Female consumers have always dominated the beauty industry. We're obsessed with using the latest trends in anti-aging skincare, creative makeup applications, and we own a plethora of various makeup and skincare items.
However, due to technological advances and social norms, men are beginning to follow closely behind their female counterparts, taking their skincare, health, and wellness more seriously. So let's go through a men's guide to skincare.
The Generation of Self-Care
When it comes to their buying habits, Millennials and younger Gen X men invest more in their health, wellness, and skincare than men in any other generation. It could be because they have more disposable income — and wrinkles — than their younger counterparts. But what about the generations before them?
While older generations have the financial means, the desire for self-care is lacking. Rewind the times 40 or so years ago. I bet your father wasn't worried so much about his skin or their mental health. The culture was that men couldn't worry about those things — or show any signs of vulnerability.
Then take it back another generation. Your grandfather was certainly not worried about his appearance, nor was it acceptable for the family's breadwinner to explore feminine self-care rituals, such as a 5-step skincare ritual. They were too busy trying to keep themselves and their families alive.
Okay, those are dramatic renditions, but probably not too far off from the truth.
So it's no surprise that male Millennials and Gen Xers have become the lead consumers in the male skincare industry. As mentioned earlier, they have the luxury of a higher disposable income than Gen Z, and they're also starting to age — both of which are motivated to invest in a skincare regime.
A Quarter of Men Just Doesn't Know Things
Men are still fairly minimal when it comes to skincare. Many don't understand the value of a full-fledged regime and tend to go for the most straightforward routine available: Soap and water.
According to YouGov America, 24% of men in the US use hand soap to wash their face, and 3 in 5 men in the US do not moisturize their face at all — yikes! So it's safe to say that men could use a little awareness and education in this area.
Things He Should Know About His Skin
Skincare is not second nature to most men, whether it be your husband, boyfriend, brother, father, or friend. And if they don't have an interest in the first place, it can be like learning a language you have no interest in learning.
Yet skincare isn't fundamentally about enjoyment (I mean, for some of us, it is), but just like a healthy diet — skincare is a way to maintain your skin's health.
So here are some things he should know:
There are different skin types.
There are four basic skin types: Normal, Dry, Oily, and Combination. Most of us have Combination skin.
We then have specific conditions, such as fine lines, dehydration, sensitivity, hyperpigmentation, and acne. He should get to know his skin type to build a regime that works for him.
Not all products are created equal.
If he's using hand soap to wash his face, it's time to switch it up. Hand soap is often formulated with sulfates (e.g., SLS & SLES). Sulfates are drying and irritating on the skin, and hand soaps are not designed for the face. Furthermore, any other product you catch him using on his face that isn't formulated needs to be confiscated. We don't want him damaging his skin.
We all need to moisturize — yes, even men.
It's a crime that so many men use hand soap to wash their faces. It's an even bigger crime that even more of them do not moisturize. Moisturizers lock in moisture. Our skin gets more dehydrated throughout the day without the use of them.
Moisturizers also protect our skin from pollution and other free radical damage (hello wrinkles!), so please make sure he understands how vital moisturizing is.
He needs more than just cleansing and moisturizing.
Cleansers and moisturizers are not classed as "treatments," although they can contain active ingredients to help with certain conditions. But sometimes, we need to treat our skin with specific active products to target those issues.
If he has acne, using a BHA toner or exfoliant is a great addition to help with breakouts. And as we age, our collagen production slows right down. It, unfortunately, happens quicker with women, but men are never too far behind. By the time we're 30, we should all be using products that help delay the aging process through ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and AHAs.
A skincare regime does not need to be complicated. This is something I've heard a million times from men and many women. They don't have time or patience to perform a proper regimen every morning and night, and they don't see the point when water (and hand soap - eek!) does just fine. But, guys, it doesn't need to be complicated. Especially now, there are minimalist formulations available for lazy — err — I mean, busy people.
When introducing him to a skincare regime, you might want to introduce items into his regime slowly. If it's your husband or boyfriend, you can do things like:
- Give him a facial and then tell him how good his skin looks over the next few days;
- Leave cleanser in the shower, so it's easily accessible;
- Introduce him to moisturizing—and, of course, sunscreen;
- Start complimenting his skin regularly—stroke that ego, and clarify that his skin has never looked so good!
Get Him The Goods
I've put together two very simple and easy regimes — even a monkey could do them. So I'm sure your man/dad/friend will have no trouble, especially if you're there to help him through it.
The first is a minimalist regime for those who might have trouble committing to more steps. While the second one is more traditional, with more steps involved, and is more luxurious.
I love these regimes because they are gender-neutral, so you can both use this regime if you have similar skin concerns.
Regime One: The Minimalist
Cleanser: morning and night
This bar is for all skin types, even sensitive skin. You can use it on the face and the body, making it a simple head-to-toe cleansing step.
SPF Moisturizer: morning
If he hasn't been moisturizing, he needs to start. He should also use an SPF to stop UV damage that causes premature aging. Malu Day Cream with SPF30 is the perfect blend of ingredients to hydrate and protect his skin throughout the day.
Serum & Moisturizer: night
This serum bar triples up as a serum, oil, and moisturizer. After cleansing, swipe the bar across the face, and you're ready for the day! It helps with complexion imperfections, redness, fine lines, and pigmentation.
Mask Treatment: twice a week at night
This is a once or twice a week treatment mask formulated with glycolic acid and fruit enzymes to resurface dull skin. Perfect for a low-maintenance skincare regime. Apply after cleansing, and use Bloom Jelly after rinsing off.
Regime Two: Fully-Loaded
Cleanser: morning & night
This light foaming gel formula purifies and hydrates while gently melting away dead skin and debris.
This serum protects skin from free radical damage throughout the day, calms and soothes irritation, and gives skin a boost of nutrients. Perfect for any environmental skin aggressors and stressors.
This lightweight aloe-based serum invigorates and rejuvenates tired-looking skin while boosting hydration and antioxidants while reducing any irritation or redness. Great for bedtime when your skin does its best to replenish and repair.
Eye Serum: morning and night
With coffee bean extract and andiroba oil, this serum treats puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines to rejuvenate and hydrate the tired eye area. Important: Do not apply any serums or moisturizers around the eye area unless it is an eye product. This can cause milia (hardened whiteheads) that are very difficult to remove.
SPF Moisturizer: morning
Use the same moisturizer suggested in The Minimalist regime because sun protection is an absolute must!
This lightweight, oil-based moisturizer will nourish oily and acne-prone skin without feeling greasy or over-hydrated. It also works great for any skin type.
Treatment One: twice a week
This powerhouse treatment works on gently resurfacing skin through glycolic and fruit enzymes to eliminate coarse, uneven texture, fade dark spots, minimize enlarged pores, and support collagen production to reveal your softest, brightest skin. Use this before the face mask, twice a week for best results.
Treatment Two: twice a week
Energizes and rejuvenates tired skin. Use after the glycolic treatment twice a week for best results.
You Can Lead a Horse to Water
Not every man will be convinced—particularly those set in their ways. All we can do is lead the horse to water; we can't make them drink. But we can make it easier for them to try.
Many new products make our lives easier through minimalist formulations and simple applications. So try something new and get the men in your life onto some good skincare habits that will help them age as gracefully as you.
Emma Jade has been a trained esthetician for over 15 years. She is a sustainable skincare writer, educating and building awareness around proper skin health that doesn't cost the earth.
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