Skincare For Men
What you need to know and how it’s different from women’s skin care
It’s safe to say the majority of men don’t have a skincare routine, much less know what skincare even is, and for the select few men who do have one, it’s probably thanks to a special woman in their life (no offense to those men who took it upon themselves to take care of their skin!). It’s not men’s fault—the skincare industry has done them an injustice by pushing their infamous 2-n-1 soap and shampoo combos as the only product a guy needs. But with a little education and dedication, men too can have their own skincare routine and achieve great skin, and may even find they enjoy doing it in the process. Read on to learn more about men’s skincare and how to build a routine!
Before we even get into a routine, let’s start off with the basics: how and why is men’s skin different from women’s? The immediate difference that comes to mind when we think of male versus female skin is that men have more facial hair and shave more often than women. While this is certainly a big difference, there are a few other key distinctions between the two sexes that aren’t as immediately noticeable but equally important.
The first difference between a man’s and a woman’s skin is the thickness. On average, male skin is roughly 20% thicker than female skin. This means their skin is tougher, leading to the appearance of firmer and tighter skin. The second difference is that male facial skin is more porous, meaning their skin has larger, more numerous pores and produces more sebum. In turn, male skin produces roughly double the amount of oil than female skin, making their skin more oily.
The second difference is that men lose collagen at a different rate than women. Collagen is a naturally-occurring protein within the skin whose production declines as we age and results in less supple skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. When women hit menopause collagen production declines even more severely due to hormonal changes, something that men don’t have to deal with, which means that male collagen production declines more steadily.
While a slower decline in collagen and fewer wrinkles sounds incredibly unfair to women, there’s a caveat: men tend to experience more facial irritation than women due to their thicker facial hair and shaving. Just as many women have to go to great lengths to care for the skin on their legs where they encounter thick, stubborn hairs when they shave, men too have to bear this burden— except on their face!
The majority of the men have been taught to treat the skin on their faces exactly the same as the rest of their body. At best they may use a lotion after they shower and at worst they’re using their 2-in-1 shampoo and body wash as their facial cleanser! If men can get by with this, why should they bother with a dedicated skincare regimen?
If you ask most men and women who follow a dedicated skincare routine why they choose to do so, they’ll most likely tell you it’s to keep themselves looking young and stall the hands of time. And while there’s nothing wrong with this reason, there’s another one that’s equally, if not more important: protection and repair from sun damage. This is especially important for the men who work outdoor jobs where they’re exposed to the elements day in and day out!
Most of us know to wear sunscreen when we go outside (and if you don’t, you should!). It protects against early-onset signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, worsening of preexisting skin concerns, and skin cancer. And while wearing sunscreen is non-negotiable and protects future damage from happening, it’s just one part of the equation to having great skin. By taking the time to invest in a skincare routine and other products we can help repair our skin from previous damage, too.
Another reason men should take the time to establish a skincare routine and understand their skin is that they often experience more irritation and inflammation than women due to shaving. Male facial skin is more prone to damage from shaving which can cause a whole host of skin concerns such as razor bumps, dry patches, itchiness, and overall discomfort and inflammation. With all of this in mind, how exactly does a guy go about choosing a skincare product and routine?
Finding skincare products that are good for men’s skin can be a bit tricky. Not only do skincare products for men have to get through their increased amount of facial hair, but they then have to be able to penetrate the skin itself which is thicker than their female counterparts. In addition, they need to be gentle and soothing to offset the irritation from shaving and lightweight enough that they won’t weigh down oily-prone skin.
One type of ingredient that is good for male skin is humectants. These lightweight substances work by binding moisture to the skin where they lock in hydration to keep the skin moisturized without weighing it down or feeling greasy. Common humectants include glycerin, honey, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and sodium lactate and are found in all types of skincare products from face cleansers to serums and lotions.
(Want to learn more about humectants like humectants? Read our article WHAT ELSE IS YOUR HYALURONIC ACID SERUM DOING FOR YOUR SKIN?)
Another type of ingredient that is important to look for in skincare products for men is antioxidants that protect the skin against free radicals and oxidative stress from everyday environmental stressors. Popular antioxidants include Niacinamide, vitamin C and E, caffeine, and bakuchiol. Many antioxidants also have other properties that soothe inflammation, help fade hyperpigmentation, even out skin tone, offer powerful anti-aging properties, and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier.
Here are some good ingredients to look for in men’s skincare products:
Now that we’ve discussed the differences between men’s and women’s skincare and what ingredients to look for, let’s talk more about men’s skincare products. The first step in any skincare routine is to wash your face with a good facial cleanser. The BN for Men Foaming Facial Cleanser cleanses the face with willow bark extract that soothes inflammation while green mandarin essential oil helps firm and tighten for more youthful skin. While it’s most important for men to wash their face at night before bed to remove dirt, oil, and other buildup, it can also be used in the morning as well for those with excessively oily skin.
Next up in a good men’s skincare routine is a serum. Serums are a great way to get an extra dose of skin-soothing, hydrating and anti-aging benefits. Serums are lightweight products that contain high concentrations of beneficial ingredients and are applied to bare skin after cleansing for maximum absorption. Our BN for Men Anti-Aging Serum features antioxidants niacinamide and bakuchiol that work double-time to soothe sensitive skin and inflammation while protecting against fine lines and wrinkles.
After cleansing and applying a serum, the last step in a good men’s skincare routine is to apply a lightweight moisturizer (and in the mornings, sunscreen!). As we discussed above, a good face moisturizer for men is going to be formulated with lightweight humectants and antioxidants, such as those in the BN for Men Moisture Balm. This facial lotion for men is formulated with glycerin that hydrates and quinoa seed extract that supports the structural integrity of the skin for a firmer, tighter appearance.
We’ve discussed the difference between male and female skin, but what about the difference in the skin of men who have facial hair versus those who shave it off? The main difference with men who shave is that they’re at a higher risk of irritation since the act of shaving itself is a form of exfoliation that sloughs off the outer dead layer
of the skin. Exfoliating the skin is more abrasive than simply washing it with a facial cleanser, and while it’s great for removing dead skin cell buildup, it can cause inflammation and irritation.
This is why using a proper shaving product is essential to a good skincare routine for men. A good shaving
lotion will coat the hairs and create a barrier between the skin and the razor, helping the razor slide with less friction over the skin and protecting it. The BN for Men Shaving Foam is perfect for any shave. It’s formulated with allantoin and honey to soothe and help heal razor irritation while vitamin E lends its antioxidant powers to further soothe and protect the skin.
Shaving is only half the battle—it’s important to follow up with the right product! Aftershave products like the BN for Men Aftershave Tonic are good skincare products for men to use after shaving, especially those who suffer from irritation, as they can be used to soothe and calm irritated skin while adding hydration. In addition to humectants panthenol, honey, and sodium lactate, it’s formulated with allantoin, a gentle yet powerful skin-soothing compound that has the ability to calm irritation on freshly-shaven skin.
What about the men who don’t shave? For men who like to rock their facial hair, there are beard oils that soften and smooth the hair while preventing breakage. The BN for Men Beard Oil features a rich blend of castor, argan, coconut, sweet almond, and moss oil that deeply nourishes, hydrates, and tames facial hair all at once!
Men like self-care, too!
Self-care, much like skincare, is often associated with women, and unjustly so as everyone can benefit from some special “me” time! When self-care comes up in terms of skincare, we often think of fancy face masks and bubble baths, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated, in fact, self-care is anything that makes you feel special and pampered, no matter how big or how small the act may be.
Men can treat themselves to a little self-indulgence with the BN for Men Pepper Keeper Anti-Aging Eye Creme. Formulated with hard-hitting antioxidants like creatine, caffeine, and black currant seed oil, this eye cream fights fine lines and other signs of aging while depuffing and brightening the eye area. Unlike a bubble bath that takes time to prepare, applying an eye cream only takes a few seconds and can be used anytime you’d like for some extra T.L.C.!
For the men who don’t think there’s any point to having a skincare routine, ask yourself this: do you want to settle for the bare minimum or take a few extra moments out of your day and achieve healthy skin that’s inflammation and irritation-free?
Skincare companies have spent so much time and money marketing to women and women only, so it’s no wonder most men haven’t had the opportunity to see for themselves the benefits of a proper skincare routine. Worse yet, many men are under the impression that taking care of their skin requires a lot of time and products, but with the right skincare routine, it doesn’t have to!