Regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity, everyone’s skin is comprised of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat layer. But where men’s skin can differ slightly from women’s is in thickness and texture. Skincare expert and formulator Mary Allan says that men can have up to twenty percent thicker skin due to “testosterone and higher collagen density,” and in addition, “have more active sebaceous glands, making their skin less prone to dryness than women.”
So while brands targeting men’s skin may just be in the marketing – which explains Allan’s use of minimalist, genderless packaging for her line – she asserts that establishing a regular skincare routine is a must. And why? “One of the main reasons is because men typically have higher oil production, which leads to clogged pores and ingrown hair,” explains Allan. “But with a few simple steps and the right products, any guy can maintain a youthful and healthy skin structure without common problems such as blackheads and razor burn.”
While skin types can range from aging to sensitive, Allan recommends cleansing and hydrating morning and night, and exfoliating a few times weekly for “optimal skin health.” And come rain or shine, daily sunscreen is a must.
Ahead, Allan shares an effective and easy-to-follow men skincare routine suitable most skin types.
Step 1. Wash your face with warm water to open up pores, and rinse with cold water to close them. If you are prone to ingrown hairs and clogged pores, choose a cleansing gel that contains Activated Charcoal like my Elixir Noir Cleansing Gel.
Step 2. Use a soft exfoliating scrub like my Daily Dirt Exfoliating Balm to remove dry patches and unclog pores a few times per week, or daily for overly clogged pores.
Step 3. Apply your favorite water-based moisturizer or gel to lock in hydration and soothe razor burn, and follow with a sunscreen. My favorite SPF is EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. Made with zinc oxide – a mineral that's less likely to cause skin irritation – the formula is also oil and fragrance-free, and contains Lactic Acid (a mild exfoliant to keep pores clear) and Niacinamide to keep skin calm while reducing redness.
Follow the same steps from A.M., minus the sunscreen.
Expert tip: If your skin is on the oily and congested side, adding a Glycolic Acid-based toner, like my alcohol-free Aqua Peel, is key to keeping pores clear. Apply after cleansing, and follow with a moisturizer.
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