’s sake. You are investing in yourself and your health, that’s what matters most.

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