Most men have long been conditioned to think they don’t need to bother with a skincare routine the way their female counterparts do. For one thing, gender norms put a higher premium on women’s faces looking soft, youthful and flawless — while men can be “rugged.” The other reason is testosterone makes men’s skin tougher, less sensitive, less dry and less prone to losing collagen and elastin after age 20. That said, men can’t afford to forgo skin care altogether. You’ve only got one face, after all.

Why Men’s Skin Care Is Important

Yes, testosterone comes with a lot of skin-improving benefits. But it also makes oil glands extra active, which, in turn, can make you prone to breakouts long after adolescence. A good, simple men’s skincare routine can balance out oil production and clear pores of pimple-causing bacteria.

And even if you aren’t yet seeing the effects of sun, pollution, smoke and other factors that damage skin cells, protecting yourself with men’s skin care means you can keep it looking younger longer, with fewer wrinkles and sunspots.

Plus, you want to keep the big C at bay: Men are twice as likely as women to develop melanoma by age 65, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Taking care of your skin now is an investment in your future.

The Most Basic Men’s Skincare Routine

If your idea of men’s skin care is scrubbing up with the nearest bar of soap and shaving, a full-on skin regimen might seem like too much trouble. But trust us, this can be super easy. 

First, figure out what type of skin you have. Is it greasy and prone to breakouts? You’ve got oily skin. Does it look flaky or feel tight after you wash it? You probably veer a bit dry. Does it get red and irritated when you use certain products? You might have sensitive skin. Is it some or all of the above? That’s called combination. 

Keep that in mind when you go to choose your products (though you might need to reevaluate when the seasons change). Then, follow these steps.

1. Cleanse.
If your skin is really sensitive or dry, you can just rinse with water in the morning. Oilier skin types should wash twice a day. No matter what, though, you want to wash your face every night to clear away dirt, dead skin cells and pollution.

Use a cleanser formulated for the face, as other soaps can strip away the skin’s natural barrier. When you really get into this skin-care thing, you can use an exfoliating cleanser twice a week too.

2. Shave (or don’t).
Obviously, we’re not telling you anything new with this one. But now when you shave, take into account your skin type and use the right products.

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You might want to use a beard oil before you shave or use a shaving cream with moisturizer. If you get ingrown hairs, consider using a razor with only one or two blades and not shaving quite as close to the skin.

3. Moisturize and protect.
Helping your skin stay hydrated can prevent lines from forming. Many lotions and creams also contain antioxidants and other active ingredients that can protect your skin cells and repair them. Most important of all, use a daily moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

The Best Men’s Skincare Products

Here are some of our favorite men’s skincare products to get you started: 

Evolve Beauty Daily Detox Face Wash

1. Evolve Beauty Daily Detox Face Wash ($22)
This cleanser uses natural sugars to clear dirt and excess oil from your normal or oily skin while also protecting it from pollutants and other damaging factors via goji (an antioxidant fruit) and moringa peptides (which rebalance oil and prevent inflammation). 

Ghost Democracy Transparent Gentle Exfoliating Daily Cleanser

2. Ghost Democracy Transparent Gentle Exfoliating Daily Cleanser ($24)
Glycolic acid and mandelic acid work together in this product to clear away dead skin cells and boost cell turnover, making skin smoother, while willow bark extract dissolves dirt and balances the skin’s oil production. This cleanser also has niacinamide (vitamin B3), which moisturizes while calming inflammation and redness.

GOA Skincare Anti-Vice Shave Set

3. GOA Skincare Anti-Vice Shave Set ($87)
Simplify your life with this three-in-one men’s skincare kit. Start with the Purifying Face Cleanser, which is packed with antioxidants and hydrolized cottonseed amino acids to boost your skin’s healing capacity as you wash it. The Firming Shave Cream has hyaluronic acid and moisturizing botanical oils, combined with antiseptic ingredients to prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs. Complete your care with Hyper-Conditioning Beard Oil that not only thickens and softens beard hair but also hydrates your skin without clogging pores. You can also combine the beard oil with the shave cream for a smoother shave.

GOA Skincare Regenerative Face Cream

4. GOA Skincare Regenerative Face Cream ($48)
If there’s anything manlier than putting snake venom on your face, we don’t want to know about it. That venom, along with plant-derived peptides, helps your skin stay hydrated and produce collagen, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion

5. Ursa Major Force Field Daily Defense Lotion ($54)
This unscented lotion protects your skin from UV rays with zinc oxide mineral sunscreen, and it improves texture and elasticity with ingredients like Swiss apple, alpine rose and Mexican prickly poppy stem cells.

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