Skincare as a whole has been clustered into the world of beauty and stereotyped as feminine. Beauty and skincare products - from makeup to moisturizers - are specifically marketed to women and not men, with pink packaging and flowery scents. What many people don’t realize is that skincare is not made for women’s use only: men also need a proper skincare routine!
Another common skincare misconception is that skincare merely exists to help with flawless, glowing skin. However, a consistent skincare routine keeps the skin healthy and well-nourished on a regular basis. The benefit of skincare is not only to help with flawless skin, but also to maintain healthy skin, regulate body temperature, filter out toxins, and protect against the harmful effects of UV rays. Skincare is essential to everyone and anyone, including men. This article breaks the stereotypes that surround men’s skincare and provides helpful tips and products to use for healthy, glowing skin.
Let’s first dive into demystifying the common misconceptions around men’s skincare.
As mentioned above, skincare has indeed meshed into the beauty world. But, there’s a simple answer to why it has and why it embraces a gender-biased nature. All the pink packaging, and frilly design of skincare products serve one purpose: marketing. With simple bland colors, it’s hard to stand out which is why many companies have turned towards more “feminine” branded accents — consumers are more inclined to purchase products that are aesthetically pleasing. Although it’s hard to look past all the marketing ploys it’s crucial to understand that it’s all for show — in reality, skincare is universal.
False. When shaving, it’s important to use skincare products because the process makes the skin a more ineffective barrier to fight against toxins and other harmful subjects. However, skincare doesn’t stop at just using shaving products. There are more skincare items that are crucial in maintaining healthy skin that go beyond your simple shaving cream. If you only use shaving products, you’re only about 50% of the way to really taking care of your skin.
It might be easy just to wake up and quickly splash some water onto your face and call it a day. I get it, it’s so much easier and most of the time you just don’t have the time for a 20+ step skincare routine EVERY morning. But, if I’m being realistic, an effective morning skincare routine should take no more than 5-7 minutes. That’s hardly any time at all compared to the detrimental effects that poor skincare can lead to!
Skin is skin no matter the gender and it’s essential to properly care for it on a daily basis. That being said, there are several core variations between male and female skin — let’s break down these differences to get a better understanding of how they affect our skincare routines.
While every person’s skin is unique, men generally have thicker, oily, skin that ages differently than women's skin. Men’s skin naturally produces and contains more collagen which contributes to a tighter, overall appearance. On average men’s skin is around 20% thicker and unlike women, the amount of collagen constantly decreases throughout life.
Males naturally have larger pores due to more active sebaceous glands that secrete more oil. Because of the higher oil content, men’s skin tends to be more prone to acne and blemishes and less prone to dry skin.
When it comes to aging, it is true that signs of it appear later in men. However, once these changes start, they occur much more rapidly compared to women. When wrinkles start to form, they are much more set and grooved in the skin, so proper skincare before this happens is crucial.
Keeping these differences between male and female skin in mind, a proper, dedicated approach to male skincare that respects its biological features is important in living a healthy lifestyle.
Before I dive into the realm of products to build an effective skincare routine, let’s consider how different skin types and diets factor into your skin’s appearance.
Generally, there are four major categories for skin type: dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. It’s important to discern which type best matches your skin so that you are able to better tailor your skincare routine to you.
If you have dry skin, you will notice often that your skin will feel tight and appear red and flakey. This is simply because your skin does not have enough moisture. Dry skin may be acquired through genetics or hormones, and can be made severely worse if you use the wrong products. Someone with dry skin should avoid external elements such as harsh winds, exposure to heat, and sun damage because it can heavily irritate the skin. In some cases, dry skin can actually be another condition such as eczema or psoriasis. If normal products that help with dry skin aren’t effective for your skin, you may want to think about consulting a dermatologist about the root cause of your dry skin!
Dry skin needs to be nourished with a diet that zones in on inner hydration. Food sources that are rich in omega fatty acids such as fish and nuts will serve wonders for your skin. Be sure to also hydrate your body by drinking at least 64 oz of water per day to help nourish your dry skin!
Do you tend to break out a lot around your T-zone? Or is your face overly shiny in some instances? An oily skin type is your answer! People with oily skin often portray larger pores, more blackheads, and shinier skin overall. But before you stop applying moisturizer or sunscreen in fear of breaking out, it’s important to know that oily skin actually indicates that your skin is dehydrated. This dehydration of the skin causes your body to produce more oil to counteract the problem, thus leading to oiler skin and more breakouts!
A diet that consists of processed, salty, or carb-heavy foods can also lead to oily skin. Avoiding fast foods that are heavily processed and taking the time to eat whole foods will help decrease the excess production of oil. Another food source that can cause oily skin is dairy-related products such as milk, cheese, and butter. I know, these foods are by far the best foods to be invented but trust me when I say changing your diet to include less of these items will really benefit your skin. Foods such as plant alternative milk, nuts, berries, and green tea are amazing sources to balance out the oil production in your skin!
If you found yourself having some characteristics of dry skin, but others of oily skin, you may have combination skin! Having a combination skin type can make creating a skincare routine slightly more complicated… but don’t worry! It’s all about finding the right products that compliment both aspects of your skin. With combination skin, it is important to mix products that treat certain aspects of the dryness and oiliness of your skin.
A diet for combination skin needs to be well balanced to address both problems, just like your skincare routine. Foods to eat include lean protein, leafy greens, and antioxidant-rich fruits. These include spinach, kale, chicken, and berries. Hydration is also super important to retain adequate moisture in the skin.
Don’t think your skin type is any of the above? If your skin is easily irritated and reacts to certain products with inflammation and redness, you may have sensitive skin. People with sensitive skin have to be careful with the products they purchase and use because it’s usually the product that causes a reaction in the skin. When choosing a product, make sure to check the ingredients and perform a test patch before applying it to your face, to ensure that it is safe for your skin type.
When it comes to sensitive skin, there are no specific dieting guidelines that are crucial to follow. Just make sure to stay hydrated and eat whole foods that help nourish your skin and your overall body!
These descriptions of skin types are only a brief summary of the four categories. If you are unsure about your skin type, it never hurts to reach out to a dermatologist to figure out your specific skin type! (Talk about diets!)
Now that I’ve covered everything you need to know about skin types and male skin, it’s time to build the perfect skincare routine!
With thousands of products to choose from, it can be overwhelming to narrow down a few staple products that will truly benefit your skin on a daily basis. For men, at a minimum 3 essential products are needed: cleanser, SPF, and moisturizer. Keep in mind, if you’re looking for treatments for your specific skin type or problem, you may add in another one or two products into your routine.
Washing your face with a friendly cleaner is extremely important in your daily skincare routine. Dermatologists recommend washing your face with a mild cleanser at least twice a day. Throughout the day, oil and bacteria build up and tend to clog your pores so it’s important to establish a habit of washing your face once in the morning and once before you go to bed. When choosing a cleanser, be sure to pick one that is best suitable for your skin type and made with natural ingredients that benefit your skin.
Dry Skin: Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk
Oily Skin: Clarins Men Active Face Wash
Combination Skin: Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser
All Skin Types: Tiege Hanley’s Daily Face Wash
Next on our list, we have SPF which is an absolute MUST for anyone’s skincare routine. SPF is crucial in a skincare routine because it protects the skin against harmful UV rays and prevents early aging. Not only is it important to apply SPF in the morning, but it’s also essential to continue to reapply it throughout the day.
Now, we can’t forget about moisturizer! Not only does moisturizing help hydrate the face, but it also acts as a lock to set all the products you applied onto your face together. Most moisturizers are tailored specifically to your skin type.
Dry Skin: Lab Series Daily Moisturizer
Oily Skin: Jack Black Face Moisturizer
Combination Skin: Neutrogena Men Face Lotion
Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
All Skin Types: Paradox Marrakech Liquid Gold
If you’re looking to strengthen your routine even further, other great products for the skin include Vitamin C Serums, Retinol, and Blemish Patches.
A great universal product is Vitamin C. An effective Vitamin C serum works to tighten pores, reduce redness, and fades fine lines. It’s suitable for ALL skin types and can be a great addition to your daily routine.
Retinol is another booster that can help with cell turnover and regenerating the complexion of your skin overall. It’s perfect for people who have started aging and also who struggle with acne.
Everyone breaks out here and there and pimple patches can be an immediate lifesaver. Blemish patches such as our Paradox Lucky Stars reduce the size of any pimple in under 6 hours and work wonders when it comes to getting rid of a pimple FAST.
I’ve run through the importance of a skincare routine and the essentials of certain products, but the bottom line is that an effective skincare routine is necessary for EVERYONE. Gender doesn’t matter and skincare shouldn’t be masked as “feminine” because at the end of the day, skin is skin. I hope that this article helps you to realize why skincare is important and inspires you to start a daily skincare routine if you haven’t already!
Leave a comment below to let us know what you think and follow us on Instagram @paradox for more skincare tips and tricks! If you liked this article be sure to check out our other skincare articles such as Top 5 Foods That Could Be Causing You to Breakout and How To: Design a Routine for Sensitive Skin.
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