I will never understand how skin care can be labeled “girly.”
To quote an excellent meme: It’s literally skin. We ALL have skin. Sorry you love being crusty. No one wants bad skin and TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES IS IMPORTANT. Skin care is for all.
I will admit this post is partially inspired by my favorite man: my teammate, better half, best friend and forever tag-team-partner, Andrew. He works grueling hours in addition to songwriting and focusing on his music career but still takes care of his body through workouts and eating healthy when he can. He applies that same self-care philosophy to his skin. After years of watching me apply dozens of serums, creams and oils to my face, body and hair, he decided he wanted to try it, too. His routine is modest — he masks whenever I do, exfoliates and uses a retinol weekly, moisturizes daily and never skips sunscreen — but I can’t count the compliments he’s gotten on his skin. We found a photo the other day of us from a few years before we started taking care of our skin and you can see the difference. He also gets told he looks about 15 years younger than those his age.
Skin care works.
So if you’ve been wanting to get your dude into skin care (or of you’re a guy curious about the skin care world), here’s a couple of easy entry points to try.
Masks: The gateway drug
The easiest point-of-entry into skin care is masking. Masks are temporary, and whether a sheet mask or a cream, you can easily throw it away or rinse it off if it’s not for you. It’s also a fun thing to do together since you can help the other put it on and hang together while they do their thing. Masking also feels really luxurious and he might like feeling pampered. See the featured image above for all the proof you need.
Start with the basics
Unless you want to, there’s no need to go crazy with a 10-step routine. The basics are cleansing, moisturizing and occasionally exfoliating. Sunscreen should also be a must. In my experience, men aren’t used to having too many options (think about all the 2-in-1 products or how there’s never a huge range of shaving cream choices.) Begin with the bare bones to get into a routine.
Sharing is caring
If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of samples, travel sizes and Sephora 100-point rewards laying around, not to mention the products you bought that you never used and never returned. Put them to good use. Using these products will help him get a feel for what he likes and get into the rhythm of daily skin care. Dig through your cabinets and drawers to find some intro products or hit up the trial-size sections of Sephora, Ulta, Target, etc.
No one should ever start their skin care journey with harsh actives and the same goes for your guy. As much as I love Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial’s 25% AHA/2% BHA blend, I would be scared to use it on someone who barely washed their face before, let alone exfoliated. Ease into skin care with products without actives or possibly irritating ingredients. Gentle cleansers, hydrating masks and basic facial moisturizers are great. Stay away from peeling solutions and high potency exfoliating acids, retinols, chemical sunscreens or anything with heavy fragrance.
Just for him
Everyone’s skin is so incredibly different and your dude will have different skin concerns than you do. Men tend to be either more oily or more dry so keep than in mind when looking for products. Ingredients like niacinamide and benotnite clay absorb and control oil while hyaluronic acid and omega fatty acids boost hydration, so look for those in skin care products. Also, facial hair needs to be taken care of like any other spot on the face. A chemical exfoliant cleanser over beards or a hydrating serum massaged in will help nourish the skin underneath. Brush beards after showers and, if you’re using a beard oil, look for ingredients that won’t clog pores like jojoba, argan, castor, peppermint, lavender or lemon oil.
Have routine, will travel
When you’re in a routine, it’s easier to add in steps or introduce more potent products. He might start to find brands he wants to branch out into but, in my experience, Kiehl’s, Jack Black, Peter Thomas Roth and CeraVe are great brands for men’s skin care. The Ordinary also is a nice brand to start with since many of its products cost less than $10 for decent quality ingredients. Helpful resources for men’s grooming are GQ, Men’s Health and, my FAVORITE, Very Good Light.
Don’t force it
Everyone is allowed to do whatever they’re comfortable with. No one has to do anything they don’t want to do. If someone shows zero interest in skin care, you can’t make them like it. If you really want him to take care of his skin, try to make sure he washes his face and wears a facial moisturizer with a sunscreen in it.
I have a pretty great feeling, though, that it’s kind of like when he met you: once he gets a taste, he’ll be hooked for life.
Do you have any tips on getting started with men’s grooming? LET ME KNOW AT GMAZUR@TIMESSHAMROCK.COM, @GMAZURTT ON TWITTER OR @MISS.GIA.M ON INSTAGRAM.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT