A Simple Skin Care Routine You'll Stick To

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re a skin care guru or a curious novice, this fool-proof skin care routine for men will help to guide you through identifying your skin type, creating a manageable routine that you can follow both day and night, and which products you can use to maintain your results. 

Why is having a skin care routine for men important?

Taking care of your skin is more than washing your face once a day in the shower, and it’s more than tending to it once in a blue moon when you happen to have a breakout. Just as your body requires a healthy diet in order to stay in shape, your skin requires maintenance, too.

Staying consistent with your skin care routine will help to keep your breakouts at bay, your acne medication (if you use it) will be even more effective, and will keep your skin looking young, bright and healthy.

While this hassle-free routine was put together with men in mind, it can be followed by anyone! If you’re looking for a quick and easy regimen to get you on track to reach those skin goals, look no further than these three holy grail steps.

What’s your type?

First thing’s first: let’s determine your skin type. Yes, there are types — five of them to be exact. 

Knowing your skin type can help to inform what kind of attention your skin needs and will guide you in the right direction towards the sorts of products your skin may tolerate best. You want to be intentional about the products you use so that you get the most out of what they have to offer.

Take a gander to see which one resonates best with you.


You’ve never needed to be too concerned with your skin and its appearance. You don’t find that it’s easily irritated, it tends to stay naturally hydrated, controls its oil production well, and breakouts are seldom an issue for you. It’s safe to say that your skin is pretty low maintenance. 


Your skin tends to maintain an oily veil. You find yourself wanting to blot it down often, particularly in the T-zone area — that’s your forehead, nose, and chin. You may deal with acne breakouts in these areas due to a build-up of oil and the congestion it causes within your pores. 


You’ve got a mix of dry areas and oily areas on your face that can be tricky to manage. Your T-zone will likely stay oily, but the rest of your face (cheeks, outer portion) remains dry and sensitive. You may notice that different areas of your skin have different textures as a result of more active oil glands in certain areas. 


Your skin usually feels dehydrated and tight no matter what the season. The first application of a moisturizer gives you sweet relief. Your skin is not able to produce enough moisture to maintain hydration on its own, is easily irritated, and may actually flake off or appear scaly. 


Your skin is easily irritated by the things that normal skin isn’t affected by. You may experience redness accompanied by warm, itchy spots, and tightness in certain areas. Your skin is less resilient, making it easier for substances to creep in and irritate it. 

You require a bit more TLC and attentiveness, and it can be a lengthy process to find which products really work for you. 

Bonus type: aging skin

Getting older is inevitable for all of us and with our skin being our largest organ, it keeps us honest. Older folks will usually have thinner skin that’s not as supple as it was when they were younger. There might be more dark spots, more wrinkles, and more sagging due to the lower level of collagen production and, well, gravity.

Think you got yourself figured out? Great — it’s a breeze from here! The best part about knowing your skin type is that most of the products you’ll see will actually differentiate and identify themselves on the label for you so you’ll know straight away if that product is worth trying for you. 

Step one: facial cleanser

OK, let’s get one thing straight: if you’ve got a bar of soap sitting in the shower right now that you’re using for anything beyond your body (ie. your face), please (we beg you) keep that for the shoulders down only and sub in a nice, gentle cleanser for your face instead. You’ll thank us later!

Most people find it useful to keep a facial cleanser in the shower for the sake of convenience and to avoid making a mess at the sink. Both morning and night facial cleansing is ideal (no more than that, though!), but if it’s impossible for you to commit twice a day, don’t skip the night shift; it’s super important to wash off the dirt, bacteria, oil, and debris that’s collected from the day. It may not look like it, but it’s there.

Unsure of which facial cleanser to use? Here’s a general rule of thumb — if you’ve got normal skin, you can really go with any cleanser (lucky you!). 

If your skin is on the dry side, you’ll want to look for something with a label that mentions gentle cleansing or uses a cream formulation. 

For those with oily skin, a gel formula will work best. 

If you suffer from acne-prone skin, you’ll want to look for a cleanser that mentions treating blemishes, clearing pores.

  • Start by rinsing your face with warm water to open up your pores and spread the cleanser over your face in circular motions. Make sure to be gentle — if you’ve got sensitive skin, rubbing too vigorously will only do more harm than good. 
  • Once lathered in, rinse your face with cool water to close out those pores and pat to dry with a clean towel.  

Step two: exfoliate 

Feeling better already? We thought so. Next up, exfoliation, AKA face scrub. This should always be done after your facial cleanser, but only every so often, say one to three times a week depending on your skin type.

There’s two types of exfoliants: physical and chemical. A physical exfoliant will be a product that is materially abrasive, using salts or microbeads to be able to clear dead skin cells, increase blood flow, and maybe even reduce the appearance of cellulite. Physical exfoliants are better for those with resilient or normal skin that’s not so easily irritated.

A chemical exfoliant will either use AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) or BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids). The latter is great to look for in a product if you suffer from acne or oily skin, and AHAs are ideal for dry, sensitive skin types. 

If you’re looking for more instant results from exfoliation, you’re better off trying out a physical exfoliant first, as you need to be patient with chemical exfoliants to work their magic over time.

If you’re on the oily side, you’ll want to exfoliate more often. If your skin is more sensitive or dry, not only will you want to be sure to use a product that’s labelled as a gentle exfoliant, but you’ll want to err on the side of once a week.

How does exfoliation work?

 It removes the old, dead skin cells that sit right on the surface. By gently scrubbing away, you make room for a layer of newer, brighter, and healthier skin to take over. 

Proper and regular exfoliation will make it more difficult for breakouts to occur because you are clearing out the dead skin cells before they have the opportunity to build up and clog your pores.

If you typically schedule your shaves in the mornings anyway, fitting in some time to exfoliate will give you a cleaner shave as it helps to prevent ingrown hairs and bumps. 

  • Start by rinsing your face with warm water and apply roughly a quarter-size dollop of scrub to your palm. 
  • Gently move the product around your face in circular motions, focusing on the areas that tend to be affected by clogged pores. For most, this will likely be your T-zone.
  • Rinse off the exfoliant with cool water and pat your face to dry. 

Feeling fresher already? We thought so!

Step three: moisturize

It’s never too early to implement a moisturizer into your skin care routine. Locking in hydration is one of the most important steps to take when it comes to taking care of our skin. Moisturizing alone is what allows for our skin to restore its normal barrier function and can be used to treat a multitude of skin conditions. 

Moisturizing from a young age is a great way to keep your skin looking supple. As we get older, our skin becomes more prone to drying out, holding onto less and less moisture as our skin cells produce less collagen, which is what keeps our skin elastic and looking youthful.

After you’ve cleansed, exfoliated, and perhaps even shaved, use another quarter-size dollop of facial moisturizer to gently rub it all over your face and neck. It’s important to moisturize both morning and night to maximize hydration. This will keep your skin looking and feeling supple and healthy. 

Note to our oily-skinned, acne-prone friends: don’t be afraid of moisturizer! Contrary to how it seems, it won’t actually make your skin more oily or cause more breakouts. Instead, it actually helps to balance out the oil production and soothe your skin if it’s inflamed.

Remember, moisturizing doesn’t just stop at your face. The rest of your body needs extra love and hydration, too, so it’s a good habit to get into using body lotion after you’ve gotten out of the shower. 

Feeling like wrinkles and fine lines are beginning to make their mark? Look out for an anti-aging moisturizer specifically to help maintain your youthful glow. It’s best to use during your nighttime skin care routine as this is the time that our skin uses to repair and regenerate. Two birds, one stone!

Prescription retinoid products used in tandem with an anti-aging moisturizer will help to smooth out your skin, lessen appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and will work proactively to reduce their occurrence in future.  

Eye creams

Genetically, in a comparison between male and female skin, studies have shown that men tend to suffer more from sagging skin in the lower eyelid area than women do.

If you struggle to have a regular sleep schedule and accumulate the dark eye circles, bags, puffiness, etc that come along with it, get your hands on an eye cream. The tissue around our eyes is the most sensitive and thin on our face and so regular facial moisturizer tends to be too thick to be applied there. 

Avoiding your eyes when using your regular facial moisturizer is ideal so that you can leave room to apply an eye cream. We know nothing comes close to a cup of coffee to wake you up in the morning, but we do think that a brightening eye cream might just be the next best pick-me-up after a long night. 

What should you look for in an eye cream?

Knowing what to look for in an eye cream can be overwhelming — there are a lot of products out there.

So, how do you decide which one could work for you? Well, for starters, price plays a big role. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a good eye cream. Your local drugstore will have great and affordable products to choose from. 

A key indicator of a good product is something that’s been dermatologist recommended or approved. It may be worth your while to do a bit of preliminary research ahead of time to see what these brands are. 

Some key ingredients to look out for include caffeine, vitamin C, B3, and hyaluronic acid. These will all help to brighten, smooth, and de-puff those peepers. 

What about SPF?

It’s no secret that the sun is one of the biggest culprits of aging our skin. The more accustomed we get to protecting our skin while we’re exposed to the sun and its harmful rays, the better off we are in the long run. 

SPF is not to be used solely in the summer while you’re sprawled out on the beach — you need the protection all year round no matter what climate you live in. If you’re looking for the most low-maintenance skin care routine, look for a moisturizer that already has SPF in it — that way, that’ll be one less product to layer on and you’ll never forget it. 

The numbers can be confusing, but so long as you’ve got protection of at least SPF 30 consider yourself good to go. If you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun or in the water, remember to apply 30 minutes prior to exposure and to reapply every two hours or so to be sure you’re maximizing your protection.

If your skin is on the oily side and tends to be acne-prone, look out for a daily broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a water base. If you wear makeup and tend to have dry, sensitive, or easily irritated skin, a moisturizing sunscreen could be a good option for you. 

Consistency is key 

Just like working out and eating healthy consistently is known to deliver the best results for our physical health, the same goes for maintaining a skin care routine for men. The faster you implement a skin care regimen into your life, the sooner your skin will thank you. We all want to look as youthful and healthy for as long as possible — it starts with these three simple steps!

Medically reviewed by


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