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This article was produced in partnership with Blu Atlas
In the past decade, most men have gone from doing nothing to their skin to establishing an everyday routine that addresses their skincare needs and concerns. But even though a skincare routine for men sounds a lot less scary these days and online shopping makes products easier and less intimidating to buy, men don’t always know which brands and products are the best to shop.
To simplify your skincare shopping and get you to the best skin of your life, you’ll want to check out our roundup of the 16 best skincare products for men below. You’re bound to find something on the list you’ll love.
Best Men’s Skincare Product Overall: Blu Atlas Exfoliating Scrub
Exfoliate and purify skin on a deeper level with this exfoliating face scrub. This scrub by Blu Atlas uses naturally exfoliating hibiscus, skin-balancing jojoba oil, and nutrient-rich bamboo stem to buff away dead cells and clear impurities from the skin.
Best for Eyes: Disco Repairing Eye Stick
Keep puffy under eyes and dark circles away for good with Disco’s Repairing Eye Stick. This innovative eye serum uses natural ingredients like niacinamide, caffeine, and pycnogenol to treat fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness.
Best for Sun Protection: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
Sunscreen is one of the few skincare products every man absolutely needs in his routine. The Unseen Sunscreen by Supergoop! boasts broad spectrum SPF 40 PA+++ for protection against damaging UVA and UVB sun rays. It also goes on invisible and weightless, so it is great for men of all skin types and tones.
Best for Acne: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Paula’s Choice’s award-winning and best-selling skincare product uses maximum strength 2% salicylic acid to go deep into the pores, clearing up stubborn acne and blackheads.
Best for Dry Skin: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra Dry Skin
Quench uber dry skin with this hydro gel-cream. The formula sinks quickly into the skin to unleash 48 hours of uninterrupted hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and olive extract.
Best for Normal Skin: Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser
Normal skin already has a good thing going. Keep happy skin healthy with Youth to the People’s Superfood Cleanser. This daily face wash provides men’s skin with bursts of antioxidants and hydration thanks to ingredients like green tea, spinach, and kale.
Best for Oily Skin: Baxter of California AHA Clay Mask
Men with oily skin would benefit from this AHA Clay Mask once to three times a week. The face mask uses kaolin and bentonite clays to give skin a deep clean, while lactic acid exfoliates and hydrates, and plant extracts and oils leave skin feeling soft and nourished.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Bulldog Sensitive Moisturizer
Sensitive skin is prone to redness and irritation. But with Bulldog’s Sensitive Moisturizer that uses soothing ingredients like baobab oil and willow herb extract, you can finally experience clear and calm skin.
Best for Mature Skin: Grown Alchemist Regenerating Night Cream
Nourish mature skin and fight back against wrinkles and other signs of aging with this regenerative night cream. Grown Alchemist’s Regenerating Night Cream contains ingredients like omega fatty acids, peptide blends, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins to assist in skin repair, soften fine lines, and even skin tone.
The 16 Best Skincare Products for Men
1. Blu Atlas Exfoliating Scrub
A mini powerwash for your skin: this Exfoliating Scrub by Blu Atlas will buff away dry, dead skin cells to reveal fresher, brighter skin. Similar to a cleanser, this invigorating face scrub also helps clear away dirt, oil, and other impurities with ingredients like hibiscus, jojoba, and bamboo stem. Hibiscus contains natural, gentle enzymatic acids that help break down dead skin cells, increase skin cell turnover, and control acne breakouts.
Moisturizing jojoba oil calms down skin inflammation, balances oil production, and provides the skin with vital antioxidants and fatty acids. Bamboo stem soothes and protects the skin with its high concentration of silica and other skin-benefiting nutrients like vitamins and antioxidants. Bamboo’s silica concentration also helps to gently exfoliate and purify. The results? Brighter, softer, clearer skin.
2. Disco Repairing Eye Stick
Disco’s best-selling men’s skincare product is their number one for a reason. This anti-aging eye serum fights dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines with potent plant-based ingredients. Caffeine is rich in antioxidants and helps to reduce puffy under eye bags. Pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant derived from the French Maritime pine tree, brightens dark circles, reduces puffiness, and neutralizes oxidative stress for healthy skin.
Niacinamide, aka vitamin B3, evens skin tone and improves the appearance of fine lines and crow’s feet. The serum and applicator are also naturally cooling, making you feel more awake and refreshed after your morning skincare routine. For those who really love this product (which we think you will), Disco offers a subscribe and save monthly refill option that gets you 20% off.
3. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Paula’s Choice #1 best-selling product is a worldwide skincare favorite for men struggling with blackheads and clogged pores. This gentle (yet powerful) leave-on exfoliant uses 2% salicylic acid to remove excess layers of built-up skin, unclog pores, brighten skin tone, and smooth wrinkles.
Because salicylic acid is oil-soluble and has the ability to go deep into the pores, it can treat blackheads and whiteheads by breaking down acne-causing oils and the build-up of dead skin cells. Thanks to its leave-on, water-like formula, this liquid exfoliant is super easy to apply. Just apply to the skin directly with your hands or a cotton pad, then follow with a serum or moisturizer.
4. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
Finding a sunscreen that works, is comfortable to wear, and doesn’t leave a white cast can be difficult—especially for those with darker skin tones. To solve this sunblock situation, Supergoop! created their Unseen Sunscreen, an invisible, weightless, and scentless sunscreen that boasts broad spectrum UV protection of SPF 40 PA+++.
The innovative formula is oil-free, goes on smooth, and stays totally invisible all day (you won’t even know you’re wearing anything). Unseen Sunscreen uses clean chemical filters for its UV protection, along with antioxidant-rich ingredients like frankincense and nourishing ingredients like shea butter and a hydrating skin complex derived from meadowfoam seed.
5. Dollar Shave Club Acne Eraser
An acne spot treatment is something all guys should have in their skincare kit. Even if you don’t struggle with consistent breakouts, you want a quick fix for the pimple that shows up when you were least expecting it. Dollar Shave Club’s Acne Eraser uses maximum strength 2% salicylic acid to quickly zap zits and prevent new ones from coming.
The formula also uses skin-soothing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower seed oil that balance the exfoliating properties of salicylic acid so you won’t experience excessive irritation or dryness. Users in their product trials showed visible results in just two hours, and for less than $10, you really can’t beat that.
6. Lumin UV-Defense Moisturizing Balm
Sunscreen is one of the most critical parts of a morning skincare routine since it protects your skin from damaging UV rays that can cause premature aging, uneven skin tone, and even skin cancer. Lumin has made it convenient for men to get their moisturizing and sun-protecting needs with their UV-Defense Moisturizing Balm.
This lightweight, mineral-based sunscreen uses non-nano zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum protection (with an SPF of 30 PA+++), while papaya and rosemary extracts soothe the skin and combat premature aging. This non-toxic moisturizing sunscreen is great for men of any skin type.
7. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra Dry Skin
Dry skin needs all the love and hydration it can get. Luckily, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel-Cream uses its unique water gel-cream formula to absorb quickly into the skin for all-day hydration. It’s kind of like taking a big sip of water for your skin. The gel formula sinks in quickly but has the moisturizing power of a cream, thanks to nourishing ingredients like glycerin, beeswax, olive extract, and liquid crystal technology that hydrates and locks in moisture for 48 hours.
Though the superstar of this skincare show is hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant and hydrator that attracts moisture from the environment and draws it into your skin. This gel-cream is fragrance and oil-free, so it’s also great for those with sensitive and oily skin.
8. Caldera + Lab The Clean State Balancing Cleanser
A solid skincare routine starts with a solid cleanser. This clarifying cleanser by Caldera + Lab is ideal for men who want a simple plant-based face wash that is gentle and skin-nourishing. A lightweight cleanser like this doesn’t need harsh surfactants to get the job done. It uses hydrating amino acids, mineral-rich glacial ocean silt extracts, skin-balancing probiotics, and clarifying plant extracts to refresh, protect, and balance skin.
Standout ingredients include over 60 different minerals that nourish the skin, plant-derived squalane that naturally moisturizes, fireweed for its potent antioxidants, and nelumbo lotus that soothes and firms the skin. The formula is also non-toxic, dermatologically tested, and pH balanced to give all skin types their best skin ever.
9. Baxter of California AHA Clay Mask
Face masks are a bit like the luxury items of skincare, you don’t necessarily need them, but they can make your skin look and feel more elevated. On the days when your skin needs a little extra TLC, reach for this AHA Clay Mask by Baxter of California.
This facial mask uses natural kaolin and bentonite clays to give skin a deep clean, removing dirt, oil, and other impurities while helping shrink breakouts. The mask also uses alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) lactic acid to exfoliate the skin’s surface and provide hydration. To counteract the drying clays and exfoliants, this facial mask is packed with skin conditioning ingredients like avocado oil, calendula extract, and aloe vera leaf juice.
10. Geologie Active Recovery Hydro-Gel Moisturizer
Men who are active and always on the go need a moisturizer that will work with their skin and lifestyle. Geologie’s Active Recovery Hydro-Gel Moisturizer is designed to hydrate, soothe, and repair sun-damaged skin with active ingredients like niacinamide, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and allantoin.
The ingredient list on this moisturizer is pretty short, but that doesn’t mean it’s not potent. Geologie doesn’t give your skin filler ingredients (because there’s no reason to). Instead, they packed this moisturizing hydro-gel full of those active ingredients we mentioned earlier, as well as supportive ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera leaf juice, and rosehip extract.
11. Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser
Since face wash is something you use every day, twice a day, it should be one that you and your skin love. Youth to the People’s Superfood Cleanser is a multi-award-winning cleanser that is gentle enough for daily use but powerful enough to remove dirt, oil, grime, and environmental pollutants.
This facial cleanser uses superfoods like kale, spinach, and green tea to give the skin a burst of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The 100% natural, vegan formula has a hydrating gel consistency and fresh, clean scent that works best for those with oily, combination, normal, and dry skin types.
12. Bulldog Sensitive Moisturizer
For men with sensitive skin that’s prone to dryness, redness, and irritation, Bulldog Skincare created their Sensitive Moisturizer. This daily moisturizer provides the skin with hydration and long-lasting moisture thanks to ingredients like baobab seed oil, oat kernel oil, and willow herb extract. These skin-nourishing ingredients are safe for men with sensitive skin and help calm skin and prevent irritation. The formula is also non-greasy, free of fragrance, and can be used morning and night.
13. Hims Vitamin C Serum
Due to its antioxidant and brightening properties, vitamin C is one of the skincare world’s most treasured ingredients. Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for our bodies (and our skin) as it’s required for the growth and repair of tissues. The only caveat is our bodies don’t naturally produce vitamin C; it’s something we have to get from our diets and our skincare routines.
Luckily, Hims has made it easy for men to give their skin its daily dose of this essential vitamin with their Morning Glow Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbyl phosphate brightens the skin tone, neutralizes free radicals, and promotes healthy collagen production. This is one of the best Vitamin C serums for men also, as it has hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and orange peel extract for softer, smoother skin.
14. Grown Alchemist Regenerating Night Cream
If you’re ready to up your skincare game, alternating between a daytime moisturizer and a more decadent night cream is a great place to start. Grown Alchemist’s Regenerating Night Cream deeply conditions the skin with a nourishing blend of peptides and proteins that assist in skin repair and boost collagen synthesis.
Omega fatty acids from plant sources like grape seed oil, camellia sinensis oil, mango seed butter, and sea buckthorn fruit oil work alongside hydrators like hyaluronic acid to smooth and soften skin. The anti-aging formula is also packed with antioxidants and vitamins that even skin tone, fight damaging free radicals, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because this night cream is so incredibly nourishing, it’s best for men with dry or mature skin or those guys concerned with fighting premature signs of aging.
15. SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub
A gentle face scrub is an amazing addition to any men’s skincare routine because it helps to buff away dead skin cells and improve skin texture. In addition to providing the skin with physical exfoliation, this facial scrub by SkinCeuticals contains a powerful 2% concentration of silica, glycerin, and aloe vera extract to give the skin a direct hit of hydration.
This gentle face scrub can fit perfectly into a skincare routine for men whose primary concerns are acne, anti-aging, or maintaining healthy, balanced skin. The formula is best suited for those with normal, dry, combination, or oily skin types.
16. Clark’s Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream
This award-winning moisturizing cream by Clark’s Botanicals combines noteworthy active ingredients like glycolic acid and niacinamide with natural plant and marine botanicals for an ultra-nourishing moisturizer.
Some of the standout ingredients in this Smoothing Marine Cream include dehydrated algae microspheres which hydrate the skin, atelocollagen to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, sugar-derived glycolic acid for exfoliation, and glucosamine HCI for protection against skin-damaging free radicals. This vegan, non-toxic moisturizing cream is also supported with jasmine, yeast, and coffee extracts for skin that is calm and nourished.
The Four Essential Steps of a Men’s Skincare Routine
Cleansing or washing your face is the first step you’ll take in your morning and nighttime skincare routines. The primary goal of cleansing your face is to remove oil, dirt, pollutants, bacteria, and grime from your skin that can cause breakouts and other skin issues. Cleansing the skin also gives you a fresh base to apply the rest of your skincare products to. Whether you use a gel cleanser or a moisturizing oil-based cleanser, it all comes down to personal preference. As long as the face wash doesn’t leave your skin feeling tight or irritated, it is probably working for you and your skin!
Treatments aren’t always necessary in every skincare routine, and there might be some nights you’re so exhausted you just cleanse and moisturize—and that’s totally okay! Treatments are there for you to add once you’ve nailed down the basics of cleansing, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen during the day. Consider treatments to be products like serums or toners that target specific skincare concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles.
Moisturizing the skin, especially after you’ve just cleansed, is essential for restoring the skin barrier and locking in hydration. Skipping out on moisturizer can lead to a compromised skin barrier that’s prone to extreme dryness, inflammation, and irritation. Not to mention, moisturizer helps keep skin nourished, plump, and hydrated, making your skin less prone to dullness and wrinkles later on.
Sunscreen should be the last step in your morning skincare routine. It will go on top of your moisturizer or (depending on your skin type and the sunscreen you use) can be used as your daytime moisturizer.
What Skincare Products Should Men Have in Their Routines?
The Skincare Essentials:
The absolute skincare essentials consist of a face wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen for the daytime. If you want to keep your skincare routine as simple as possible, these are the three steps you’ll want to stick to. Plus, if you ever want to expand your skincare routine and experiment with different products, you’ll need to have these essentials down pat. This doesn’t mean you need to just stick with one face wash or one moisturizer your whole life. Feel free to try different face cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens until you find one you absolutely love and can’t live without.
The Skincare Extras:
Once you’ve nailed the skincare essentials, you can move on to those fun and exciting extras. We’re considering skincare extras to be products like serums, toners, essences, face scrubs, exfoliators, and face masks. These products can be worked into your routine gradually (once you got your base routine covered) to address certain skin concerns or add a little fun to your routine.
Additional Skincare Tips for Men
Know Your Skin Type
To choose a skincare product you’ll love, you first need to know your skin type. You may already have an idea of your skin type, especially if you’re on the oily or dry extremes. But if not, here’s is a quick flash course on the different skin types. If you strongly identify with one, that’s likely your type!
Dry Skin: Skin tends to feel dry, flaky, or rough.
Normal Skin: Skin is typically clear and balanced. It’s not overly dry, oily, or sensitive.
Sensitive Skin: Skin tends to be easily irritated by products. After using a product, you might notice stinging, burning, itchiness, or inflammation.
Oily Skin: Skin produces an excess of oil called sebum, so the face tends to be shiny or greasy-looking.
Combination Skin: Those with combination skin experience dryness in some areas and oiliness in others. Combination skin can also be normal in some places and have excessive dryness or oiliness in other areas.
Mature Skin: Skin is beginning to show signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, thinning, and loss of elasticity.
If you’re still unsure of what your skin type is, an easy test is to cleanse your face and then let it completely dry down. If your skin feels tight and dry, odds are you have dry skin. On the flip side, if your skin begins to produce visible oil, you likely have oily skin.
Read the Label
Just like shopping for food means checking the nutrient label to see what’s inside, shopping for skincare means you should be reading the product description and ingredient label to see if it’s a product that will work for your skin. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on a skincare product that doesn’t do what you need it to, so read carefully. Do you want an acne-fighting skincare product that targets whiteheads and blackheads? Look for acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. If you want an antioxidant-rich serum that prevents premature aging, look for potent antioxidants like vitamin C, niacinamide, or green tea.
Checking the label on a product is also important for those with sensitive skin who want to avoid potentially irritating ingredients and fragrances.
Wear Sunscreen Even Indoors
To protect your skin against age spots, wrinkles, collagen loss, and skin cancer, sunscreen is a daily must. Apply around 1/2 to one teaspoon of broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to the entire face during the morning and day time, especially if you’re spending time outdoors. On days when you don’t leave the house, sunscreen is still essential since UV rays come through the windows and can speed up photo-aging.
Don’t Use Any Ol’ Face Wash
Washing your face is the first step in your morning and night skincare routine, so using the wrong product can really make or break your skin. Many cheap cleansers and bar soaps contain harsh ingredients that can dry and strip the skin of its essential oils. Instead, go for a gentle face wash that caters to your skincare wants and needs.
Have a Post-Gym Skincare Routine
For the guys who work out, having a post-gym skincare routine is essential for preventing breakouts and clogged pores. After exercise, be sure to cleanse the face, apply any treatments, lock in hydration with a moisturizer, and top it off with an SPF during the day.
Explore Active Ingredients
In simplest skincare terms, active ingredients are what make a product effective. Active ingredients tend to be the powerhouse behind the formula or the one doing a lot of the leg work. Some of the most notable and popular active ingredients you’ll find in various skincare products include alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), vitamin C derivatives, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, niacinamide (vitamin B3), ceramides, kojic acid, retinoids, azelaic acid, and more.
Looking for a skincare formula that includes one or multiple active ingredients is a great way to ensure you get the most bang out of your buck since you’re more likely to see instant and long-lasting results with these ingredients. Not all active ingredients do the same thing. In fact, they’re all unique. So do your research on which active ingredients would be best for your skin concerns and type and choose a skincare product accordingly.
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