While I fully believe that skincare advice is universal, and men and women should be using the same products, there are some differences that need to be acknowledged. Aside from the stigma of using ‘feminine’ products, men generally have thicker, rougher and oilier skin than women. They also are more inclined to shave their faces, therefore causing more skin irritation. These factors, combined with the general desire for quick and simple skincare, must be taken into consideration when formulating a sustainable skincare routine.
Avoid shaving foam: Shaving foams are generally quite drying to the skin. Shaving creams and gels are more moisturising and help soften the hair before you shave so that you get a more comfortable shave and less ingrown hairs. Gels also lubricate the skin to make the shave smoother and cause less razor burn.
Suggestion: Kiehl’s “Close-Shavers” Squadron Blue Eagle Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream £15; Gillette Series Shave Gel Sensitive £2.99.
Ban bar soap: Bars of soap contain surfactants that will dry your skin out and make you more wrinkly and spot-prone. Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t foam.
Suggestion: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser £8.35; Liz Earle for Men Cleanse & Polish £14.50.
Moisturise: Moisturiser is not girly, it is essential. Use moisturiser morning and evening to avoid flaky, dry skin. And while tan might be nice, skin cancer definitely isn’t so make sure to use a moisturiser with SPF in the day!
Suggestion: Simple Protecting Moisture Cream SPF 30 £6.99 (for day); La Roche Posay Effaclar H Soothing Moisturiser (for night).
Exfoliate using chemicals: The idea of putting chemicals on your face sounds incredibly harsh, but they are much gentler than face scrubs with physical exfoliants. Use a chemical exfoliator (e.g. glycolic or lactic acid) 2-3 times a week.
Suggestion: Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads £14.95; The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% £5.50.
Be cautious about male focused products: Generally when brands produce ranges ‘for men’, they often contain sensitising ingredients, such as menthol and alcohol. Fragrance and alcohol free products are best, especially for sensitive skin.
Suggestion: Simple products.
Struggle with spots? Spots are frustrating, especially as society dictates that men shouldn’t use concealer. Fight them by using oil-free products or look for ‘non-comedogenic’ labels. Also consider buying products containing salicylic acid, as this helps to clean deep inside each pore. (Don’t forget to wash your face after working out to keep pores clean).
Suggestion: La Roche Posay Effaclar range.