Maintaining a clear, even skin tone is a challenge for most men and women, but it can be especially tough for men, who don’t have nearly as many skincare products or resources available to them as women do. Commercials, skincare product manufacturers and society provides a wealth of information for women’s facial cleansing and skin care, but men are left on their own, more often than not.
Most of the skin care principles which apply to women apply to men as well. After all, skin is skin, right? However, most guys probably don’t feel comfortable keeping rows of feminine-scented women’s skincare products in their medicine cabinets – products which can be very expensive.
As it turns out, maintaining clear, healthy skin isn’t all that difficult – and it doesn’t need to break a guy’s wallet. We’ve put together a list of our top five skincare tips for men who want clearer skin without the perfume or expense.
#1 – Clean your face! It’s a simple yet woefully neglected aspect of personal hygiene: washing your face. Ideally, men should wash their face twice every day using a gentle facial cleanser. Facial cleansers do contain different ingredients than body wash or hand wash, so guys, don’t make the mistake of washing your face with hand soap twice each day. You’ll dry out your skin and end up with more problems than you had before. Choose a generic facial cleanser; if you struggle with acne, find a cleanser with salicylic acid as an active ingredient. Be sure to test the cleanser out on a small portion of your skin to make sure it doesn’t dry out your skin too much.
#2 – Moisturize! Another simple but essential step. What most guys don’t realize is that while regularly washing your face removes pore clogging dirt, it also strips your face of some of its essential oils, which can cause excessive dryness if washing isn’t followed by moisturizing. This is especially true for men who shave, since shaving removes oils and often a layer of skin as well. Just as with cleansers, regular hand or body lotion isn’t going to cut it when it comes to moisturizing your face. These lotions often contain too many oils which will end up clogging your pores. Find a generic facial cleanser at your local pharmacy. If you don’t struggle with acne or excessively dry skin, try applying a thin, even layer of original fragrance free vaseline hand lotion. Be sure to pay special attention to dry areas like in between eyebrows, shaved areas and the bridge of the nose.
#3 – Exfoliate. Simply removing that outer layer of dead and dying skin can make a world of difference and help guys achieve a healthier, glowing skin tone. While special facial exfoliant skincare products are very effective, these products aren’t the only way to exfoliate. You can also use a rough washcloth, abrasive shower cloth or loofah to exfoliate away dead skin while using your cleanser. Facial exfoliating shouldn’t be done every day, at the risk of agitating and drying out your skin too much, so add this step to your routine two or three times per week. Exfoliating removes an outer layer of skin, so be sure to moisturize exceptionally well afterwards.
#4 – Use toner. Facial toner is often overlooked in cosmetics department, but regularly using toner is one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to maintain clear skin. High end brands charge between $9 and $40 for facial toner, but you can forego this cost by picking up some generic witch hazel from your local drug store for about $1.69 per bottle. Witch hazel is a natural skin toner which removes dirt and excess oil without removing your skin’s natural moisture. If you’re on the go and don’t have time to maintain your regular facial cleaning schedule, swabbing your face a few times each day with witch hazel-soaked cotton rounds will keep away excess dirt and prevent clogged pores. Wiping your face down with witch hazel after washing or just before bed is a great way to get an extra level of clean without excessive dryness.
#5 – Maintain a healthy diet. Consuming heavy amounts of sugary soda and oily food and snacks is almost guaranteed to give you acne-ridden, blotchy skin. Likewise, routinely failing to get enough sleep will deepen those circles under your eyes, sometimes irreversibly. Cut back on the high fructose corn syrup and excessively oily foods, and be sure to eat plenty of fresh grains, fruits and vegetables in order to give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain clearer skin.
#6 – A little concealer never hurts. Even the most rigid facial hygiene regimen can still leave guys with the occasional blemish or dark under-eye circles. On days like this, a small amount of carefully applied men’s makeup concealer can go a long way in improving and freshening a guy’s look. If your skin is properly exfoliated and moisturized, no one will know you’re wearing it. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.